Bibiana Zeller: Austrian acting legend is dead

Burgtheater, “Jedermann” and “Kottan Investigates”: Bibiana Zeller was one of the great actresses in Austria. She has now passed away at the age of 95.

Bibiana Zeller is dead. The Austrian actress died on July 16, 2023 in Vienna. She was 95 years old. Her son, filmmaker Fabian Eder (60), announced her death on Twitter. “We mourn,” he wrote on an old photo of his mother. He did not name a cause of death.

Bibiana Zeller was born on February 25, 1928 in Mauer near Vienna, today the then independent town is part of the capital. After high school she studied acting, according to her own statement, to escape the horrors of National Socialism and the Second World War.

Burgtheater and “Jedermann”: Stage star Bibiana Zeller

Her theater career began at the Theater in der Josefsstadt. In 1972, after engagements in Germany, she moved to the Burgtheater in Vienna, the ultimate address for stage actors. She was a member of the ensemble until her death. At the Salzburg Festival in 2005 she embodied the mother of “Jedermann”. Performing in the play is another accolade, not only for Austrian performers.

Bibiana Zeller has been in front of the camera since the 1950s. She became known to a wide TV audience from 1976 with “Kottan determined”. In the humorous cult crime series she played the wife of the eponymous police major. “Wherever I fly to: Everyone knows Kottan, talk to me about it,” said Zeller once about her biggest role.

Lukas Resetarits (75), the last of three Kottan actors, spoke up under Zeller’s son’s post. “A wonderful woman has left us. May she rest in peace,” he wrote.

“Sugar granny” and late bloomer

Her most famous roles on television beyond “Kottan Investigated” were the evil mother-in-law in “Zuckeroma” (2004) and a part in “The Late Bloomer”. On the side of Jan Josef Liefers (58) and Joachim Fuchsberger (1927-2014) she was a nursing home resident who becomes part of a rock band.

Bibiana Zeller was married twice. Her two sons come from her first marriage to director Otto Anton Eder (1930-2004). Her second husband, actor Eugen Stark, died in 2021.

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