Not quite the girl from next door
Helga the girl who played Julia in ‘The White Horses’ was incredibly candid in the interviews that she gave to the magazine writers. They are as open and broad in their content as any magazine that can be picked from the newsstands today, but these were written at a time when the sexual revolution was in it’s infancy and in the British Press, the censorship of the time, would have confined her interviews to magazines from “the top shelf” only. Apparently the attitude of West German society had achieved a far more liberal approach to sex in the press and arts long before “Swinging Britain” became comfortable with such openness.
Helga’s openness is almost disturbing, even in these liberal times one could almost apply the “too much information” expression to these interviews; and one can only wonder if such stark candour was a cathartic release for the events of her life. The detail of her private life is laid in such a disarmingly naïve narrative, as if she could not appreciate that not everybody would reveal so much about themselves in the public arena. Helga would never quite come to terms with guarding what she gave away about herself, this would later come back to haunt her.
In 1963 Helga was back at Tegernsee, and enjoying life as a fifteen year old living near the lakeside. She had put the harassment of the previous year behind her, and was taking full advantage of the resort atmosphere of the lake. It was a time of sunshine, swimming, boating and going to the cafés along the lakeside. Although Helga didn’t actually say that it was the summer rather than the spring of 1963, her descriptions allude to that season. It is also interesting that Helga doesn’t mention any friends at this point, she doesn’t say things like “my friends and I were sunbathing or swimming”. It begs the question, was the young teenage actress having trouble relating to her peers? The lack of such information could equally be explained by Helga not thinking it relevant to the story that she was relating to the reporter, or the reporter chose not to include the information in the story. Only a very small number of people know the truth of the matter, which would include Helga herself, her mother, those other teenagers she met and her first serious boyfriend Ulli.
Helga first saw Ulli at the lakeside by the boat dock, she was obviously bowled over by his looks, Helga said “As I saw him for the first time under the landing stage I thought ‘Goodness what do we have here!’, we had hardly looked at each other and never spoken before”. Ulli was eighteen and lived about an hour away from where Helga lived with her mother. But two weeks later they met in a small lakeside café when they both went in to get a cold drink. Helga stated that “We got on so well together it as if we had known each other all our lives.”, she went on to say that he was so different from the stupid affected talk and posing of the film world. Ulli was down to earth, he wanted to be a textile salesman!
They continued to see each other everyday for the next four weeks, and then Helga had to go to Berlin to do some filming. It is difficult to work out what she was filming at this time, as the production would have started in the late summer or early autumn of 1963, it may be that the production was never released as there is a gap in her filmography between 1962 and 1965, or the production may have been released at a later date; but what ever it was the young couple refused to be separated for long. Ulli would visit Helga in Berlin and stay with her for a couple of days. Helga said that her mother didn’t object at all to this, and that if she was away for more than a week Ulli would always come to visit her.
Like so many of us, the young and enchanted Helga wished for nothing more than to marry her first love. Helga said “I was so happy and was dead certain that this happiness would last a lifetime”.
In fact it lasted until the summer of 1965.
Helga was seventeen and had to go to Wolfgangsee to make the comedy movie “Happy End am Wolfgangsee” also released as “00Sex am Wolfgangsee”. The latter title coming from a play on words about one of the main characters who is known as 006 and rather like James Bond 007, is a bit of a ladies man. This is always shown to have a release date of 1966, which sheds some doubt as to the actual dates of production for Helga’s work, this may mean that “Ferien in Lipizza” which has a release year of 1966 could also have been filmed in the summer of 1965, but could equally have been filmed in the summer of 1966 or spring of 1967 as it was first broadcast on ARD in August 1967, but this would have implications for Helga which will be made clear later on.
Shortly before going to Wolfgangsee, Helga and Ulli had an argument which Helga herself described “as over nothing”. She gave Ulli her address at Wolfgangsee and though to herself that “in two days at the latest I’ll get a letter from him”. In fact the letter arrived after just one day, in it Ulli wrote that he just couldn’t be with “somebody who loved filmmaking more than their man.”, “I love you” he wrote, “But I don’t need you to live”. It was a poor ultimatum, Helga hoped for a week that Ulli would call and when he didn’t she turned her attention to her co-star. Helga admitted that she began the affair out of revenge and anger for Ulli. The Press loved it, Helga did say that she found her co-star “Stupid, affected and boring”, it was to be a very short lived affair.
