Bruno Schleinstein

Bruno Schleinstein (June 2, 1932 – August 11, 2010) was a German film actor, artist, and musician. Schleinstein was often beaten as a child, and spent much of his youth in mental institutions. He was a largely self-taught musician, who over the years developed considerable skill on the piano, accordion, glockenspiel and handbells. He would play in back gardens performing 18th and 19th century style ballads at the weekends, while sustaining himself financially working as a forklift driver at a car plant. Schleinstein said he transmits (German: durchgeben) his songs, rather than singing them. Schleinstein was spotted by director Werner Herzog in the documentary Bruno der Schwarze – Es blies ein Jäger wohl in sein Horn (1970). Herzog promptly cast Schleinstein (under the name Bruno S.) as his lead actor in The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974), though he had no acting experience. Schleinstein also starred in Stroszek (1977), which Herzog wrote especially for him in four days. Stroszek has a number of biographical details from Schleinstein's life, including the use of his own flat as the home of Bruno Stroszek. He also played his own instruments.


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