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Peter Alexander, born Peter Alexander Ferdinand Maximilian Neumayer on June 30, 1926 in Vienna, died on February 12, 2011, was an Austrian pop singer. pop singer actor, pianist, parodist and entertainer. From the mid-1950s to the mid-1990s, he was one of the most popular entertainers in the German-speaking world. From 1952 to 1972, he appeared in around fifty film comedies, hosted forty of his own television programs and recorded around 120 records. From 1969 to 1996, he had his own television shows, including the famous Peter Alexander Show.

Early life

Peter Alexander was born the son of bank director Anton Neumayer and the German-Bohemian music dealer’s daughter Bertha Katharina Wenzlick. His talent for parody was already evident during his school days. After he was expelled from a grammar school in Döbling for playing pranks, his father sent him to Znaim, where he finished school in 1944. In the same year, he was drafted into the army, served as an anti-aircraft gunner and later joined the navy. In 1945, he was taken prisoner of war by the British and spent some time in various camps in East Frisia, where he developed his artistic skills in theater and musical performances.

Career in the entertainment industry

Acting and singing

After returning to Vienna in 1946, Alexander briefly studied medicine, but then decided to become an actor. He studied at the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna and graduated with honors in 1948. Under the stage name “Peter Alexander”, he specialized in comedy and taught himself to sing and play the piano.

His first engagement at the Vienna Bürgertheater earned him a monthly salary of 200 shillings (approx. 15 euros). His early career included appearances in operettas and an admiration for Frank Sinatra, whom he had seen in London in 1950. Alexander’s first record “Das machen nur die Beine von Dolores” was released by an Austrian record company in 1951. He later joined Polydor and from 1965 Ariola.

Alexander’s musical career was impressive: 38 top ten hits and numerous awards. By 1983, he had sold millions of records and established himself as a permanent fixture in the German music business. His best-known titles include “Wie Böhmen noch bei Öst’reich war” and “Die kleine Kneipe” (written by Michael Kunze ). He was also successful at the end of the 1980s with titles such as “Zeit der Rosen”. His last album “Verliebte Jahre” was released in 1991 by Dieter Bohlen produced. Remarkably, Alexander is the only German-speaking artist to have been in the charts for over six decades.

Peter Alexander – The little pub

Film and television

Alexander’s film career began in 1948 with a small role in “The Angel with the Trombone”. Between 1952 and 1972, he appeared in 41 films, in many of which he also sang. He became particularly well known for his role as waiter Leopold in the film version of the operetta “Im weißen Rößl” (1960). He played other formative roles in the Graf Bobby series, as Private Schweijk, in “Charly’s Aunt” and as a likeable teacher in “Die Lümmel von der ersten Bank”. His television career was just as successful, with his programs reaching up to 38 million viewers.

Some of his programs achieved record ratings of up to 79 percent. From 1963 to 1996, he was a well-known face on television and toured successfully through Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Personal life

In 1952, Alexander married the actress Hildegarde Haagen, who later managed his career. The couple had two children, Susanne and Michael. The family lived in Morcote in Switzerland for many years. Despite his successes, Peter Alexander always remained a friendly, likeable person who loved to laugh and preferred to go fishing in his free time rather than expose himself to the stress of show business. But the love and affection of his audience drove him back on stage and in front of the camera again and again.

Legacy and death

Peter Alexander died in February 2011 at the age of 84. His public funeral service was held in Vienna and he was buried in the Grinzing cemetery. Although his family declined an honorary grave, his influence on the entertainment industry remains strong. His home in Vienna was sold and later demolished, reflecting the changing times, but also underlining the lasting legacy of his life’s work.

Peter Alexander’s assets were transferred to the Liechtenstein-based Giletta Foundation in 2003. He set up the Austrian Melodie Private Foundation in order to be able to make payments to his grandchildren after the death of his children. Peter Alexander’s contribution to German-language entertainment culture is immeasurable. His versatility, his charisma and his ability to inspire people across generations make him an unforgettable part of music, film and television history.


Peter Alexander – Criminal Tango

Studio albums