Otto Sander

Otto Sander (30 June 1941 – 12 September 2013) was a German film, theater, and voice actor.

Otto Sander
Otto Sander Berlinale 2008
Born30 June 1941
Hanover, Germany
Died12 September 2013 (aged 72)
Berlin, Germany
Years active1964–2013


Education and early career

Sander grew up in Kassel, where he graduated in 1961 from the Friedrichgymnasium. After leaving school he spent his military service in 1961/62 with the Bundesmarine and left as reserve fenrik. Sander then studied theatre science, history of art and philosophy. In 1965 he made his acting debut at the Düsseldorfer chamber plays. After his first film work in the same year he abandoned his studies in 1967, and went to Munich to become a full-time actor.


His career is closely connected with the Schaubühne theatre in Berlin under the direction of Peter Stein. From 1980 onwards Sander appeared on several of Berlin's theatre stages, among others at the Schillertheater in 1981, at the Freie Volksbühne in 1985 and in 1989 at the Komödie am Kurfürstendamm. More recently he starred in Hauptmann von Köpenick at the Schauspielhaus Bochum (2004).


Among his best-known film roles are the angel Cassiel in Wings of Desire and its sequel Faraway, So Close! by Wim Wenders, and a shell-shocked U-boat commander, Kapitänleutnant Philipp Thomsen, in Wolfgang Petersen's Das Boot. Sander also appeared in The Tin Drum (1979) as a trumpeter and in Comedian Harmonists, a biopic about the musical group of the same name. He also played a professor in the movie The Promise about the division of Berlin by the wall and played in the movie Der Einstein des Sex (1999).

In 1990, he was a member of the Jury at the 40th Berlin International Film Festival.[1]

Voice acting

Because of his warm, strong voice, which earned him the sobriquet "The Voice" (the English term is used), he has been used frequently as narrator for television documentaries, and numerous talking books in the 1990s.

Personal life and death

He was married to the actress Monika Hansen and is stepfather to the actors Ben Becker and Meret Becker. He has two brothers, the lawyer Adolf Sander, the scientist Chris Sander, and a sister, the book dealer Marianne Sander.

Sander died, aged 72, in Berlin on 12 September 2013. No cause of death was given, though he had battled cancer for several years.[2]


Year Title Role Notes
1970 Nicht fummeln, Liebling
1974 One or the Other of Us Rulle
1975 Meine Sorgen möcht' ich haben Harald Bornemann
1976 Sommergäste Pjotr Suslov
1976 The Marquise of O Der Bruder, Der Forstmeister
1976 Vier gegen die Bank Eberhard Winter TV film
1979 The Tin Drum Musiker Meyn
1980 Palermo or Wolfsburg Staatsanwalt
1981 Kalt wie Eis Kowalski
1981 Das Boot Phillip Thomsen
1981 Der Mann im Pyjama Rudi
1982 Wer spinnt denn da, Herr Doktor? Nummer Sieben
1983 A Love in Germany Narrator
1984 Der Mord mit der Schere Inspector Spalt
1986 Rosa Luxemburg Karl Liebknecht
1986 Miko - aus der Gosse zu den Sternen
1986 Wahnfried Richard Wagner
1986 Caspar David Friedrich – Grenzen der Zeit Gerichtsgehilfe
1987 Wings of Desire Cassiel
1988 Z.B. ... Otto Spalt Otto Spalt
1989 Der Bruch Lubowitz
1990 Zeit der Rache
1990 Werner – Beinhart! Erzähler Voice, Uncredited
1990 Vorwärts Backward Pedestrian
1991 Amaurose
1992 Lyrische Suite. Das untergehende Vaterland
1993 Inge, April und Mai Inges Vater
1993 Faraway, So Close! Cassiel
1993 Der Kinoerzähler Salzmann
1993 Der olympische Sommer Narrator
1994 Hölderlin-Comics Friedrich Hölderlin - Elder
1994 Movie Days Maður á hesti
1994 Three Sisters Vershinin
1994 The Promise Professor Lorenz
1996 Killer Condom Mr. Higgins
1996 Conversation with the Beast Hitler double
1996 Truck Stop
1997 Comedian Harmonists Bruno Levy
1998 Der Traum von der Freiheit
1998 Am I Beautiful? David
1999 Untersuchung an Mädeln
1999 Der Einstein des Sex Prof. Steinach
2000 Marlene Bühnenmanager
2001 Sass Vater Sass
2001 100 Pro Erzähler Voice
2003 Werner – Gekotzt wird später! Erzähler Voice
2003 Donau, Duna, Dunaj, Dunav, Dunarea Franz
2006 Perfume: The Story of a Murderer Narrator German Version, Voice
2007 Der kleine König Macius - Der Film Erasmus Voice
2007 Das Herz ist ein dunkler Wald Helmut
2008 Krabat Narrator Voice
2010 Das Leben ist zu lang
2012 Bis zum Horizont, dann links! Eckehardt Tiedgen


