Bibiana Zeller, a famous Austrian actress who performed at the Burgtheater, died on Sunday at the age of 95. She became well-known in the early 1980s as Ms. Kottan in the television series "Kottan Investigated," and even after her retirement in 1999, she was always on hand at the Burgtheater whenever "a really old woman" was required.

Bibiana Zeller as Ilse Kottan in the movie "Kottan Ermittelt" (ORF)

She contributed her very light, frail voice to the Burgtheater as a member of the ensemble starting in 1972. She was also known for her subtlety, great wit, and a penchant for the unusual. "Please let me play!" is the title of Bibiana Zeller's book, which summarizes her tumultuous career.

A challenging dual role, as she noted in an APA interview on the occasion of her 85th birthday: "Peymann didn't always let me create a film. Even if he didn't cast me, I always had to be prepared, the actress recounted. He believed that movies and television are genuinely foolish.

Her role as Ms. Kottan in the 1980s television series "Kottan Investigated" helped her become well-known in the cinema industry as well. She achieved great fame in the television series "Julia - An Unusual Woman" as Herta. Zeller, who was born on February 25, 1928, performed in three movies on the silver screen: Xaver Schwarzenberger's "Zuckeroma" (2004), Robert Dornhelm's "Der Unfisch" (1997), and Michael Glawogger's "Die Antstrasse" (1995).

She had another appearance in Peter Patzak's "Kottan Determined: Rien ne va plus" in 2010 before making another appearance in David Schalko's Glavinic film adaption of "How to Live" in 2011. She appeared in "Ghost Hunter - On the Ice Trail" by Tobi Baumann in 2015. 

She was last seen on the big screen in 2016 in Chris Kraus' "The Bloom of Yesterday".

However, Bibiana Zeller got her start in the theater: in 1950, after receiving private acting instruction, she landed her first contract at the Theater in der Josefstadt. She primarily appeared on German stages throughout the next 20 years. It wasn't until 1972 that the actress visited her birthplace again when Gerhard Klingenberg asked her to perform at the Burgtheater in Vienna.

There, she quickly rose to prominence as an actor in supporting roles. "Actually, I wanted the other role in every piece, but then Gusti Wolf always got it," Zeller once said in an APA interview. Gusti and I got along well, although I always got the lesser role. Shakespeare, Ibsen, Pirandello, Brecht, Nestroy, Kleist, and Ibsen were among the playwrights whose works included Zeller. In 2005 and 2006, she played the mother of Jedermann on the Domplatz stage at the Salzburg Festival.

But she always had a predilection for contemporary writers. For instance, she portrayed Frau Liebig in "Heldenplatz" and the reticent landlady in "Theatermacher" in Peymann's illustrious Thomas Bernhard works. 

In later years, she appeared in numerous world premieres and first performances, such as Christiane Pohle's "The Sunken Cathedral" and Gert Jonke's "Choir Fantasy," Lukas Bärfuss' "The Bus (The Stuff of a Saint"), Roland Schimmelpfennig's "End and Beginning," and Friederike Heller's productions of Handke's "Untertagblues" and "Spuren der Verirrten." She performed at the Burgtheater in 2012 in Martin Wuttke's adaptation of Luis Bunuel's Nach der Oper, Würgeengel.

Bibiana Zeller achieved the professional designation of chamber actress in 1998, actress of the year in the "Long Night of Radio Play" in 2001, and "Most Popular Actress" at the 2010 Romy Awards. In her latter years of performing, she appeared as Madame Pernelle in the Festwochen co-production of Molière's "Tartuffe" under the direction of Luc Bondy, as well as in the television film "Alles Schwindel" by director Wolfgang Murnberger.

Bibiana Zeller, who was awarded the Vienna Medal of Honor in gold in 1988, was hailed by Vienna's City Councilor for Culture, Veronica Kaup-Hasler (SP), as one of the city's most well-known actors whether on stage, screen, or television. "Experiencing Bibiana Zeller on stage and in front of the camera was a very joyful and happy event. The Green Party's Secretary of State for Art and Culture, Andrea Mayer, expressed her gratitude for the many outstanding theatrical and television experiences.

The news of the death also had an impact on the culture spokespeople for the VP, Greens, and SP as well as the FP. "A sharp-witted, cosmopolitan and subtle artist and colleague" is mourned by the Burgtheater.

On Saturday, July 22, at 2 p.m., the ORF radio station 1 will change its schedule in honor of Bibiana Zeller and broadcast the radio drama "Villa Jüterbog" by Ernst Wünsch from 2009. Along with Wolfram Berger, Martin Schwab, Vera Borek, Harald Harth, and Gerti Drassel, Zeller plays Liz, the landlady of the titular villa, which accommodates a number of eccentric dodgers aged 80 to 102.

Several movies are being screened on Saturday at 9.50 a.m. on ORF 2. At 11.20 a.m. in "Homecoming with Obstacles" (2010). At 3 p.m., "Zuckeroma (2003)" At 10:50 p.m., "Live is Life (2009)" "Everything is dizzy" (2012), and it was released on Sunday at 2:30. (2013)'s "Live is Life - Heaven should wait" From August 10 to 12, three "Kottan determined" evenings with a total of seven episodes featuring Bibiana Zeller will air on 3sat. With its own collection, the streaming service Flimmit pays tribute to the legendary actor.

Source: ORF/APA
Previous Post Next Post