Werner Peters

Werner Peters

Darsteller
*07.07.1918 Werlitzsch (heute Wiedemar-Werlitzsch); †30.03.1971 Wiesbaden

Biography

Werner Peters, born July 7, 1918, in Werlitzsch, Saxony, grew up in Leipzig and attended drama school at Altes Theater Leipzig from 1935 to 1937. He made his stage debut in 1937 in the theatre stock role as the "teenage comic" in Stralsund. From then on, Peters worked at theatres in Leipzig, Kassel, and Mainz until 1941. With the start of World War II, his acting career was temporarily interrupted – Peters who was already drafted for military service in 1939, served as a soldier. After the end of the war, Peters performed at Städtische Bühnen Gera for a short period of time, until Erich Engel brought him to Munich"s Kammerspiele. But in 1947, Peters went to East Berlin"s Kammerspiele and then to Deutsches Theater Berlin where he performed on stage until 1952. Further stations of his theatre career include Schauspielhaus Düsseldorf (1955/56) and Berlin"s Schillertheater (1956 to 1958).

Werner Peters made his movie debut in 1947 in a small role in Harald Braun"s "Zwischen Gestern und Morgen" ("Between Yesterday and Tomorrow"). One year later, he was employed by DEFA and the DFF. Until his move to West Germany in 1955, Peters appeared in more than 20 film and TV productions – including his best known and most popular film, Wolfgang Staudtes "Der Untertan" ("The Kaiser’s Lackey", 1951). In Staudte"s masterly Heinrich Mann adaptation, Peters portrayed the quintessential German petty bourgeois in a brilliant way: His Dietrich Heßling is a plump, reactionist upstart – dull and jovial, smarmy and opportunistic, obedient, and recklessly power-hungry. Peters won the "Nationalpreis der DDR III. Klasse" for his performance. In West Germany, "Der Untertan" was banned by the censors for several years. When it finally premiered in 1957, the film was shortened by twelve minutes. A reconstructed version of the film was not shown in German cinemas until the mid-1980s.


Even after his migration to West Germany in 1955, Peters was able to continue his acting career with unabated success. In Robert Siodmak"s masterpiece "Nachts wenn der Teufel kam" ("The Devil Strikes at Night", 1956), Peters played a minor Nazi party official who is wrongly executed as a serial killer. This role won Peters the German film award in the category "Best supporting actor". Due to his strong portrayals of throughout shady characters in successful films such as the crime film "Der Greifer" ("The Copper", 1958), the drama "Das Mädchen Rosemarie" ("The Girl Rosemarie", 1958), or Wolfgang Staudte’s "Rosen für den Staatsanwalt" ("Roses for the Prosecutor", 1959), a bitter satire about a former Nazi, Peters was soon committed to the role types of shadowy rogues, declared criminals, or brutal military henchmen, for instance in several Karl May, Dr. Mabuse, and Edgar Wallace films, or in the US production "36 Hours" (1965), where Peters played a sadistic SS member alongside James Garner.

Until his death in 1971, Peters continued to be one of the most active and most productive actors of German cinema. Between 1960 and 1969 alone, he starred in more than 50 national and international movie productions. Furthermore, Peters set up the Berlin-based dubbing studio "Rondo-Film" in 1958 where he also worked as a dub voice actor and lent his voice to Hollywood stars like Rod Steiger, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasance, or Orson Welles (in "The Third Man").

On March 30, 1971, Werner Peters died of a heart attack during a stay in Wiesbaden.

The contents of this entry were funded with the support of the DEFA-Stiftung.

Filmography

1976 Der Augenzeuge [Jg. 1976 / Nr. 020]: 30 Jahre DEFA / 30 Jahre Filmkunst im Auftrag der Arbeiterklasse (Erinnerungen an Filme und Filmschöpfer)
Participation
 
