alt.obituaries Memorial Deadpool
Elisabeth Wiedemann was a brilliant
and talented actress, dancer, and voice actress, working in ballet, stage,
cinema, and television, but her main credit will always be the role of a simple
minded, naive, and benevolent housewife called Else.
Born on April 8, 1926, in Bassum,
Wiedemann started her career as a ballet dancer in 1944 in Göttingen. She
danced mainly in Berlin between 1945 and 1947, and also worked as a stage
actress for the legendary Gustaf Gründgens at his Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus
from 1951 to 1955. Besides her stage work, Wiedemann gained some fame as an actress
in cinema and television, starring in Tom Toelle's satirical TV series Das
Millionenspiel and Egon Monk's Geschwister Oppermann, a film
series about a Jewish family in Nazi Germany.
In 1973, she starred for the first
time as Else Tetzlaff in the TV
series Ein Herz und eine Seele, the German version of All in the
Family (which itself was a U.S. copy of Till Death Do Us Part).
In Ein Herz und eine Seele, director Wolfgang Menge shows the life
of a typical worker's family in Germany during the 1970s. Alfred Tetzlaff, unforgettably
portrayed by Heinz Schubert, is conservative, xenophobic, and bullheaded. He may
be a Nazi sympathizer, and he is definitely not amused by the social-democratic
government, taking every chance to complain about them. Michael, the husband of Alfred's
daughter Rita, is a social
democrat and comes from the GDR, which makes him a natural enemy for Alfred, who opposes everything coming
from the east. Alfred's wife
Else, in contrast to her husband, is a loving housewife, mother, and wife, although
her husband calls her animal names ("Dusselige Kuh," or "dim-witted
cow") and does not take her seriously. Else has no idea about politics or social questions, but tries
to comment on most things, which brings humor to the series.
Ein Herz und eine Seele
was aired shortly after being recorded in front of a live audience, which made
it possible to integrate current events. Menge produced 25 episodes before the
show ended in 1974. When he decided to continue the series in 1976, Wiedemann
and actor Diether Krebs (who played Michael) refused to participate and were
replaced by Helga Feddersen and Klaus Dahlen. Feddersen created a different Else, more self-confident and
less naive, but audience reactions to her were dismissive. This cast was not as
successful as the first, and the second series ended after four episodes.
Since the original episodes were
shown as reruns every year, Wiedemann was identified with her role as Else Tetzlaff, even though she
remained active as an actress until the end of her life. Following the death of
actress Hildegard Krekel, who portrayed daughter Rita Tetzlaff, she was the last remaining member of the series
cast and main crew. Children may also remember her as the voice of Fräulein Reinlich in the German
dubbing of the cartoon series Doctor Snuggles.
Elisabeth Wiedemann, widowed twice,
died on May 27, 2015, in a senior home in Marquartstein at the age of 88. Team
WEP receives 10 points (five for the hit and five for the solo) and waits for
two other veteran German TV actresses to follow her.
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