German Actor Who Played Goldfinger Dies at Age 75
MUNICH, West Germany (AP) _ German actor Gert Froebe, who starred as ″Goldfinger″ in the James Bond film, died today of a heart attack. He was 75.
Froebe appeared in nearly 100 movies but was best known for his role as the greedy villain in the 1964 Bond film. He also had a role in another 1964 production, ″The Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machines.″
In a statement, Froebe’s agent Pal Berkovicsa said the actor died of a heart attack in a Munich hospital. Froebe had suffered a heart attack about a week ago at a spa at Starnberger Lake near Munich.
In 1965, Froebe made the headlines when he was quoted by the British newspaper Daily Mail as saying: ″Naturally I was a Nazi.″
Froebe denied making the comment and insisted: ″What I told an English reporter during an interview... was that during the Third Reich I had the luck to be able to help two Jewish people, although I was a member of the (Nazi) party.″
Israel banned all Froebe’s films for several months until a Jew, Mario Blumenau, informed the Israeli Embassy in Vienna that Froebe had probably saved the lives of Blumenau and his mother by hiding them from the Nazis.
Born Karl-Gerhard Froebe on Feb. 25, 1913 in the town of Planitz in what is now East Germany, Froebe studied theater during the early years of the Third Reich. After theaters were closed by the Nazis in 1944, he was called into the German army, where he served until the end of World War II.
Froebe is survived by his fifth wife Karin. He has two sons by previous marriages, Utz and Andreas.