Salzburg bids farewell to Helmut Berger: The coffin containing the body of the former film star, who died on Thursday, was laid out for a few hours on Wednesday afternoon in the mourning hall of a funeral home in order to be able to say goodbye. Was it because the years of glory and glamor were long gone, or simply because the time was unfavorable, but the offer did not attract much interest – at least at the beginning of the four hours.
Burial in the closest circle
Shortly after 12 noon, not two handfuls of visitors came to the hall where the coffin was laid out between two wreaths and a picture of Berger. There were party cards on two tables in front of the entrance and two books of condolence on the left and right as well as a framed QR code that leads to the online mourning portal with a digital book of condolence. And then there was a small group of media people. The urn burial should then take place in the narrowest circle.
Once the most beautiful man in the world
Helmut Berger – his birth name is Steinberger – was an international star, especially in the 1960s and 1970s, and was considered the most beautiful man in the world. He achieved world fame with roles in films such as “The Portrait of Dorian Gray”, “The Garden of Finzi Contini”, “The Rival” and “The Godfather – Part III”. Playing alongside him were Romy Schneider, Elizabeth Taylor, Henry Fonda, Burt Lancaster and Silvana Mangano. His collaboration with the Italian director Luchino Visconti, with whom Berger also lived in a relationship, is considered artistically outstanding.
“I’ve Lived Three Lives”
Berger personified the breaking of sexual taboos in European cinema. He became known in particular for his portrayal of narcissistic and bisexual figures. But scandals and the crash followed later. Berger enjoyed his life motto “La Dolce Vita” to the full throughout his life. The brilliant actor, who inspired several generations for decades, crashed not least due to alcohol escapades and ended up in the RTL jungle camp. “I’ve lived three lives, and in four languages! Je ne regrette rien!” He was quoted as saying by his manager on the occasion of his death. On May 29, the native of Bad Ischler would have been 79 years old.