Kurt Oligmüller, born July 28, 1922, in poor circumstances in Bochum, initially made a living as a warehouseman before he became a commercial apprentice. Shortly after he was accepted for a scholarship at Saladin Schmitt’s theatre school in Bochum, he was drafted for military service in Nazi Germany and was deployed to serve on a minesweeper during World War II. After 1945, Oligmüller temporarily became artistic director of the theatre in Godesberg. As an actor, he performed at the theatre in Oberhausen and from 1951 to 1953 at Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar before he went to Deutsches Theater in Berlin and then from 1957 to 1959 to Leipzig.
Kurt Oligmüller in "The Invincibles", 1953
Photo: herbert Kroiss
Oligmüller played his first of ten roles as a character actor for DEFA in Arthur Pohl’s film "Die Unbesiegbaren" (1953), a role that was followed by his appearances in Gustav von Wangenheim’s film "Gefährliche Fracht" and in Slatan Dudow’s film "Stärker als die Nacht" (both 1954). He also made convincing performances as good-natured worker Dollmann in Frank Beyer’s drama "Zwei Mütter" (1957) and as regiment leader Kaczmierczik in Konrad Wolf’s film "Lissy" (1957). Furthermore, Oligmüller appeared in numerous radio plays and worked extensively as a dubbing voice.
In 1959, Kurt Oligmüller relocated to West Germany and performed at several different theatres in Wunsiedel, in Münster, in Mannheim, and in Basel, Switzerland before he completely withdrew from acting in 1963. He started to work in the financial sector and went into business as an independent asset manager. After several devastatingly bad speculations that consumed his complete assets and the assets of many of his clients, he committed suicide together with his wife Renate in a barn near Noville, Switzerland, on February 20, 1983.
Source: Deutsches Filminstitut – DIF