Gunther Philipp

8/6/1918 - 2/10/2003

Record updated 08-Jun-06

Gunther Philipp was a champion swimmer, actor, writer, doctor, racing driver and general renaissance man.

Gunther Philipp
Born Gunther Placheta in Toplitza, Romania. His father, Hugo Placheta was stationed but soon after he was birth the family returned to Vienna where Hugo was a veterinary surgeon.

Gunther Philipp's first successes were in sports, he was the fastest European breast-stroke swimmer from 1937-1939 and held the Austrian 100 metre breast-stroke record for 14 years.

He was due to be in the Austrian olympia team for the 1936 games in Berlin, but because he was not prepared to join the National Socialist Party, he was not selected.

During the war he got study leave and took drama at the Max Reinhardt school and it was in 1940 that he took on the stage name of Philipp. Later he went to the University of Vienna to study philosophy, psychology and medicine, obtaining his doctorate in 1943. He then served in a field hosital during the Seconf World War. After the war he opened a practice in Austria specialising in neurology and psychiatry.

He turned to acting part time and made his film debut in 1949. Philipp appeared in over 150 films. He also wrote 22 screenplays.

In the 1950's he started his own racing team in GT racing winning three Austrian National Championship titles. After he finished racing he was involved presenting a programme called Motorama with Jocen Rindt. After Rindt death he continued presenting on his own.

Philipp continued acting on TV and stage almost to the time of his death.

He was married four times, his fourth wife, Gisela Kirchberg, was substantially younger than himself. He had three sons.