On April 21, 1913, the actor Josef Meinrad was born as Josef Moučka in Vienna. The audience favorite spent his last years with his wife Germaine in Großgmain. In February 1996, the darling of the public succumbed to cancer and has since been buried in the Großgmain cemetery next to his wife († August 2006).
Every year in August a festive service in memory of Josef Meinrad takes place in the Marienwallfahrtskirche Großgmain.
As the fourth and youngest child of a tram driver, Josef Meinrad attended the Redemptorist High School near Wiener Neustadt. He first wanted to become a priest, but left the boarding school in 1929 and began a commercial apprenticeship in a paint factory. At the same time Meinrad took lessons at the Kastranek Acting School and began a career as an actor.
In 1930 he made his first public appearance at the Hans Sachs Festival in Korneuburg, where he already called himself Josef Meinrad. Despite further small theater roles, he passed the commercial apprenticeship examinations in 1932 and worked as an office trainee for another 3 years. After several performances on small stages, Josef Meinrad passed his acting exams in May 1937 in front of the Ring der österreichischen Bühnenkünstler. In the fall of 1939, Meinrad received an engagement at the theater "Die Komödie". Via the Burgtheater he came to the Deutsches Theater in Metz in December 1940, which was considered the "front theater". There Josef Meinrad was active in troup management until September 1944.
On October 22, 1945, he was back on stage in Vienna. As "Guter Gesell" he appeared at the Salzburg Festival in July 1947. In October of the same year he joined the ensemble of the Burgtheater, to which he belonged until his 65th birthday in 1978. In the years from 1947 to 1983 Josef Meinrad performed in 195 stage roles at the Burgtheater. The actor became famous as a performer of the Nestroy and Raimund characters. In addition to numerous guest performances, he appeared almost every year at the Salzburg and Bregenz festivals during these years. Meinrad celebrated his probably greatest success on stage as Don Quixote in the musical "The Man of La Mancha" by Dale Wasserman, which premiered in German on January 4, 1968 at the Theater an der Wien. Since 1959 Josef Meinrad wore the Iffland Ring, which he passed on to Bruno Ganz in 1996. He gave his farewell performance on December 12, 1983 in "Der Schwierige" by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. In the Bürgersaalkirche in Munich, the actor performed for the last time in front of an audience with the monologue play "Ich schweige nicht" ("I will not keep quiet") as Pater Rupert Mayer in April 1987.
In addition to his successful theater engagements, Meinrad also played various roles in film and television. He became known to larger audiences primarily through his role as Oberst Böckel in the three "Sissi" films with Romy Schneider.
SELECTION OF FILMOGRAPHY:
1955: Don Giovanni
1956: Sissi - The young empress
1956: The Trapp Family
1957: Sissi - fateful years of an empress
1965: Don Quixote of La Mancha
1974: The robber Hotzenplotz
1984: The bat