1971 Die Tote aus der Themse
Cast
 
1970 Perrak
Cast
 
1970 Frau gesucht ...
Cast
 
1969/1970 Das Geheimnis der schwarzen Handschuhe
Cast
 
1969/1970 Unter den Dächern von St. Pauli
Cast
 
1969/1970 Blonde Köder für den Mörder
Cast
 
1969 Spion unter der Haube
Cast
 
1969 Das Fenster zum Garten
Cast
 
1967/1968 Zucker für den Mörder
Cast
 
1967 Geheimnisse in goldenen Nylons
Cast
 
1966/1967 Lotosblüten für Miß Quon
Cast
 
1966/1967 Mister Dynamit - Morgen küßt Euch der Tod
Cast
 
1966/1967 Die Hölle von Macao
Cast
 
1965-1967 Zeugin aus der Hölle
Cast
 
1965 Durchs wilde Kurdistan
Cast
 
1965 Der Ring
Cast
 
1965 Der Fall Klaus Fuchs
Cast
 
1964/1965 Die schwarzen Adler von Santa Fe
Cast
 
1964/1965 Tre per una rapina
Cast
 
1964 Die Gruft mit dem Rätselschloß
Cast
 
1964 Das 7. Opfer
Cast
 
1963/1964 Das Phantom von Soho
Cast
 
1963/1964 Einer frißt den anderen
Cast
 
1963 Das Geheimnis der schwarzen Witwe
Cast
 
1963 Scotland Yard jagt Dr. Mabuse
Cast
 
1963 Der schwarze Abt
Cast
 
1963 Die weiße Spinne
Cast
 
1962/1963 Der Fluch der gelben Schlange
Cast
 
1962/1963 Das Feuerschiff
Cast
 
1962/1963 Nur tote Zeugen schweigen
Cast
 
1962/1963 Die endlose Nacht
Cast
 
1962 Jeder stirbt für sich allein
Cast
 
1962 Der Teppich des Grauens
Cast
 
1962 Die Tür mit den sieben Schlössern
Cast
 
1961/1962 Die unsichtbaren Krallen des Dr. Mabuse
Cast
 
1961 Auf Wiedersehn
Cast
 
1961 Diesmal muß es Kaviar sein
Cast
 
1961 Es muß nicht immer Kaviar sein
Cast
 
1961 Im Stahlnetz des Dr. Mabuse
Cast
 
1961 Unter Ausschluß der Öffentlichkeit
Cast
 
1961 ...denn das Weib ist schwach
Cast
 
1960 Der Hauptmann von Köpenick
Cast
 
1960 Gauner in Uniform
Cast
 
1960 Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse
Cast
 
1959/1960 Ein Herz braucht Liebe
Cast
 
1959/1960 Strafbataillon 999
Cast
 
1959/1960 Endstation Rote Laterne. (Blonde Mädchen für Havanna)
Cast
 
1959 Schüsse im Morgengrauen
Cast
 
1959 Geheimaktion Schwarze Kapelle
Cast
 
1959 Melodie und Rhythmus
Cast
 
1959 Jons und Erdme. Die Frau des Anderen
Cast
 
1959 Bobby Dodd greift ein
Cast
 
1959 Rosen für den Staatsanwalt
Cast
 
1959 Kriegsgericht
Cast
 
1958/1959 Die feuerrote Baronesse
Cast
 
1958 Meine 99 Bräute
Cast
 
1958 Unruhige Nacht
Cast
 
1958 Das Mädchen Rosemarie
Cast
 
1958 Mit Eva fing die Sünde an
Cast
 
1958 Liebe kann wie Gift sein
Cast
 
1958 Schmutziger Engel
Cast
 
1958 13 kleine Esel und der Sonnenhof
Cast
 
1958 Romarei - das Mädchen mit den grünen Augen
Cast
 
1958 Lilli. Ein Mädchen aus der Großstadt
Cast
 
1958 Grabenplatz 17
Cast
 
1958 Blitzmädels an die Front
Cast
 
1957/1958 Besuch aus der Zone
Cast
 
1957/1958 Der Greifer
Cast
 
1957 Das Herz von St. Pauli
Cast
 
1957 Nachts, wenn der Teufel kam
Cast
 
1957 Madeleine und der Legionär
Cast
 
1956 Spion für Deutschland
Cast
 
1956 Die Stimme der Sehnsucht
Cast
 
1956 Anastasia, die letzte Zarentochter
Cast
 
1956 Das Sonntagskind
Cast
 
1955 Vor Gott und den Menschen
Cast
 
1955 Star mit fremden Federn
Cast
 
1955 Hotel Adlon
Cast
 
1955 Der 20. Juli
Cast
 
1954/1955 Ernst Thälmann - Führer seiner Klasse
Cast
 
1954/1955 Sommerliebe
Cast
 
1954/1955 Der Teufel vom Mühlenberg
Cast
 
1954/1955 Ein Polterabend
Cast
 
1953/1954 Ernst Thälmann - Sohn seiner Klasse
Cast
 
1953 Die Geschichte vom kleinen Muck
Cast
 
1953 Der König von Thule
Cast
 
1953 Der Mann, der alles macht
Cast
 
1953 Die DEFA-Rakete - Folge 2
Cast
 
1952/1953 Die Unbesiegbaren
Cast
 
1952/1953 Anna Susanna
Cast
 
1952 Kein Hüsung
Cast
 
1951/1952 Karriere in Paris
Cast
 
1951 Der Untertan
Cast
 
1951 Modell Bianka
Cast
 
1949 Der Biberpelz
Cast
 
1949 Der Kahn der fröhlichen Leute
Cast
 
1948/1949 Rotation
Cast
 
1948/1949 Die Buntkarierten
Cast
 
1948 Affaire Blum
Cast
 
1947 Zwischen gestern und morgen
Cast
 

Overview

Literature

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