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Film and TV star: Ruth Maria Kubitschek wrote TV history as “Spatzl”

Film and TV star: Ruth Maria Kubitschek wrote TV history as “Spatzl”

From “Monaco Franze” to “The Inheritance of the Guldenburgs”: Ruth Maria Kubitschek has shaped cult television series with her talent. Her nickname “Spatzl” will remain in memory – and so much more.

A multifaceted talent – such a compliment was a complete understatement for Ruth Maria Kubitschek. She was a painter, author and of course actress. Sometimes the charming one, sometimes the schemer. Kubitschek gave her roles “style, poise and grandeur”, judged the jury at an awards ceremony in Bavaria in 2013. Now the artist has died in her adopted home of Switzerland at the age of 92.

Only two years ago, she had given up her house with the famous “Garden of Aphrodite”, which she also honored in a book, in Fruthwilen on Lake Constance and moved to Ascona in Ticino. Gardening had become too arduous for her. In her last major interview, she told the magazine “Stern” in December 2023: “I think everything has been said now.”

Söder: Kubitschek was “the grande dame of television”

Kubitschek shaped the German television and film scene in countless roles. She will remain unforgettable as “Spatzl” in the ARD cult series “Monaco Franze – Der ewige Stenz” in the early 1980s. In the role of the suffering wife, she let her busy film husband Helmut Fischer get away with all his escapades when he put on his faithful dachshund look.

Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) paid tribute to the deceased actress Ruth Maria Kubitschek as the grande dame of television. “The news of Ruth Maria Kubitschek’s death is sad and shocking,” said Söder. “She was the grande dame of television and always remained modest herself. With her roles, Ruth Maria Kubitschek was also a role model and avant-garde.” Bavaria will keep an honorable memory of the recipient of the Bavarian Order of Merit.

“Kir Royal” and “Dream Ship”

“Frau Ella” was her last film in 2013, based on a novel by Florian Beckerhoff. She was 82 at the time. In the comedy, Kubitschek played an old lady who is kidnapped from the hospital to France by a taxi driver so that she can find her childhood sweetheart again. A script like that was a stroke of luck, Kubitschek told Südwestrundfunk (SWR) in 2019. “When you’re as old as I am, what are you supposed to play? Some old woman? There’s no material left.” Kubitschek painted even more, as she had during her career, preferably floral motifs. The red carpet was always torture for her. The competition, the meat inspection – she never had the figure for it.

As a DEFA star in the West

Kubitschek was born in 1931 on the edge of the Ore Mountains in the Czech Republic. At the end of the Second World War, the family fled north with five children. In Saxony-Anhalt, she got a farm. Ruth Maria’s greatest wish was to become an actress. “I did my first theater act when I was four, a Chinese girl,” she told “Stern”. “I was so excited that I shit my pants during the performance.” Her parents initially didn’t want to hear of such a career choice, but she got her way. After drama schools in Halle (on the Saale) and Weimar, she made her debut as Fina in Brecht’s “Mr. Puntila and his servant Matti” in Halle.

Within a few years she became a star of GDR television and DEFA films. Kubitschek married opera director Götz Friedrich in 1953 and had a son. However, the artistic constraints of the GDR did not suit the committed actress, and so she stayed in West Germany with her son in 1959 after an engagement. Kubitschek’s second German career began at the Schlosstheater in Celle.

Partnership at a distance

Her husband stayed in the GDR at the time. The two divorced in the early 1960s. Kubitschek then spent 40 years with Wolfgang Rademann, the television producer and creator of successful series such as “Das Traumschiff” and “Die Schwarzwaldklinik”. Friedrich died in 2000, Rademann in 2016. Rademann and Kubitschek had never lived together, but according to her they were a happy couple. The loss hit her hard, Kubitschek said in 2016.

Kubitschek has been in the Swiss Lake Constance region for a while since the 1980s. At some point she completely escaped the hustle and bustle of Munich. In 2013 she was naturalized as a “Swiss citizen.” She loves the Swiss restraint, she said in 2019. “If I lived in Munich, I would become megalomaniac,” she said. People are constantly coming up to her. “Hello, Spatzl, can we take a photo?”

About wrinkles and pain

Kubitschek deals with the big questions of life in her books. “Angels, Elves, Earth Spirits,” for example. Or “Growing Older Gracefully,” in connection with the advice to accept wrinkles and pain without becoming a “whiner.” That’s how Kubitschek saw it herself. She is at peace with herself and is not afraid of death, she said in 2019. “Something completely different has to happen in the next life,” she said, “I’m looking forward to it.”

Source: Stern

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