Hoppe, Rolf


Rolf Hoppe was born in Ellrich, Germany, on December 6, 1930. Although his acting talent was apparent, he had to help out with the family business. In his free time, however, he acted in a drama group. In 1946, he was one of the founding members of a local amateur theater, where his talent as a comedian emerged. Hoppe took private acting classes and was finally accepted at the State Conservatory in Erfurt.


His debut as a professional actor in 1950 was at the theater in Erfurt. He then worked at theaters in Halle, Greifswald, Leipzig, Gera, Berlin, and Dresden (1961-1971, 1976-1984). In the 1980s, Hoppe shared the stage with Klaus Maria Brandauer in Jedermann at the Salzburger Festspiele.


Since the beginning of the 1960s, Hoppe also appeared in East German movie and television productions. Hoppe was mainly type-cast as evil, heavy-weight characters—like in East German Westerns—and he rarely received the opportunity to play more sympathetic roles. In 1965-66, the banning of three of his completed films—Fräulein Schmetterling, Der Frühling braucht Zeit, and Karla, was a blow to his film career.


Hoppe was known for filling both minor and major roles with life. The characters he played—such as King Don Carlos IV in Konrad Wolf’s film Goya, and the Justice of the Peace in Jede Woche Hochzeitstag—were always described as multi-faceted.


After acting in almost 100 East German movies and TV productions, Hoppe finally became internationally-known for his performance as the diabolical General Göring, in István Szabó’s Oscar award-winning movie, Mephisto, based on Klaus Mann’s novel. He worked with many other important directors as well, including Klaus Maria Brandauer (Mario und der Zauberer), Peter Schamoni (Frühlingssinfonie), Joseph Vilsmaier (Comedian Harmonists), Michael Haneke (Wer war Edgar Allan?), Frank Beyer (Der Bruch) and Dani Levy (Alles auf Zucker!).


In 1995, Rolf Hoppe fulfilled one of his dreams: he founded and became the principal of the Hoftheater Dresden in his hometown of Weißig. Hoppe passed away on November 14, 2018.

Festivals & Awards:

2017 Lifetime Achievement Award, fabulix International Fairy Tale Film Festival, Annaberg-Buchholz, Germany
2015 PAULA Award, Progress Filmverleih, Germany
2010 Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
2008 Lifetime Achievement Award, DEFA-Stiftung, Germany
2005 Goldene Henne for Lifetime Achievement, Germany
1998 Adolf Grimme Award for his role in Sardsch, Germany
1983 German Film Award in Fold Nominee for his role in Mephisto, Germany
1981 Award of Hungarian Film and TV Critics for his role in Mephisto, Hungary
1971 Art Prize of the GDR for Goya oder der arge Weg der Erkenntnis


2011 Niemandsland - Kein Ziel ist zu weit (No Man’s Land: No Goal Is too Far)
2011 Bittere Kirschen (Sour Cherries)
2009 Eine Liebe in St. Petersburg (A Love in St. Petersburg, TV)
2008 Der Besuch der alten Dame (The Visit, TV)
2004 Alles auf Zucker! (Go for Zucker!)
2001 La Piovra (The Octopus, TV)
1999 Klemperer – Ein Leben in Deutschland (Klemperer – A Life in Germany, TV mini-series)
1998 Palmetto
1997 Comedian Harmonists (The Harmonists)
1992 Mario und der Zauberer (Mario and the Magician)
1991 Bronsteins Kinder (Bronstein’s Children)
1990 Das Licht der Liebe (The Light of Love)
1988 Der Bruch (The Break-In)
1987 Johann Strauss – Der König ohne Krone (Johann Strauss – The Uncrowned King)
1985 An der Unstrut (On the Unstrut River, narrator)
1985 Das Haus am Fluss (The House on the River)
1985 Die Gänse von Bützow (The Geese of Buetzow)
1985 Wer war Edgar Allan? (Who was Edgar Allan? TV)
1984 Hälfte des Lebens (Half of Life)
1984 Die Grünstein-Variante (The Grünstein Variant)
1983 Frühlingssinfonie (Spring Symphony)
1983 Ärztinnen (Women Doctors)
1981 Die Gerechten von Kummerow  (The Just People of Kummerow)
1981 Mephisto
1980 Pugowitza (Pugovitsa)
1979 Komödianten-Emil (Emil the Comedian)
1977 Die Flucht (The Flight)
1977 Jörg Maler, Ratgeb (Joerg Ratgeb, Painter)
1976 Beethoven – Tage aus einem Leben (Beethoven – Days in a Life)
1975 Jede Woche Hochzeitstag (Wedding Day Once a Week, TV)
1975 Ikarus (Icarus)
1974 Hans Röckle und der Teufel (Hans Roeckle and the Devil)
1974 Kit & Co.
1974 Slatan Dudow – Ein Filmessay über einen marxistischen Künstler (Slatan Dudow: A Film Essay about a Marxist Artist, narrator)
1973 Wie füttert man einen Esel (How Do You Feed a Donkey?)
1973 Leben mit Uwe (Living with Uwe)
1973 Ulzana
1973 Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel (Three Hazelnuts for Cinderella)
1973 Susanne und der Zauberring (Susanne and the Magic Ring)
1973 Die Brüder Lautensack (The Lautensack Brothers, TV mini-series)
1973 Orpheus in der Unterwelt (Orpheus in the Underworld)
1972 Leichensache Zernik (Murder Case Zernik)
1972 Eolomea
1971 Goya oder der arge Weg der Erkenntnis (Goya, or the Hard Way to Enlightenment)
1971 Die gestohlene Schlacht (The Stolen Battle)
1969 Nebelnacht (The Foggy Night)
1969 Tödlicher Irrtum (Fatal Error)
1968 Weiße Wölfe (White Wolves)
1968 Spur des Falken (The Falcon’s Trail)
1968 Hauptmann Florian von der Mühle (Captain Florian of the Mill)
1967 Frau Venus und ihr Teufel (Lady Venus and her Devil)
1967 Ich war neunzehn (I Was Nineteen)
1965/2005 Fräulein Schmetterling (Miss Butterfly)
1965 Der Frühling braucht Zeit (Spring Takes Time)
1965/90 Karla (Carla)
1965 Die besten Jahre (The Best Years)

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