WaRis - Tiroler Filmarchiv


- actor, moderator, author, dubbing actor, peace campaigner - 

To the gallery

Dietmar Schoenherr. Signed autograph card.

Schoenherr was born in Innsbruck on may 17th, 1926 as son of General Otto Schoenherr Edler von Schoenleiten.

  After Hitlers occupation of Austria the family moved house to Berlin-Potsdam. 1943 he received his general qualification for university entrance at the Potsdam Victoria Gymnasium. Already he was acting during his schooltime. Some day film director Alfred Weidenmann saw him and engaged Dietmar for the leading part of his film "Junge Adler" ("Young Eagles"). After the shooting Schoenherr applied voluntarily for the German army but deserted early 1945. After WW.II he first started his studies of architecture, but one year later Tyrolean filmproducer and director Eduard Wieser engaged him in the first postwar film "Wintermelodie". 

  Until 1952 he worked as announcer at Radio Tirol, as moderator and director for the Austrian Broadcast Company. Then he worked for the WDR, Westdeutscher Rundfunk in Cologne. In between he was busy in acting in movies. Schoenherr was engaged in more than 120 films but he also was very successful on stages. He had engagements at the "Exl-Bühne" in Innsbruck, at the "Theater in der Josefstadt" and "Theater an der Wien" in Vienna, the "Salzburger Landestheater" and the "Renaissance-Theater in Berlin. Finally he has had a 15year lasting engagement at the "Zuercher Schauspielhaus".

  Since 1965 Schoenherrs role as Commander McLean in the first german science fiction TV-serie „Raumpatrouille“ became legendary and cult status. It was so successful that even a directors cut was made as cine film in 2003. But Schoenherrs talents were also remarquable in the position of moderator. He was the first moderator for the German speaking spectators with a new style of entertainment in TV shows. Well known and unforgettable are the series of the TV show "Wünsch dir was", that he and his wife Vivi Bach created from 1969 until 1973. Schoenherr introduced also the first talkshow in Germanys television history. But he also was highly demanded as German dubbing actor for James Dean („East of Eden“, „Giant“), Sidney Poitier or Steve McQueen. 

  Dietmar Schoenherr also was an author. He wrote several novels, but also books about his social, religious and humanitarian ideas. Additionally he translated french authors like André Gide and Jean Paul Sartre.

  Along with all these challenges he was always back in the Tyrol and was co-founder and director of the „Tiroler Volksschauspiele“ in Telfs/Tyrol for 5 years.

  But he was also a political man. In 1969 Dietmar was involved in the election campaign for the Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky. In the early 80ies he demonstrated for the German peace movement and the Green Party. Since 1984 he finally found his aim in life. That was his philantropic work in Nicaragua. Altogehter he founded five social pojects. On of these is the "Casa de los tres mundos" in Granada which he co-founded with Ernesto Cardenal in 1987. A house for the cultural eductaion of young people. Schoenherrs engagement lead to a humanitarian non governmental institution named "Pan Y Arte" (bred and art).

  A great amount of awards and distinctions show Dietmars talents and dedications.

Only to name a few:

The golden "Bambi", "Golden Camera" for his lifetime achievment, the "Honorary citizenship of Grenada“, the "Austrian Cross of Honour for Science & Arts", the "Heinz-Galinski-Preis“ or several prices for discs.


  Dietmar and his beloved Danish wife Vivi Bach lived several years in their adopted country at Ibiza. Only 18 months after Vivis death Dietmar died on July 18th, 2014 in Santa Eularia/Ibiza.


Gallery of Dietmars & Vivis estate

Biography Dietmar Schoenherr, engl. version: © Dr. Christian Riml

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