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    “He was always dressing me down in front of everyone else.”


    She has appeared in the successful series “Der Bergdoktor” for over 15 years. Now Monika Baumgartner is talking about her difficult start in the film industry.

    Actress Monika Baumgartner is not only popular with “Bergdoktor” viewers, she also played her way into the hearts of fans with many other series and films. In an interview, the 72-year-old reports that she almost gave up her career in front of the camera before it even began.

    After graduating from school, Baumgartner took a job in accounting. In 1969 she earned 550 marks a month. “A lot of money” for her, as she reported in an interview with “Bild”. She would have stayed in this job. But her parents and teacher convinced her to “try her luck at the Otto Falckenberg Drama School,” Baumgartner continued. She was accepted. But that was the beginning of a difficult time for her.

    “I would have liked to throw it down”

    Baumgartner says: “The famous artistic director and director August Everding didn’t like me or my Bavarian dialect and was constantly dressing me down in front of everyone else.” This made her feel discouraged and apparently even thought about quitting. The series star also says: “I would have preferred to give up. My fellow students encouraged me. So I persevered for three years and immediately got engagements at theaters in Mannheim and Hamburg, then at the Munich Kammerspiele.”

    August Everding
    August Everding (Source: IMAGO / United Archives)

    To person

    August Everding was Bavarian state director and president of the German Stage Association. In addition to extensive work in the theater and for television, he staged more than 125 operas worldwide. Everding has received numerous honors. He was considered a workaholic and was one of the most influential theater personalities of the 20th century in terms of cultural policy. After a long illness, he died on January 26, 1999 at the age of 70 in his adopted home of Munich.

    The fact that Baumgartner persevered back then was undoubtedly worth it. From the end of the 1970s onwards she appeared in more and more TV films and series. She celebrated her breakthrough in 1981 with the two-part television series “Die Rumplhanni,” in which she played the protagonist of the same name. In 1991, Baumgartner appeared in Michael Verhoeven’s Oscar-nominated film “The Terrible Girl.” She received the Bavarian Television Prize in 1996 for her role in “Sau sticht”.

    She describes being part of the “Bergdoktor” today as “the best professional decision of my life.” It is recognized almost everywhere, says Baumgartner. “Most people address me as Ms. Gruber,” she says. “That’s funny.” Anyway, after the long time on the series, she “sometimes feels like Lisbeth Gruber in real life too.” This is the mother of Dr. Martin Gruber, played by Hans Sigl.

    Baumgartner not only enjoys the hype surrounding her, but also the filming. Because in film you always have to deal with a lot of people. “I enjoy it, that’s the beauty of this job,” she told the German Press Agency in 2021.

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