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Actress Carstensen: Honored with the Götz George Prize in 2019

Photo: Annette Riedl / dpa

She was one of Fassbinder's great stars: the actress Margit Carstensen is dead. She died on Thursday at the age of 83 in a hospital in Heide (Schleswig-Holstein), as her agent announced, citing the family.

In 2016, she could still be seen on television in »Tatort – What it is worth living for«. In addition to Eva Mattes as Inspector Klara Blum, she played Irm Hermann and Hanna Schygulla, a curious trio of old ladies who become murderers for moral and ethical reasons.

For many years, Carstensen lived in seclusion in a small village near Heide. She had not been able to take on any roles for a long time because she was in poor health. For years, the heavy smoker suffered from pulmonary emphysema, which made it difficult for her to breathe.

Carstensen grew up in Kiel. After studying acting at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg, she played on various stages, and from 1965 to 1969 Carstensen was a member of the ensemble of the Hamburg Schauspielhaus. In 1969 she moved to Bremen, where she met the playwright and filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1945-1982). With him she made films such as the relationship drama »The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant« (1972), »Martha« alongside Karlheinz Böhm (1974) and »Chinese Roulette« (1976).

She also collaborated with Christoph Schlingensief (1960-2010) for many years, in whose film »100 Years of Adolf Hitler – The Last Hour in the Führerbunker« (1989) she played Magda Goebbels and in whose media parody »Terror 2000« (1992) she played a detective. Together with director Leander Haußmann, she shot the ex-GDR comedy »Sonnenallee« (1999). In 2019, Carstensen was honored in Berlin with the Götz George Prize for her life's work.