In Märkische Forschungen © DEFA-Stiftung, Waltraut Pathenheimer
Eberhard Esche was one of East Germany’s best known film and theater actors. Born on October 25, 1933 in Leipzig, he studied performing arts from 1952 until 1955. After acting in Meiningen, Erfurt, and Chemnitz, he joined the Deutsches Theater in Berlin in 1961. He was known for his brilliant portrayal of classical roles, as well as for the role of Lancelot in Yevgeni Schwarz’s anti-Stalinist play, “The Dragon” (dir. Benno Besson), which he performed over 650 times. Though Esche left the theater in 1999, his memorable voice continued to be heard in solo recitals and performances, which he gave until his death.
In addition to his theater work, Esche starred in many cinema and television films. Some of his most memorable roles include that of the chemist who decides to leave East Germany in Konrad Wolf’s Der geteilte Himmel, and of the party secretary in Frank Beyer’s Spur der Steine.
Esche always said his favorite role was that of the King in the poetic fairy-tale film by Rainer Simon, Wie heiratet man einen König, in which he appeared opposite Cox Habbema, his second wife. He published two collections of autobiographical anecdotes, one in 2000 and another in 2005. Eberhard Esche died in Berlin on May 15, 2006.
|2002||Der Haus der Schwestern (The Sisters’ House, TV)|
|1997||Mama ist unmöglich (The Ridiculous Mom, TV series)|
|1995||Der Trinker (The Drinker, TV)|
|1993||Novalis – Die blaue Blume (Novalis: The Blue Flower)|
|1985||Sachsens Glanz und Preußens Gloria (Saxony’s Splendor and Prussia’s Glory, TV)|
|1981||Märkische Forschungen (Exploring the Mark Brandenburg)|
|1981||Die italienische Reise von Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Journey to Italy, narrator)|
|1980||Levins Mühle (Levin’s Mill)|
|1980||Der Spiegel des großen Magus (Great Magusʼs Mirror)|
|1978||Fleur Lafontaine (TV)|
|1976||Die unverbesserliche Barbara (The Incorrigible Barbara)|
|1976||Beethoven - Tage aus einem Leben (Beethoven – Days of a Life)|
|1973||Leben mit Uwe (Living with Uwe)|
|1973||Das zweite Leben des Friedrich Wilhelm Georg Platow (The Second Life of Friedrich Wilhelm Georg Platow)|
|1972||Reife Kirschen (Ripe Cherries)|
|1970||KLK an PTX: Die Rote Kapelle (KLK to PTX: The Red Orchestra)|
|1968||Wie heiratet man einen König (How to Marry a King)|
|1966||Spur der Steine (Trace of Stones)|
|1967||Geschichten jener Nacht: Die Prüfung (Stories of that Night: The Test)|
|1964||Der geteilte Himmel (Divided Heaven)|