Munich (dpa) – Fritz Wepper has already been very lucky in his life. “I am a real Sunday child,” the actor told the German news agency, referring to his motto: “Take life as it suggests. Open-minded and above all very positive.”

Not always an easy thing. But despite a few twists of fate, the actor retained his confidence. He looks forward to his 80th birthday on August 17, even though he has to spend the time before in hospital due to cancer. “I hope I can spend my birthday standing,” jokes the Munich resident.

Wepper was born during the war summer of 1941. Almost three years later, his brother Elmar was born – a close relationship to this day. “If he wasn’t my brother, he would be my best friend,” Wepper says in his recently published autobiography “An Eternal Moment”. As children, they loved the stories their mother told them and gave performances with the puppet theater. A happy moment. “Mum showered us with love,” Wepper writes. But there was also a shadow: the father remained in the war, killed after his last visit to his home country on Christmas 1944.

International success with “Die Brücke”

At the age of eleven, Wepper began acting in the children’s play “Peter Pan”. Bernhard Wicki’s internationally renowned anti-war film “Die Brücke” followed a few years later. Hollywood dreams were shattered, but Wepper rose to fame, notably with two roles: as assistant to Inspector Harry Klein in ZDF’s crime series “Derrick” and as scheming mayor Wolfgang Wöller in the ARD series “Um Himmels Willen”, which ended this spring after about 20 years.

His brother Elmar also became an actor, followed him in the crime series “Der Kommissar” and then celebrated successes with, for example, “Cherry Blossom Hanami”.

Adored actor, rewarded among other things with the Bavarian Television Prize, Fritz Wepper loved the jet set. “Fritzi is proud to own, is an avid collector, hunter and fisherman. Giving up indulgence is not in his DNA ”, is how actor Bernd Herzsprung describes his good friend.

He danced with Queen Silvia

Wepper knows many famous and well-known people. He has already celebrated with Leopold Prince of Bavaria, danced with Swedish Queen Siliva and got along with American actress Liza Minelli, whom he met while filming the musical “Cabaret”.

In 1968, he directed the thriller “The Man with the Glass Eye” with Iris Berben. “We saw each other from time to time and as it was, we were suddenly more than just colleagues,” he writes in his book. They weren’t really together. “But when we first met it was very nice.”

His wife has become another. In 1979 he married his girlfriend Angela, who had two daughters. In 1981, their child Sophie was born, now a mother herself. Then in 2009 a small scandal: Wepper’s relationship with Susanne Kellermann, who is more than 30 years his junior.

A crisis with your wife? “Susanne would never have contracted a functional marriage. I had credibly assured him that I could not take it any longer, that I had relaxed inside, ”Wepper now assures in his book. He also had a daughter with her, but shortly after the birth the couple separated in 2012. Wepper returned to his wife until her sudden death in 2019.

Mourning for the beloved dog

Meanwhile, Kellermann is back by his side. Love was crowned some time ago with their secret wedding in Tegernsee. Fortune that is eclipsed, as Wepper battles cancer. Her beloved dog Aron also died in early May. “He accompanied me everywhere – and always accompanies me”, confides the actor of the German press agency.

Does he believe in survival after death? “There is nothing against. I also have meetings with my mother in dreams. I lived Aron in a dream, he was with me and I experienced him as he was. There is something heartwarming and hopeful about this. “

So Wepper is not afraid of the end of his life. “I accepted that I will die at some point. But the how worries me. No one wants a painful end. “If the time is right for him, he has taken precautions, not just with a will.” I want to be buried in my black kimono, which I wear to meditate, “he wrote in the autobiography In addition to a Buddhist bracelet with wooden beads. “The two symbols of letting go.” His final resting place is also certain: the family grave in Munich.

But Wepper still has a few plans: to live many happy moments and enjoy the here and now, faithful to the Buddhist message of his Japanese Zen master. “Most people think about the past or the future all the time, life is not lived fully that way,” he said in the documentary “Mein Fritz”, which Kellermann shot about him and that the BR television aired Monday (August 16) at 10 p.m. and at the media library.

Her birthday wish: A small party: “I want to have my darlings with me, my family and my friends, so they can party with me.