Otto Sander (30 June 1941 - 12 September 2013) was a German film, theater, and voice actor.
Education and early career:
Sander grew up in Kassel, where he graduated in 1961 from the Friedrichgymnasium. After leaving school he spent his military service in 1961/62 with the Bundesmarine and left as reserve fenrik. Sander then studied theatre science, history of art and philosophy. In 1965 he made his acting debut at the Düsseldorfer chamber plays. After his first film work in the same year he abandoned his studies in 1967, and went to Munich to become a full-time actor.
His career is closely connected with the Schaubühne theatre in Berlin under the direction of Peter Stein. From 1980 onwards Sander appeared on several of Berlin's theatre stages, among others at the Schillertheater in 1981, at the Freie Volksbühne in 1985 and in 1989 at the Komödie am Kurfürstendamm. More recently he starred in Hauptmann von Köpenick at the Schauspielhaus Bochum (2004).
Among his best-known film roles are the angel Cassiel in Wings of Desire and its sequel Faraway, So Close! by Wim Wenders, and a shell-shocked U-boat commander, Kapitänleutnant Philipp Thomsen, in Wolfgang Petersen's Das Boot. Sander also appeared in "The Tin Drum" (1979) as a trumpeter., Comedian Harmonists, a biopic about the musical group of the same name. He also played a professor in the movie The Promise about the division of Berlin by the wall.
In 1990, he was a member of the Jury at the 40th Berlin International Film Festival.
Because of his warm, strong voice, which earned him the sobriquet "The Voice" (the English term is used), he has been used frequently as narrator for television documentaries, and numerous talking books in the 1990s.
Personal life and death:
He was married to the actress Monika Hansen and is stepfather to the actors Ben Becker and Meret Becker. He has two brothers, the lawyer Adolf Sander, the scientist Chris Sander, and a sister, the book dealer Marianne Sander.
Sander died, aged 72, in Berlin on 12 September 2013. No cause of death was given, though he had battled cancer for several years.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license