German thesp is found dead in Italy

BERLIN — Teutonic thesp Heinrich Schmieder, who played a supporting role in Bernd Eichinger’s “Downfall” and starred in Germany’s cop series “Tatort,” died this week in Livigno, Italy, where he was to take part in a marathon bike race, his agent Birgit Vogel said. Schmeider was found dead by his teammate in his motel. The cause of the passionate mountain biker’s death is not yet known. He was 40.

Schmieder was one of Germany’s best-known actors, thanks to his bright blue eyes and young-looking face. Even while sticking with his roots in theater, Schmieder became a nationally known figure by virtue of his strong performance as a detective in “Tatort” between 1999 and 2001, ARD’s top-rating Sunday night series but he also appeared in other cop shows such as “Soko Koeln,” “Alarm for Cobra 11,” “Doppelte einsatz” and TV pics such as “Der tunnel.”

He got a German TV Award nom in 2003 for the romantic comedy “Maenner haeppchenweise.”

Survivors include a wife and two children.

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