Heiner Lauterbach: Between the urge for adventure and a picture book family

Heiner Lauterbach is one of the most successful and well-known German actors.

Heiner Lauterbach: Between the urge for adventure and a picture book family

Heiner Lauterbach is one of the most successful and well-known German actors. However, when he was born on April 10, 1953 in Cologne, he was not born with the many awards for his more than 200 films. But the passion for music, art and acting was evident early on.

"My parents wanted me to go to high school. I was a terrible student and it quickly became clear that I wouldn't be able to do it under these conditions," says Lauterbach in the very personal BR documentary "Lifelines: Heiner Lauterbach - addicted to adventure", which will be broadcast on April 10 at 10 p.m. on the occasion of his 70th birthday.

At the age of eleven he went to a boarding school. The grades remained bad, he only flourished in the school theater. When he received his first "Award for Special Achievement in Amateur Play", it was clear to him that he wanted to be an actor. Lauterbach's father, who had "already set up the largest plumbing and heating company in North Rhine-Westphalia" together with his own father and brother, had other plans for him.

But instead of settling down after completing his plumbing apprenticeship and getting into the business, Heiner Lauterbach went to Munich at the age of 22, then the number one film city. When he talks about his partying time "without Money, stay and plan" in the notorious Schwabing of the 1970s, his eyes light up.

The now 24-year-old Lauterbach then found shelter with the newly divorced and twelve years older production manager Nina Roll. The two were a couple for five years. And he also got along well with her son, actor Michael Roll (61, "Inspector Lucas"). "It was a mix between a big brother and a substitute father," Roll remembers in the BR film.

Lauterbach dubbed and acted in theater. Then came 1985, which was to change so much. He was seen in his first leading TV role in "Das Gespinst" and Doris Dörrie's (67, "Freibad") film "Men" starts in the cinemas - and made him and Uwe Ochsenknecht (67, "Welcome to the Hartmanns") famous. In the same year, Lauterbach also married his fellow actress Katja Flint (63, "The Girl Rosemarie"). Three years later, their son Oscar was born. The couple separated, ten years later, in 2001, the marriage was divorced.

Over the years, Heiner Lauterbach has maintained an extreme lifestyle: "I was always the last [...] I partied for days and nights," he says in the documentary. At the time, he couldn't and wouldn't cut it down or "dose it a little bit more." Roll also remembers the excesses and "the time when he almost had cardiac arrest twice". Twice he has to be treated in the intensive care unit with a suspected heart attack - "everyone who had anything to do with him was worried". Lauterbach himself says today: "I just worked a lot and unfortunately also drank too much, smoked - that was a very unhealthy time."

In the summer of 2000 he met the love of his life, Viktoria Skaf (50), who was born in Lebanon and grew up in Bavaria. Together they changed his lifestyle to be able to start a family. He went into rehab at home. "Viktoria stood by him as he pulled himself out," says Michael Roll. Lauterbach says: "If I had met her ten years earlier, it would not have worked. It was at the right time, as so often in my life I met the right person."

Sport is now part of his life. And healthy eating - apart from the delicious Sunday cake, which his wife always presents on her Instagram channel.

In early September 2001, the two married and had two children, Maya (born 2002, "grandson for beginners") and Vito (born 2007). The family lives in a farmhouse on the eastern shore of Lake Starnberg. Daughter Maya is now studying in London.

"I was always shaped by an incredible thirst for adventure, a thirst for adventure, a wanderlust, by such restlessness and I lived it out quite a bit," summarizes Lauterbach in retrospect in the documentary.

No wonder that there can be no talk of professional retirement either. "I also think it's nice that you're not forced to stop at a certain age. That's one of the nice things about acting. If you want, you can gradually end your career and don't have to sit at home overnight and staring at the walls," the actor told spot on news in an interview last year.

At the time, he said of his upcoming milestone birthday: "Age doesn't let you go completely loose. But fear? For God's sake. A bad diagnosis or prognosis would scare me. But a number certainly wouldn't. You age every minute and not at all one day."

And how will he celebrate his special day? "I've never been a fan of big birthday parties, so that's why I don't do it anymore when I'm older," he told the news agency.