German actress and director Rosemarie Fendel had a notable influence on the stage, big screen, and small screen. Her impressive career also included voice work in German translations of films starring illustrious actresses including Elizabeth Taylor, Jeanne Moreau, and Annie Girardot.
Early Life and Career
German citizen Rosemarie Fendel was born in Metternich, a town near Koblenz, in 1927. She began an acting career that would span several decades and secure her position in the annals of German entertainment history while spending her youth in Berlin and Bohemia.
In 1946, Fendel made her theatrical debut at the Kammerspiele in Munich as a flower girl in a performance of Girodoux’s “Die Irre von Chaillot.” This was when Fendel started her acting career. Through training with actress Maria Koppenhöfer, she polished her acting abilities and grabbed the attention of renowned actor and director Gustaf Gründgens. She was introduced to the world of professional theater by Gründgens, and she soon began appearing there as well as in Darmstadt, Munich, and Frankfurt.
Fendel took a temporary break from acting in 1957 to welcome Suzanne von Borsody, the daughter she had with actor and director Hans von Borsody. Later, her passion for the theatre brought her back, and in 1982, she had a standout performance in a production of Anton Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard” at the Frankfurt Schauspiel. Fendel played parts that were intended for both men and women throughout her career, including in performances of plays by renowned authors like Bertolt Brecht and Arthur Miller.
She made major forays into the cinema and television industries during the 1960s and beyond. She rose to prominence on German television in the 1960s because of her portrayal of Erik Ode’s wife in the drama series “Der Kommissar.” Her numerous contributions also included appearances in well-known programs including “Dem Täter auf der Spur,” “Das Kriminalmuseum,” “Tatort,” “Der Havelkaiser,” “Freunde fürs Leben,” and “Der Nachtkurier meldet.”
He had notable roles in “Alle Jahre wieder” (1967), “Tätowierung” (1967), “Traumstadt” (1973), “dipussi” (1988), “Schtonk!” (1992), “Das Schwein – Eine deutsche Karriere” (1994), “Bonhoeffer: Agent of Grace” (2000), “Die Farben der Liebe” (2003), “Mensch Mutter” (2006), and “Das zweite Leben” (2007). Her last cinematic role was in the three-part ZDF television series “Hotel Adlon: A Family Saga” (2013), for which she won the Bavarian Television Prize for her performance in “Das zweite Leben.”
Fendel had a creative aptitude for writing and directing in addition to her performing profession. She worked with her longtime lover, filmmaker Johannes Schaaf, to draft the script for his movie “Traumstadt” in 1973. “Der Alte,” a ZDF-produced television series, with a script written by Fendel herself. Her creative skills also included directing the 1980 television movie “Der Heuler.” She further cemented her reputation by penning the script for “Momo” in 1986.
Rosemarie Fendel started a lucrative career as a voice actor after retiring from acting. Famous actresses including Elizabeth Taylor, Jeanne Moreau, Simone Signoret, Lauren Bacall, Anne Bancroft, Myrna Loy, Dorothy Parker, Vanessa Redgrave, and Annie Girardot received her German dub voices. She performed a variety of voice acting parts, including those of Simone Signoret in “Les Diaboliques” (1954) and Gina Lollobrigida in “Pane, amore e fantasia” (1927).
What was Rosemarie Fendel’s Cause of Death?
After a brief illness, Rosemarie Fendel passed away at the age of 85 at her Frankfurt home.