Jack Kindred, long-time Germany correspondent for Variety, died November 19 in Munich after a brief, serious illness. He was 92.
Toward the end of the 1950s, Kindred came to Europe, and in 1963 he joined the international English-language service of the German Press Agency dpa, eventually becoming head of the service for a number of years. It was also during this period, starting around 1970, that he was hired on by the legendary Abel Green and Syd Silverman to report for Variety as a stringer covering Hamburg and northern Germany. His stories about the live sex club scene in Hamburg’s raunchy Reeperbahn district drew the attention not only of American readers but also of German newspapers at the time.
Kindred moved to Munich in June 1986 to set up Variety‘s first full-fledged bureau for Germany, strengthening its coverage of the German film and TV industries and boosting Variety‘s circulation and revenues in the German-speaking market. In 1991, after management and ownership changes at Variety, Kindred’s employment ended.
Jack Kindred met and interviewed many of the greats of Germany’s film scene, including Volker Schloendorff, Bernd Eichinger, Gyula Trebitsch and any number of directors of the Berlinale and other film festivals, as well as numerous U.S. film stars during their travels in Germany.
Born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Kindred served in the US Army from 1943 to 1946. He then studied at the University of Missouri, attaining a Masters Degree in piano and music composition in 1952.
Even after his employment at Variety ended in 1991, his attachment to the place remained strong, with Kindred remaining in contact with many muggs and ex-muggs (Roger Watkins, Ron Holloway, Peter Besas, among others), and contributing to the online newsletter Simesite. Most memorably, he attended Variety’s Centennial Dinner at Sardi’s in September 2005.