Mourning for Christian Horbiger: The ‘grand lady’ is dead


Status: 11/30/2022 6:15 PM

She was one of the most popular actresses in German-speaking countries, starring in series, films, and theatre. Christian Horbiger now received many awards and passed away in Vienna at the age of 84.

By Oliver Suss, ARD Studio Vienna

Christian Horbiger was born in Vienna in 1938, the daughter of the famous couple Paula Wesley and Attila Horbiger. But the mother at first had other plans for her daughter than acting: Horbiger was supposed to be a confectioner: “I don’t know if Janelle’s confectionery is still there. My mother already set up an apprenticeship for me there. Then he went to Hersfield, which he played.” Jedermann “there, as far as I know. Then they discovered me there,” Hörbiger once recalled.

Oliver Seuss
ARD Studio Vienna

So it began in the province of Hessian, at the Theater Festival in Bad Hersfeld. In 1955, Horbiger made her film debut in “The Major and the Bulls” by Eduard von Borsody. Then she began training for acting at a Max Reinhardt seminar in Vienna – but stopped her again because she was already engaged for the next film: The Last Love of Crown Prince Rudolph.

In the shadow of famous parents

However, it wasn’t easy for her as an actress in her early twenties as she was frequently compared to her famous parents. There were always poor reviews of her performances at the Burgtheater in Vienna. She later told ORF that she took it very seriously. It was difficult when he wrote of her: “Julia was played by Paula Wesley’s untalented daughter. You’ve got to deal with that first. Here I am with my car—I remember that quite right—next to the riding school turned into a narrow alley and I wept bitterly.”

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Destiny: The Movie

She later appeared on television more and more often: from 1965 to 1970 as Christel Müller in the movie ARDDanube Stories with Willy Millowitsch. She became known to a larger audience as Countess of the Goldenburg in the ZDF series “The Legacy of the Guldenburgs”.

In the latest installment of the ZDF series “The Legacy of the Guldenburgs,” Christian Horbiger has become known to millions of viewers.

Photo: Image Alliance/dpa

In 1992, Horbiger starred alongside Götz George and Uwe Ochsenknecht in “Schtonk!” with. The satire of Helmut Dietl’s Hitler diaries earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. Hörbiger received glowing reviews for her role as Hermann Goering’s niece. But she also had an important theatrical career and was a performer for almost 20 years at the Zurich Schauspielhaus, playing major classic roles as Elisabeth in Schiller’s Maria Stuart.

Horbiger was one of the most popular actresses in German-speaking countries. She died in Vienna on Wednesday at the age of 84.

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