“The Old One”: Who are Thomas Heinze’s predecessors?

“The old”
Who are Thomas Heinze’s predecessors?

“The old man” gets a new face: Thomas Heinze (left) replaces Jan-Gregor Kremp.

© ZDF/Erika Hauri

On March 24, Thomas Heinze can be seen for the first time as the chief inspector in “Der Alte”. These actors have previously taken the leading role.

A new era begins for the “old man” on March 24th. After Jan-Gregor Kremp (60) left the long-lived crime series, Thomas Heinze (58) took on the leading role for the first time as chief inspector Caspar Bergmann. On Friday he will be seen on ZDF from 8:15 p.m. as the new head of the Munich murder commission in “Der Alte”. But who were Heinze’s predecessors, who have investigated more than 450 cases since the 1970s?

Thomas Heinze as Caspar Bergmann

Thomas Heinze landed the role with an unsolicited application after he found out from his colleague Kremp that he was going to quit, as he recently told the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung”: “I approached ZDF. […] I then threw my hat in the ring, and apparently I fitted in with where ZDF wanted to go with this character and the format.” Heinze, who himself liked to watch “Der Alte” episodes with Siegfried Lowitz, is investigating for the first time in the case ” However, the new “old man” doesn’t get much time to get used to the homicide squad. A bank clerk is found shot dead on a lake shore.

Jan Gregor Kremp as Richard Voss

Heinze follows Jan-Gregor Kremp directly as Chief Inspector Bergmann. The 60-year-old actor has been seen in the role of Chief Inspector Richard Voss since the end of 2012. However, after around a decade in the popular ZDF crime series, Kremp announced in early 2022 that he would be leaving. “After ten years of ‘Der Alte’, the time has come to think about a change – especially since sixty is within reach,” he said, according to the broadcaster. He was last seen in “The Price I Pay” on March 17.

Walter Kreye as Rolf Herzog

From spring 2008 to April 2012, Walter Kreye (80), a specialist in crime formats, had previously identified Rolf Herzog as chief inspector. Although he has also appeared in many other productions, he was already seen in numerous crime series and series before “Der Alte”, including “Hecht & Haie”, “Ein Fall für Zwei”, “Wilsberg”, in “Polizeiruf 110 ” or several times in the “crime scene”. Kreye had taken over from his longtime predecessor Rolf Schimpf (98).

Rolf Schimpf as Leo Kress

Rolf Schimpf shaped the homicide squad in Munich as Chief Inspector Leo Kress between 1986 and 2007. However, after more than 220 solved cases and more than 20 years, Schimpf left the service. His upcoming exit had already become known in 2006. “It had to be, it should be credible when I play a commissioner,” he told “Bild am Sonntag” and explained that he therefore thought it was right to stop with “Der Alte”. In the episode “Taximurder” he returned in 2009 in a guest role.

Siegfried Lowitz as Erwin Köster

However, a return for Siegfried Lowitz (1914-1999) was almost impossible from the outset. He embodied the first “old man” and from the beginning of 1977 appeared in 100 cases as chief inspector Erwin Köster. In the very first case, “The Business Trip”, there was already a large-scale operation, as two men robbed a bank and a patrol officer died after an exchange of fire. Köster’s last case came to a tragic end in 1986. In “Two Lives” the inspector died as a result of a gunshot wound.


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