Entertainer made musical comedies, was TV staple

Austrian actor, singer and entertainer Peter Alexander, who was celebrated both at home and in Germany, died Saturday, Feb. 12. He was 84.

To many in the two countries, Alexander symbolized the return of laughter and economic prosperity after the post-WWII austerity; his name was synonymous with Austrian charm and wit.

Born in Vienna as Peter Alexander Ferdinand Maximilian Neumayer, the entertainer appeared in some 50 films, including many musical comedies, and recorded more than 120 records since the 1950s.

On TV, his music series “Die Peter Alexander Show” aired from 1963 till 1966 and then from 1969 until 1996.

Austrian politicians expressed dismay at news of Alexander’s death.

Chancellor Werner Faymann honored him as a “great Austrian.”

Culture Minister Claudia Schmied said Alexander was a pioneer of German-language TV entertainment. “Austria is losing a great actor, singer and entertainer,” Schmied said.

He is survived by his son and two grandchildren.

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