No, not that, and yes, that one. Confused? You quite likely are if you are not living in Germany, Italy or Spain and have never even heard of the man who was Bud Spencer. He has now passed away at 86.
Granted you’re not missing much in terms of artistry when not knowing any of his films, but to me and my brother he and his companion Terence Hill are some of our childhood heroes. We watched those films so many times, exchanging quotes and quips from them is part of pretty much every conversation. Funny enough, a lot of that is owing to the carefully written German voice-overs, which I usually don’t like that much, but in this case it really improves everything. Neither the Italian nor the English with heavy accent original versions come close to this comedic quality and hilarity.
Even today we still watch some of the movies from time to time as a guilty pleasure and for the last two and a half years have been buying this collection of these “masterpieces” every two weeks. As children we would often spend entire afternoons in front of the TV, many times carefully tweaking some analog indoor antenna (you young kids probably have no idea what that is) and very bad perception so we could catch every bit on West German TV channels. It really has been a huge part of our lives and we must be grateful for what he’s given us.
As such, he was an extremely popular person around these parts and in return appreciated his fans. People had film nights with these movies and when a few years ago he published his memoirs, people queued up in very long lines to get his signature. He was even in Leipzig for a book signing, but somehow in my usual way I completely missed it. Either way, he had an exciting life not only as an actor and seemed at peace with himself, so we wish him the best wherever he may be now. He really has enriched our lives.
On a similar note, German actor Götz George also has passed away at 77. You might not know much about him, either, because he wasn’t an international star, but he was an excellent actor and aside from his notorious role as Schimanski in several Tatort crime series episodes had quite a few roles under his belt. He even crossed paths with Terence Hill on the Winnetou movies, when both were still very young and not yet as famous…