Knaup, Heinz-Dieter


Heinz-Dieter Knaup was born in Aschaffenburg, Germany on October 6, 1929. After taking acting classes at the German Theater Institute in Weimar from 1949 to 1952, his first engagement at the Quedlinburg Theater.


Knaup has divided his career as an actor between theater, film, and television. He has been a member of Bertolt Brecht’s Berliner Ensemble since 1954. Many of his performances there were recorded for East German television, including Herr Puntila und sein Knecht Matti (Mr. Puntila and His Man Matti, 1957 and 1979, Der kaukasische Kreidekreis (The Caucasian Chalk Circle, 1973), Coriolan (Coriolanus, 1978) and Grosser Frieden (The Great Peace, 1989). Knaup participated in the staged reading of Peter Weiss’s Ermittlung (The Investigation), inspired by the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial, which premiered on stages in fourteen East and West German cities on October 19, 1965. He also starred in the legendary 1995 Berliner Ensemble performance of Der aufhaltsame Aufstieg des Arturo Ui (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui), directed by Heiner Müller.


One of Knaup’s first major film roles was as painter Paul Naumann in Fünf Tage, Fünf Nächte. He is also known for his portrayal of Dr. Lomond in the television production Der Hexer, based on the Edgar Wallace crime story. Knaup has lent his voice to many documentaries, audio recordings, and plays, and has worked with several internationally known film directors, including Peter Schamoni, Frank Beyer, and Egon Günther.


Heinz-Dieter Knaup was featured in Peter Voigt’s documentary Ostberliner Bohème der 50er Jahre (East Berlin Bohemia of the 1950s, 1993). 

Bibliography & More:

1993 Ostberliner Bohème der 50er Jahre (East Berlin Bohemia of the 1950s, doc., dir. Peter Voigt)


2002-03 Körner und Köter (Körner and the Mutt, TV series)
1999 Todesengel (Angel of Death, TV)  
1996 Der Kindermord (Child Murder, TV)
1993 Berlin – Beste Lage (Best Location: Berlin, TV)
1991 Jugend ohne Gott (Youth without God, TV)
1989 Max Hoelz (doc., narrator)
1988 Der Bruch (The Break-In)
1987 Einer trage des anderen Last (Bear Ye One Another’s Burden...)
1986 Caspar David Friedrich – Grenzen der Zeit (Boundaries of Time: Caspar David Friedrich)  
1976 Die Leiden des jungen Werthers (The Sorrows of Young Werther)
1974 Gladys Marin – Chile (doc., narrator)
1969 He, Du! (Hey, You!)  
1968 Abschied (Farewell)
1968 Die Geschichte der Simone Machard (The Visions of Simone Machard, TV)
1967 Kleiner Mann – was nun? (Little Man, What Now?, TV)
1962 Der Hexer (The Ringer, TV)
1961 Die letzte Nacht (The Last Night, TV)
1960 Fünf Tage, Fünf Nächte (Five Days, Five Nights)
1958 Ware für Katalonien (Goods for Catalonia)

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