The “Tatort” stars have to be measured against him
Manfred Krug was one of the few actors who were popular in East and West for their cult roles. He died five years ago.
Manfred Krug was one of the few German actors who were popular in both West and East. He embodied so many different cult roles, especially in the 1980s and 1990s, that every viewer could like him for a different character. Manfred Krug died five years ago.
From steel smelter to actor
Since Manfred Krug’s birth on February 8, 1937 in Duisburg, there has been a constant back and forth between places of residence. Partly because of his father, an ironworks engineer, partly because of the war, the boy commuted between relatives in North Rhine-Westphalia and his father’s places of work. After the war and his parents’ divorce, he stayed with his father and went to school in Leipzig. He completed his apprenticeship as a steel smelter in the steel and rolling mill in Brandenburg an der Havel. The distinctive scar on his forehead also dates from this period.
Manfred Krug did his Abitur in an evening school, moved to East Berlin and decided to go into acting. In the GDR he became a star as an actor, jazz interpreter and chanson singer. The break with his adopted home came after Krug signed the letter of protest against the expatriation of the dissident songwriter Wolf Biermann (84) at the end of 1976. When he got no more roles, Krug submitted an exit application in April 1977, which was approved. He left East Berlin in June 1977, as he wrote in his biography “Manfred Krug: Abgehauen. A recording and a diary” (1996).
The series star and a big flop
Above all with his four major series and series engagements, Manfred Krug played himself into the hearts of viewers from the 1970s.
It all started with the trucker series “Aufachse” (1978-1996, ARD), in which Krug played the truck driver Franz Meersdonk in five of the six seasons, who first drives his truck around the world for a Munich forwarding company and then independently. On the adventurous tours, the truck driver not only encounters other customs and traditions, it is often about freight fraud, smuggling, corruption and dodgy acquaintances.
Anyone who was a child in the early 1980s also knows Manfred Krug from “Sesame Street”. From 1983 to 1984 he embodied “Manfred” in the successful US children’s program, which was adapted for German television explained.
In 1984 Manfred Krug took over the role of Chief Inspector Paul Stoever in the Hamburg “Tatort”, which he played successfully for 17 years. Together with the Berlin actor Charles Brauer (86) as Commissioner Peter Brockmöller, he achieved the bravura piece of having delivered the most successful “crime scene” to date. The “Tatort: Stoevers Fall”, which ran in the first in July 1992, is still the top rated with 15.86 million viewers. With the “Tatort: Tod vor Scharhörn”, which was broadcast for the first time on January 7, 2001, “Manfred Krug, who suffered a stroke in 1997, said goodbye to television”, like it from NDR was called .
Manfred Krug celebrated his fourth major series success with “Liebling Kreuzberg” (1986-1998, Das Erste). Screenwriter Jurek Becker (1937-1997) wrote the role of the idiosyncratic Berlin lawyer Robert Liebling for his buddy Krug. The reward: a total of three Adolf Grimme Awards for the format.
Manfred Krug is also involved to this day, but not in a positive sense. In the run-up to the IPO of “T-Aktien” he had advertised Deutsche Telekom. However, many shareholders suffered losses. A little over ten years later, Krug apologized for it. “I apologize from the bottom of my heart to everyone who bought a share I recommended and were disappointed,” the then 70-year-old told the Hamburg magazine “Stern”.
One wife and four children
Manfred Krug was married to Ottilie Krug (1942-2020) from 1963 until his death. The couple had three children, including the singer Fanny Krug (51). In 2002 it became known that he also had an illegitimate daughter (born in 1998). “My wife Otti and I love all children, both legitimate and illegitimate,” after all, all children “ultimately come from God,” the “Bild” newspaper quoted from a statement by Krug after the news was published.
The actor last lived in Berlin-Charlottenburg and died on October 21, 2016 at the age of 79 “peacefully at home with his family”, like his management at that time “image” confirmed.