  1. ^ "Berlinale: 1990 Juries". Retrieved 2011-03-14.
  2. ^ Otto Sander, Wings of Desire actor dies at 72

External links

1941 in Germany

Events in the year 1941 in Germany.

2013 in Germany

Events in the year 2013 in Germany.

40th Berlin International Film Festival

The 40th annual Berlin International Film Festival was held from 9 to 20 February 1990. The festival opened with Steel Magnolias by Herbert Ross, which was shown out of competition. The Golden Bear was awarded to the American film Music Box directed by Costa-Gavras and Czech film Skřivánci na niti directed by Jiří Menzel.

Am I Beautiful?

Am I Beautiful? (German: Bin ich schön?) is a 1998 German comedy film directed by Doris Dörrie.

Ben Becker

Ben Becker (born 19 December 1964 in Bremen) is a German film and theatre actor.


Cassiel (Hebrew: קפציאל‎; Arabic: كسفيائيل‎, Kasfa'il), (also known as Cafziel, Cafzyel, Caphziel, Casiel, Cassael, Casziel, Kafziel, Kasiel, Qafsiel, Qaphsiel, Qaspiel, Qephetzial, or Quaphsiel), meaning "Speed of God" or "God is my anger" is an angel appearing in extracanonical Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mystical and magical works, often as one of the Seven Archangels, the angel of Saturn, and in other roles.

Chris Sander (scientist)

Chris Sander is a computational biologist and chair of the Computational Biology Programme at the Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Recently, he moved his lab to the Dana–Farber Cancer Institute and the Cell Biology Department at Harvard Medical School.

Der Mann im Pyjama

Der Mann im Pyjama is a 1981 German comedy film starring Otto Sander and Elke Sommer. The film won the Ernst Lubitsch Award for best actor (Sander).

Faraway, So Close!

Faraway, So Close! (German: In weiter Ferne, so nah!) is a 1993 German fantasy film directed by Wim Wenders. The screenplay is by Wenders, Richard Reitinger and Ulrich Zieger. It is a sequel to Wenders' 1987 film Wings of Desire. Actors Otto Sander, Bruno Ganz and Peter Falk reprise their roles as angels who have become human. The film also stars Nastassja Kinski, Willem Dafoe and Heinz Rühmann, in his last film role.

The story follows the angel Cassiel, who unlike his friend Damiel, chose not to become human in the original despite being told of the joys of life. Cassiel only becomes human in the reunified Berlin, but quickly becomes involved in a criminal enterprise that threatens his newfound life and his friends.

Wenders opted to pursue the project, desiring to make a film set in Berlin after the fall of the Wall. Sander also wished to pursue a storyline in which his character becomes human, and contributed ideas for the plot. Faraway, So Close! won the Grand Prix du Jury at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival, but less critical success than its predecessor.

Les Misérables (2000 miniseries)

Les Misérables is a 2000 French television miniseries based on the novel of the same name by Victor Hugo. The miniseries was broadcast in four parts. A three-hour English version was also released. This version is very true to Victor Hugo's novel. It maintains the setting, time period and covers the full arc of the story.

List of German films of the 1980s

This is a list of the most notable films produced in Cinema of Germany in the 1980s.

For an alphabetical list of articles on West German films see Category:West German films.

