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Harald Franz Schmidt is a German actor, presenter, cabaret artist and entertainer. He is best known for his various late-night shows, which were produced from 1995 to 2014. He currently lives with his partner in the Marienburg district of Cologne and is the father of five children.
Harald Schmidt was born in Neu-Ulm in 1957 as the son of his father Anton and his wife. Both parents are expellees, the father came from Karlovy Vary in western Bohemia and the mother from Brünn in southern Moravia. Schmidt grew up in Nürtingen in Baden-Württemberg and was brought up by his parents as a strict Catholic. He was a member of the Catholic Boy Scouts from a young age and, after successfully completing his training as a church musician at the church music school in Rottenburg am Neckar, worked, among other things, as an organist in the Catholic parish of St. John in Nürtingen. Harald Schmidt also completed his Abitur in his hometown at the Hölderlin Gymnasium before doing his community service in a parish office. From 1978 to 1981 he studied acting at the State University for Music and Performing Arts in Stuttgart. In 1983, Schmidt applied to the Henri Nannen School of Journalism in Hamburg to gain initial experience in film and radio. There, however, he was eliminated from the final selection.
He was able to gain his first stage experience between 1981 and 1984. During this period he played several roles in plays on the municipal stages in Augsburg. In 1984, Harald then moved to the cabaret stage “Kom(m)ödchen” in Düsseldorf, where he laid the foundation for his cabaret career before leaving the stage again.
In 1985, Harald Schmidt went on tour with his first solo program. Schmidt was finally able to gain his first experience in broadcasting in 1988 at the broadcaster “Freies Berlin”. Other TV formats followed, such as the rate show “Psst…” and the program “Schmidteinander”, which he moderated together with Herbert Feuerstein. From 1992 to 1995, Schmidt also moderated the well-known television show “Do you understand fun?”. Shortly thereafter, Schmidt’s best-known television format “The Harald Schmidt Show” began. The late-night show was highly polarizing thanks to Harald’s cynical and sarcastic manner. The show ran regularly in the intervals 1995-2003, 2011-2012 and 2012-2014 before being canceled entirely. Harald Schmidt was active in many other television programs as a moderator and in various German feature films in leading and supporting roles before he completely retired from the television business in 2015. He was also present in some German television series. Schmidt has appeared in episodes of the TV series “Wilsberg” and “Unser Charly” and has played the role of Oskar Schifferle in the series “Das Traumschiff” since 2008.
His late-night show “Die Harald Schmidt” is still considered his most successful broadcast format and has won a number of awards. The show was awarded the German Television Prize in the “Best Comedy” category, the German-French Journalist Prize in the “Television” category and the Adolf Grimme Prize in the “Special” competition. In 2000 and 2001 he was awarded the German Television Prize twice in a row for his general work as a moderator. Schmidt’s production company received 8 million euros per year from the ARD broadcaster for the broadcast of 60 programs of the “Harald Schmidt Show”.
“In rest stops in southern France, you don’t know: is that a pothole or is it already the toilet?”
“The wealth tax is coming. Rich tax or, as the FDP say, ‘membership fee’.”
Harald Schmidt struggled with a stalker problem for years. As early as 1998, he had been harassing him with calls. The 39-year-old from Koblenz terrorized Harald’s manager and his family in the years that followed until a court hearing took place.