Gerd Michael Henneberg

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Gerd Michael Henneberg
Born Gerhard Otto Henneberg
14 July 1922
Magdeburg, German Reich
Died 2011
Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany
Occupation Actor, theater director, theater manager
Years active 1937–1997

Gerd Michael Henneberg (14 July 1922 – 1 January 2011) was a German actor and theater director.


Gerd Henneberg's father, Richard, was a theater director. After the young Heeneberg took private acting classes, he debuted on stage at age sixteen, in the Leipzig Theater. Afterwards, he worked in the Aschaffenburg Theater and later became a member of the cast in the German National Theater in Weimar, where he remained until after the end of World War II.[1]

In 1948, Henneberg moved to East Berlin. He appeared on the stages of the Schiffbauerdamm Theater and the People's Theater, but finally settled in the Maxim Gorky Theater. Henneberg's most recognized performance was that of Scanlon of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, a character he depicted more than four hundred times. On 5 October 1960, he was awarded the People's Artist Prize.[2] In 1960, he was named manager of the Neustrelitz Theater. In February 1962 he assumed the same duties in the Dresden Theater.[3]

Henneberg was removed from the latter post in October 1965, after the Socialist Unity Party of Germany disapproved of several plays he allowed to be performed and from the lack of cooperation with communist writers. He was criticized for lacking "Socialist ardor", and had to announce that he left due to "failing to make a contribution to Socialist dramaturgy." Henneberg returned to Neustrelitz, where he remained as manager until 1968. He continued to direct plays and to perform in the Maxim Gorky Theater until the 1980s, and made his last appearance on stage in Dresden, in 1997.[4]

Beside his theatrical work, he also appeared in some sixty cinema and television productions, mostly East German ones. He is mostly remembered for portraying Wilhelm Keitel in all of Yuri Ozerov's World War II films and for making several guest appearances in the popular crime drama Polizeiruf 110.[5]

After a prolonged illness, Henneberg died on New Year's Day 2011.[6]

Selected filmography


  1. Henneberg's obituary on RBB Nachrichten.
  2. Hans Blaimer. Kultur in unserer Zeit. Zur Theorie und Praxis der sozialistischen Kulturrevolution in der DDR. Dietz Verlag (1965). ASIN B003TWC1H6, p. 428
  3. Henneberg's obituary on the Süddeutsche Zeitung online
  4. Henneberg's obituary on
  5. Henneberg's obituary on the Sächsische Zeitung
  6. Henneberg's obituary on

External links