Rainer Basedow didn’t want to be bent. So he, who was born on May 20, 1938 in Mühlhausen and graduated from high school in Magdeburg, accepted that he was not allowed to study in the GDR because of “political unreliability”. Fleeing to the West enabled him to study German and physical education at the Braunschweig University of Education.
Probably not his thing. Even before the second state examination, he went to an acting school in Munich and got his first leading role in the Beckett play “Waiting for Godot” in the small theater at the Siegestor. Engagements in Bern, at the Schaubühne am Hallesches Ufer and again in Munich followed.
And then, from 1976 to 1995, he acted as a formative member of the laughing and shooting society, for years and decades the central organ of political cabaret in the Federal Republic. The most important partners of Basedow, who was distinguished for quick-wittedness and punchline accuracy, were Jochen Busse, Henning Venske and Renate Küster.
Dieter Hildebrandt’s television cabaret “Windscreen Wiper” hired him for several editions. Magdeburg also saw him again, as a member of the Zwickmühle cabaret, “Die Drei von der Zankstelle” also came on MDR television.
Anyone who succeeds on television can also count on film roles, two of which stand out from Basedow’s extensive filmography: in May Spil’s film “Zur Sache, Schätzchen” he was the policeman who acts next to the corseted Uschi Glas. Basedow, an actor with a distinctive “face”, had a deal with the strong order types. In 1974 he played the sergeant Dimpfelmoser in the classic children’s film “The Robber Hotzenplotz” alongside Gert Fröbe and Josef Meinrad.
Hardly any of the popular crime series – “Tatort”, “Der Alte”, “Derrick”, “Der Kommissar” – wanted to do without him. As the best sidekick, he beautified the ZDF “Coast Guard” as former smutje and paramedic Kalle Schneidewind, who later also ran a pub.
Rainer Basedow also capitalized on his formative voice as a voice actor, he voiced the warthog Pumbaa in “The Lion King” and he was the German voice of John Belushi (“Blues Brothers”) or Jerry Lewis (“A Frogman on the Angel”) .
Rainer Basedow died on Monday as a result of a serious illness. He was 83 years old.