Weird, grumpy and lovable: Karl Merkatz died
Created: 2022-12-04Updated: 2022-12-04 4:26 PM
Karl Merkatz before the beginning of the ORF premiere of the movie "Echte Wiener 2 - Die Deppat'n und die Gspritzt'n" (2010).
© Herbert Pfarrhofer/APA/dpa
He played in "Jedermann", but was also the weird "Mundl" - Karl Merkatz had many faces as an actor.
The trained carpenter was not only popular in Austria.
Salzburg - Austrian actor Karl Merkatz died on Sunday at the age of 92.
The family confirmed to the German Press Agency that he fell asleep peacefully at home in Straßwalchen in the state of Salzburg.
During his career, Merkatz has appeared in more than 250 film and television productions.
He became known, among other things, for his role in the TV series "A real Viennese does not go under" (1975-1979).
As the loud-mouthed electrician Edmund Sackbauer (“Mundl”), he shaped a TV character that has never been forgotten in Austria.
The film series “Der Bockerer”, about a butcher with rebellious traits during the Nazi era, was also popular.
In his more than 150 stage roles, Merkatz played mainly Nestroy, Raimund and Shakespeare characters.
"King of Drama"
Merkatz was a "character actor of a unique format", praised Austria's Secretary of State for Art and Culture, Andrea Mayer.
"With him we are losing a true king of the art of acting." Hardly any series character like "Mundl" polarized the audience as much as Vienna's Mayor Michael Ludwig found on Sunday.
In this role, Merkatz was something of an early "angered citizen" who, despite his grumpiness, had his heart in the right place.
At the request of his parents, Merkatz, who was born in Wiener Neustadt in 1930, learned a trade and completed an apprenticeship as a carpenter.
But even as a child he was fascinated by acting - after the apprenticeship it was not the workshop that followed, but the stage.
Merkatz took acting lessons in Vienna, among other places, and graduated from the Mozarteum in Salzburg with distinction.
Farewell to the theater 2009
Stage engagements followed, including in Nuremberg, Hamburg and Munich.
He met his wife while performing in Heilbronn.
In Vienna he played at the Theater in der Josefstadt and the Burgtheater, among others.
He was also successful in operettas and musicals, for example as the frog in Johann Strauss' "Fledermaus" and at the Theater an der Wien as the milkman Tewje in "Anatevka".
His interpretation of the Kafka story "A Report for an Academy" about a monkey that adopts the average European education is considered ingenious.
At the Salzburg Festival he was seen on stage in "Jedermann".
One of his favorite pieces was Beckett's Waiting for Godot.
In 2009, Merkatz announced his departure from the theater stage - his great wish to play King Lear had not come true.
After he successfully staged his cabaret program “Der Blunzenkönig” from 2008, the play also came to local cinemas in 2015 with Merkatz in the leading role.