Brigitta Mira

Thesp, singer, comedian

Brigitta Mira, who spent 70 years on stages and screen as thesp, singer, and comedian, and reached her peak at the age of 64 in a tragic role with Rainer Werner Fassbinder, died March 8 of old age in Berlin. She was 94.

Mira was born in Hamburg as the daughter of an immigrated Russian concert pianist. She started her showbiz career in the 1930 on theatre stages and in cabarets. In 1948, she made her big screen debut in “Berliner Ballade,” a satirical look on post-war Berlin, but withdrew from cinema after that.

While continuing to appear on stage in operettas and other genres during the 50s and 60s, she became an often-seen face on TV, with appearances in some little-known cinema productions strewn in. Mira became the epitome of the Berlin working-class woman combining a good heart with a quick tongue.

It was not until 1973 that she returned to the big screen, wooed by a new generation of cinema. She appeared initially in dark murder drama “Tenderness of Wolves,” produced by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, who then chose her popular face for the tragic role of an elderly widow starting a relationship with a young Arab guest worker in “Ali: Fear Eats the Soul.” The drama won her the golden ribbon, Filmband in Gold, and subsequently she would appear in two more Fassbinder pics as well as in Werner Herzog’s “Kaspar Hauser.”

Mira subsequently stayed with TV and theater. In 1989, she received another Filmband in Gold for her lifetime achievement.

She is survived by two sons.

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