Actress Margit Carstensen is dead

She was considered the muse of director Rainer Werner Fassbinder and celebrated great success in the seventies and eighties. Now Margit Carstensen has died.

Actress Margit Carstensen is dead. She died on Thursday at the age of 83 in a hospital in Heide, Schleswig-Holstein. Her agent announced this on Friday, citing the family.

Above all, her close connection to Rainer Werner Fassbinder made her known nationwide. Carstensen met the director in 1969 at the theater in Bremen. A fruitful collaboration emerged. She played Vittoria in Carlo Goldoni’s comedy “Das Kaffeehaus”, which was shown on television in 1970 with Carstensen in the leading role. Finally, she embodied the serial killer Geesche Gottfried in the premiere of Fassbinder’s own play “Bremer Freiheit” and the title part in the Ibsen adaptation “Nora Helmer”, which was shown as a film in 1974.

Years of artistic collaboration also connected her with Christoph Schlingensief, in whose film “100 Years Adolf Hitler – The Last Hour in the Führer Bunker” from 1989 she embodied Magda Goebbels and in whose media satire “Terror 2000” she played a detective in 1992. In 1999 she shot the ex-GDR comedy “Sonnenallee” with director Leander Haussmann. In 2019 she received the Götz George Prize for her life’s work in Berlin.

But Carstensen had been living in seclusion in a small village near Heide for many years. She has not been able to take on roles for a long time because she was in poor health. The heavy smoker had pulmonary emphysema that made it difficult for her to breathe.

In 2016, Carstensen was still in “Tatort – What it’s worth living for”. In addition to Eva Mattes as Commissioner Klara Blum, she played a curious trio of old ladies with Irm Hermann and Hanna Schygulla, who become murderers for moral and ethical reasons. It was to be her last appearance. Now, seven years later, Margit Carstensen is dead.

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