The actor and director Michael Gwisdek died at the age of 78 after a short serious illness, as his family announced, according to the

Just Publicity



His best-known films include

Good Bye, Lenin!


Boxhagener Platz




Oh Boy


He was also often seen on television: whether at



Bella Block

or in the

Donna Leon

film adaptations.

In his roles he showed himself to be a comedian, melancholic and eccentric, as the Defa Foundation wrote to him.

Gwisdek also worked as a director - he made his directorial debut in 1988 with

Treffen in Travers


Further directorial work included

Farewell to Agnes


Das Mambospiel


In 2003 Gwisdek was also one of the founding members of the German Film Academy, which awards the German Film Prize.

The innkeeper's son from Berlin-Weißensee, born in 1942, learned the craft of acting at the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts - like many prominent colleagues.

Gwisdek played in various theaters in the GDR in the 60s and 70s.

First he worked for several years at a theater in Chemnitz from the end of the 1960s before joining the ensemble of the East Berlin Volksbühne in 1973.

Ten years later Gwisdek moved to the German Theater and became known in the Federal Republic of Germany in the 1980s.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, his dream of walking the red Berlinale carpet came true.

In 1999 Gwisdek received a Silver Bear for best leading actor in Andreas Dresen's



His trophy yield was large and ranges from the German Film Prize to the German Television Prize to the Grimme Prize.

In private life, Michael Gwisdek and the actress Corinna Harfouch were a couple for many years.

Son Robert also became an actor, son Johannes a composer.

Gwisdek later lived with his wife, the screenwriter and writer Gabriela Gwisdek, in the country outside Berlin.