Who is the oldest living celebrity in the world?

He was one of the oldest living men in Germany and the oldest active actor in the world.

It is only a few meters from the striking ocher-colored building with the funeral hall from 1884 to the large, round grave surrounded by a stone wall. A whole battery of wreaths has been put up - last greetings from friends, the Berlin Academy of the Arts, the state capital Munich, the animal welfare association Starnberg and also from the editorial offices of the Yellowpress papers. Bavaria's Prime Minister sends a lot of yellow tulips with a white and blue ribbon.

Hundreds of visitors from the local population gather in front of it. Dark loden coats, lots of mink and gray hair dominate the scene. A bygone era. People who enjoyed Heester's light entertainment in the 1950s and 1960s. And who - in contrast to many citizens in his Dutch homeland - did not resent the fact that he had celebrated great successes in Germany during the Nazi era. That he presented himself as apolitical and yet was listed as an "indispensable actor" by Joseph Goebbels in 1944.

It's not just Heester's art that made him a myth. But it is also the fact that he made the impossibility of turning 108 years old - and thus was one of the oldest living men in Germany. According to the Guinness Book of Records, he was the oldest active actor in the world. Heesters has been on stage for 91 years.

He was actually supposed to be buried in the grave of Simone Rethel's parents in the north cemetery. But then the widow made a different decision at short notice. Now when you come to the cemetery from Ungererstrasse, you come across this large, pompous grave. Not very many, but a few other celebrities are buried in the Nordfriedhof - for example the actor Beppo Brehm, the writer Wolfgang Koeppen and the cabaret artist Sammy Drechsel. But Heesters now has the first grave in place.

The funeral procession, led by Simone Rethel and Heester's granddaughter Wiesje Herold, arrives at the grave. The white coffin is lowered. The widow is the first to cover it with earth. At her side are the two daughters of the deceased from his first marriage, Wiesje and Nicole. The last big gig is over. In large letters is written on the funeral hall: "It is done!"

  • Hundreds of mourners bid farewell to Johannes Heesters
  • He was one of the oldest living men in Germany and the oldest active actor in the world.
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