The “eternal Ulknudel” Ingrid Steeger turns 75 «

To this day, the actress remains closely associated with the 70s show “Klimbim” – birthday on April 1st.

11:22 am, March 25, 2022


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"'Klimbim' war und ist mein Leben", sagte die Berlinerin vor vielen Jahren einmal rückblickend. Die Schauspielerei hat Steeger - ihr bürgerlicher Name ist Ingrid Anita Stengert - nie offiziell gelernt, dennoch wurden Fernsehen und Theater ihre Welt. Steegers Karriere begann nach Jobs als Fotomodell mit dem legendären "Schulmädchenreport" im Kino.

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Ingrid Steeger turns 75
Ingrid Steeger turns 75 ©AP

Ingrid Steeger, the cheeky blonde from the “Klimbim” family. As the freckled daughter Gaby of the chaotic German TV family, she won the hearts of viewers. Steeger had her big breakthrough with the ARD comedy series from 1973 to 1979. And never escaped the role of “joke noodle” again. On April 1, Ingrid Steeger will be 75 years old.

“‘Klimbim’ was and is my life,” said the Berliner many years ago, looking back. Steeger – her real name is Ingrid Anita Stengert – never officially learned how to act, but television and theater became her world. After working as a model, Steeger’s career began with the legendary “Schoolgirl Report” in the cinema.

Later she got roles in crime series like “Der Kommissar” and “Derrick” and worked with greats like Curd Jürgens, Harald Juhnke and Horst Tappert. With Iris Berben she played in the series “Two Heavenly Daughters”. In the 1990s she was also seen in the four-part series “Der Große Bellheim”.

Steeger originally wanted to be a commercial artist. Back then, she more or less stumbled into television, she once said. “Klimbim” by Michael Pfleghar, whose partner she was for a few years, opened many doors for her without her planning it.

She recently stopped having TV roles, instead the actress turned more to the theater. “I’ve started to feel really comfortable and to choose what I really like,” she said ten years ago.

She was mainly on stage with tabloid plays, such as “Jackpot” in the comedy Kassel. She celebrated success at various venues alongside Jochen Busse and Simone Rethel with the comedy “Der Kur Schattenmann”. At the Bad Hersfeld Festival she played Fräulein Montag in Franz Kafka’s “The Trial” on the stage of the monastery ruins with great success.

The actress, who has received several awards – including the Golden Camera (1976) and the Bambi (1990) – has had to endure some turbulence privately. 1973 to 1975 she was with the cameraman Lothar Elias Stickelbruck married, after which she had relationships with Pfleghar and the big game hunter Peter Koenecke. For a few years she lived near Paris with the French actor Jean Paul Zehnacker together, after that she was with the TV director for a long time Dieter Wedel in a relationship, about which she always commented positively. In 1992, Steeger married the American Native American poet and environmentalist Tom LaBlanc, a year later they separated. She has lived in Munich, Hamburg, Zurich, Kenya and France, among other places. At times, her life also went off the rails. For a while she lived on Hartz IV before she got involved with the theater.

Steeger was also committed to helping the homeless – and has dealt with old age in recent years. “You’re just too old for some roles,” she once said in an interview. “Men are allowed to look old, too. Women aren’t allowed to.” And she admitted without beating about the bush: “Getting older isn’t pretty.”