The actor Volker Spengler is dead. He died on Saturday morning shortly before his 81st birthday in Berlin.

Spengler became known for his role in Rainer Werner Fassbinder's 13 Moons in One Year . Filmed in 1978, the film tells the last days of the transsexual Elvira Weishaupt. Spengler starred alongside Ingrid Caven, Elisabeth Trissenaar and Eva Mattes.

Spengler was also involved in other Fassbinder films, including Satan's Roast , Veronika Voss ' Longing , Chinese Roulette , The Third Generation , The Marriage of Maria Braun and the TV series Berlin Alexanderplatz .

The director Christoph Schlingensief, who died in 2010, hired Spengler for films such as The German Chainsaw Massacre , 100 Years of Adolf Hitler - The Last Hour in the Bunker and The 120 Days of Bottrop, as well as theater performances at the Berlin Volksbühne such as Rosebud . In the 1996 film adaptation of The Unholes by Volker Schlöndorff, Spengler played alongside Gottfried John and John Malkovich the role of the Nazi man Hermann Göring.

In his decades of stage career, Spengler worked with many theater directors, such as Peter Palitzsch, Frank Castorf and René Pollesch. In Heiner Müller's last production, the Brecht play The Resurrected Rise of Arturo Ui , he was among others on the stage of the Berlin ensemble alongside Martin Wuttke.

Spengler is said to have sailed as a 14-year-old in the early 1950s and later did an apprenticeship as a businessman before studying drama in Salzburg and at the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna. His early career brought him together with celebrities such as the comedian Heinz Erhardt and the director Fritz Kortner.