Unknown to Helga a very annoyed young man was on his way to see her. It wasn’t the eighteen year old Ulli. It was a twenty eight year old Roger Fritz. Roger was working as a staff photographer on “neue Praline” magazine, he was annoyed because he had been sent by his editor to photograph the young actress. Roger was annoyed because he thought of Helga as “boring with a face like a doll” and tried to get out of the assignment, but his editor was adamant, she wanted Helga Anders.
When Roger arrived at the hotel he saw Helga standing on the steps, barefoot in jeans with her hands in her back pockets, feisty, arguing and immediately revised his opinion of Helga Anders. Roger Fritz thought that she would be perfect for the starring role in his film “Mädchen, Mädchen”, and had brought his month long search for a leading lady to an end.
After completing the photo shoot Roger asked Helga if she would be interested in the script for a film that he and a friend were self financing. The seventeen year old Helga simply said “You can send me a copy of the script”.
About two months later the filming for “Mädchen, Mädchen” got underway just outside of Munich. Everybody working on the film was staying in a guesthouse. Helga seemed to be unattached, she had just finished her affair with her previous co-star and Roger was staying there too, without his long term live in girlfriend who stayed behind in Munich. Helga recalled that Roger’s girlfriend had turned up at the guesthouse one weekend declaring that the “little Anders couldn’t be taken seriously as a love rival”, what Roger’s girlfriend didn’t know but the little Helga did was that there had been an undercurrent of chemistry between Helga and Roger from the first day that they met on the hotel steps at Wolfgangsee.
Filming during the day and discussing the script in the evenings brought Helga and Roger frequently into each other’s company. One subject that was constantly being discussed was the filming of the nude scene in “Mädchen, Mädchen”. Helga had originally thought that it would involve her quickly flitting into bed, however she found out that it was more complicated than that with a film crew all around.
The evening before the scene was filmed Roger visited Helga in her room and went through the scene with her, having finished with the scene Helga recalled how Roger had spent the next two hours just talking the most frightful nonsense with her, suddenly he took her arm and gave her a kiss, then left the room. Helga said that the next day it was as if the kiss had never happened, she played the nude scene and Roger said “excellent” and that they had not said another word to each other.
About a week later Helga went to bed in her room, unfortunately another guest had left a bath running in the room above hers. Suddenly the water came through the ceiling, soaking Helga’s bed almost completely. Helga began to try and mop up the water with hand towel, and to try and perch on the dry area of her bed. Then there was a knock at the door, it was Roger, who laughed when he saw the state that Helga was in. Gallantly he offered her a place in his double bed, and said “I won’t try anything on”.
Helga Anders won the BundesFilm Prize in 1967 for her role as Angela in “Mädchen, Mädchen”.
Helga also won seventh place in the 1966 Bravo Magazine “Otto” awards for television actresses. In 1965 she had played the part of Christa Buchner in the TV series “Der Forrellenhof” and in 1965 and 1966 she had played Lore Scholz in the TV series “Die Unverbesselichen” and of course as Julka Jadran in “Ferien in Lipizza”.
Helga has the following films credited for 1966, Bel Ami 2000 oder Wie verführt man einen Playboy? (playing the part of Lucy), Der Kongreß amüsiert sich, (playing the part of Anni) and “Happy End am Wolfgangsee” (playing the part of Bibi Werner).
I have only seen Helga’s performances in “Ferien in Lipizza” and “Happy End am Wolfgangsee” from this period of her career, and the sheer vivacity that she injects into the roles is truly astounding, she holds the attention of the viewer so well. The storylines may be wanting, but somehow Helga captivates the viewer into suspending their disbelief and allowing themselves to indulge themselves in the impossible joy of the moment. Serious movie buffs would not know where to stop in shredding “Happy End amWolfgangsee”, but I don’t care, it’s joyfully ludicrous in the same vein as the British “Carry On” films, and for me it is Helga Anders taking hold of the daftest role and somehow making it work. Yes, you can see that this is the same person who brought joy to our screens as Julia (Julka), and yes it’s also true that you can see that something was going on between the seventeen year old Helga and her leading man, it’s almost worth watching for that alone, but there is another old friend in a cameo role….Franz Muxeneder, Hugo (Stanko) from “Ferien in Lipizza”. Of all the scenes in “ Ferien in Lipizza” those with Helga Anders and Franz Muxeneder demonstrate their comic genius together, how they performed some of those scenes without laughing I will never know, but they did. Unfortunately much of this interaction was lost in the dubbing, and really only makes sense in the German version which is now Sub-titled back into English for a new generation to enjoy.. If you are a fan of Helga Anders do watch, it really does show her happy in her work.
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Now she is having a baby and feeling the strain of a Film career and motherhood.. see below link
http://sdrv.ms/GD9igd from my good friend Jerry Lancaster