German theater and film actor who starred in many works, including director Wolfgang Staudte's 1953 film, Die Geschichte vom kleinen Muck. His performance in the 1961 film, Mother Courage and Her Children, bolstered his fame.
He was born in Germany, but grew up in Switzerland, where he studied Chemistry and Physiology. He later moved to Berlin to study acting.
He starred as Mack the Knife in Brecht and Weill's The Threepenny Opera more than 450 times.
His family comes from Frankfurt am Main, German Empire.
He was recruited by playwright, Bertolt Brecht , to the Deutsches Theater in 1950.