Fritz Wepper (17 August 1941 – 25 March 2024) was a German film and television actor. He is best known for his role as Inspector Harry Klein in the long-running crime series Derrick (1974–1998). Wepper is also remembered for his roles in the films Cabaret (1972) and The Bridge (1959) and as Mayor Wöller in the TV series Um Himmels Willen (2002–2021).

 Fritz Wepper was born as the son of a lawyer who was missing in action as a soldier in Poland in 1945. He started his acting career in a production of Peter Pan at the age of eleven. He got his first important film role in Tischlein deck dich, a film adaption of the Brothers Grimm fairytale The Wishing Table. His breakthrough role was as a young soldier in Bernhard Wicki's anti-war film Die Brücke (1959) which won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Wepper kept his popularity with German audiences into adulthood and appeared in several notable German films of the 1960s. In 1972 he played Fritz Wendel, a Jew passing as a Christian, in the Oscar-winning film version of Cabaret, opposite Liza Minnelli, Michael York, and Marisa Berenson.


His character Harry Klein, the assistant in the long-running crime series Derrick, became a cult figure all over the world. He played this role between 1974 and 1998 in 281 episodes of Derrick. Before playing Klein in Derrick he portrayed the same character on the popular television drama Der Kommissar (1969–1976) from the series' start until 1974 when he was transferred to Derrick. Harry Klein was replaced by his brother Erwin (played by Fritz Wepper's real-life brother Elmar Wepper).


Fritz and Elmar Wepper appeared together in the television series Zwei Brüder (1994–2000), playing a pair of different brothers hunting criminals and solve difficult cases. From 2002 until the show's cancellation in 2021, Wepper played the sneaky and sly, but ultimately good-hearted Mayor Wolfgang Wöller in the TV series Um Himmels Willen, which was for many years one of the most-watched German television series (with some 7.2 million views per episode).

Wepper died in Munich on 25 March 2024, at the age of 82.




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