- Category : Entertainment-Actor-Actress
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Split - Small (56)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Eden 3
German theatre and film actor.
Birgel began his acting career before World War I on the stage in his native city of Cologne, and came to movies rather late. He was about 43 years old before he got his first major film role as the English Camp Commandant in Paul Wegener's Ein Mann will nach Deutschland (roughly translated A German Wants to Get to Germany or A German Wants to Go Home). In 1937, Joseph Goebbels named Birgel Staatsschauspieler or roughly Actor of the State, the highest honor Germany had for actors at the time. Besides the propaganda films, Birgel starred in a number of popular movies such as Der Fall Deruga (1938), becoming an unlikely public favorite.
After World War II, Birgel was on the Allied black-list and did not make another film until 1947. By the 1950s, he was back to his pre-war popularity, often appearing with German film superstar Hans Albers. In the 1960s, Birgel was able to make the transition to television.
Birgel died on 29 December 1973 of heart failure at Dübendorf near Zürich.