Palermo or Wolfsburg

Palermo or Wolfsburg (German: Palermo oder Wolfsburg) is a 1980 film by Werner Schroeter. It tells the story of an Italian immigrant who comes to West Germany in search of work.

Rosa Luxemburg (film)

Rosa Luxemburg (German: Die Geduld der Rosa Luxemburg) is a 1986 West German drama film directed by Margarethe von Trotta. The film received the 1986 German Film Award for Best Feature Film (Bester Spielfilm), and Barbara Sukowa won the Cannes Film Festival's Best Actress Award and the German Film Award for Best Actress for her performance as Rosa Luxemburg.

The Promise (1995 film)

The Promise (German: Das Versprechen) is a 1995 German-language film directed by Margarethe von Trotta. It was an international co-production between Germany, France and Switzerland. Two young lovers in Berlin are separated when the Berlin wall goes up, and their stories intertwine during the three decades to German reunification. This film was chosen as Germany's official submission to the 67th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, but did not receive a nomination.

Three Sisters (1994 film)

Three Sisters (Russian: Три сестры, Tri sestry) is a 1994 Russian film, based on Anton Chekhov's play of the same name. The movie was very successful in the former countries of the USSR and had one Nika Award nomination for the best cinematographer.

Wahnfried (film)

Wahnfried (German: Richard und Cosima, French: Richard et Cosima) is a 1986 German-French drama film directed by Peter Patzak about the life of Richard Wagner. It was screened out of competition at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival.


Weltreise (The World Trip) is the second studio album by German electronical project Schiller by Christopher von Deylen and Mirko von Schlieffen. The album was internationally marketed as Voyage. It became a surprise hit, staying on the top position of the German longplay charts for four consecutive weeks. The album featured Kim Sanders and Peter Heppner as guest singers, with voice actors Otto Sander, Benjamin Völz and Franziska Pigulla adding spoken words passages.

Weltreise was also released as a DVD including a travel movie to the soundtrack.

The album achieved platinum status in Germany in 2016.

Werner – Beinhart!

Werner – Beinhart! is the first German comedy-comic-film adaption based upon the most successful German comic Werner by "Brösel".

With 4.9 million sold tickets it was in 1990 the third most successful movie in theaters in Germany, behind Look Who's Talking and Pretty Woman and still is up to today the fourth successful domestic movie behind Otto – Der Film, Der Schuh des Manitu (2001; 11,7 Mio. visitors) and Traumschiff Surprise – Periode 1 (2004; 9,1 Mio. visitors). That made it behind Otto – Der Film (with 14,5 Mio. visitors in 1985;) to the second most commercially successful domestic film since the beginning of recording in Germany (since 1964).

Wings of Desire

Wings of Desire (German: Der Himmel über Berlin, lit. 'The Heaven Over Berlin') is a 1987 romantic fantasy film directed by Wim Wenders. The film is about invisible, immortal angels who populate Berlin and listen to the thoughts of its human inhabitants, comforting the distressed. Even though the city is densely populated, many of the people are isolated or estranged from their loved ones. One of the angels, played by Bruno Ganz, falls in love with a beautiful, lonely trapeze artist, played by Solveig Dommartin. The angel chooses to become mortal so that he can experience human sensory pleasures, ranging from enjoying food to touching a loved one, and so that he can discover human love with the trapeze artist.

Inspired by art depicting angels visible around West Berlin, at the time enclaved by the Berlin Wall, Wenders and author Peter Handke conceived of the story and continued to develop the screenplay throughout the French and German co-production. The film was shot by Henri Alekan in both colour and a sepia-toned black-and-white, the latter being used to represent the world as seen by the angels. The cast includes Otto Sander, Curt Bois and Peter Falk.

For Wings of Desire, Wenders won awards for Best Director at both the Cannes Film Festival and European Film Awards. The film was a critical and financial success, and academics have interpreted it as a statement of the importance of cinema, libraries, the circus, or German unity, containing New Age, religious, secular or other themes.

It was followed by a sequel, Faraway, So Close!, released in 1993. City of Angels, a U.S. remake, was released in 1998. In 1990, numerous critics named Wings of Desire as one of the best films of the 1980s.

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