Folk actor Karl Merkatz died on Sunday at the age of 92. The actor left his mark on Austria with his portrayal of “Mundl” in “A real Viennese does not perish”. The Salzburg native by choice lived with his wife in Irrsdorf near Straßwalchen (Flachgau).
A few days after his 92nd birthday, the great Austrian folk actor Karl Merkatz died at home in Straßwalchen on Sunday morning, his family announced on Sunday morning. He made an impression on the Austrians as the butcher Karl Bockerer in Franz Antel’s films and as Edmund “Mundl” Sackbauer in Reinhard Schwabenitzky’s TV series “Ein Echter Wiener geht nicht unter”: two rough but warm-hearted proletarians.
Honorary citizen of Straßwalchen
For years, Merkatz has enjoyed spending the time away from acting in his carpentry workshop in Straßwalchen. Until the very end, he lived with his wife in the Irrsdorf district. In the summer of 2021, Karl Merkatz was made an honorary citizen from his home town of Straßwalchen.
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Carpenter at the request of the parents
Karl Merkatz was born in 1930 as the son of a toolmaker and a weaver in Wiener Neustadt. Even as a child he worked in the theater and played in an amateur group, but at the request of his parents to learn “a real trade”, he first did an apprenticeship as a carpenter. After completing his apprenticeship, he went to Zurich and from there pursued his goal of becoming an actor. After acting lessons in Vienna, among other places, he began studying at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, which he graduated in 1955 with distinction.
Over 150 stage roles
Merkatz had his first stage engagements at the Small Theater in Heilbronn and at the Salzburg State Theater. In Heilbronn he also met his wife Martha Metz, to whom he has been married since 1956. He then went to Germany for a few years to work at the municipal theaters in Nuremberg, at the theaters in the city of Cologne, at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg, at the Thalia Theater and at the Munich Kammerspiele.
In his more than 150 stage roles, Merkatz played mainly Nestroy, Raimund and Shakespeare characters. In the course of his career, Merkatz appeared in more than 250 film and television productions, making local film and television history.