Benno Furmann: "When I was 19, everyone was gone"

Benno Fuermann
“When I was 19, everyone was gone”

© Eventpress Golejewski / Picture Alliance

Benno Fürmann had to cope with several strokes of fate as a child: when he was seven years old, his mother died. Eight years later he lost his father. “Brutal experiences” the actor is now talking about.

In his first book “Unter Bäume” (published on March 1, 2023 by Verlag “Gräfe und Unzer”), Benno Fürmann, 51, is probably more private than ever. “This is not a guide, but an examination of me and my relationship to nature. It’s about my zest for life and my excessive demands in challenging times. I tell about what drives me, what builds me up, my longings. I tell about decisive stations of my life and the questions I have. […] I want to celebrate life in this book,” explains the actor in the press release for the book.

Celebrating life – it wasn’t always easy for Fürmann as a child and teenager, as he now reveals in new interviews. The 51-year-old lost both of his parents at a young age.

Benno Fürmann on the death of his parents

“I probably don’t have to explain that it’s an extremely brutal experience for a seven-year-old to suddenly find out that he will never see his mother again,” the 51-year-old told Zeitmagazin Mann. This loss is a deep-seated experience “that life can change drastically at any second”. Eight years later another stroke of fate, Benno Fürmann’s father dies. “It was an experience that of course threw me to the ground again, but which I had already gone through before,” Fürmann told the “Zeitmagazin”. A little later he lost his grandmother, who had taken care of him until then. Fürmann came to boarding school:

It was loneliness that I suffered from growing up. This is different than being consciously alone.

“There’s so much going on inside me, it must be interesting for others too”

In the ZDF program “Volle Kanne” from March 2, 2023, the actor becomes even clearer: “When I was 19, everyone was gone. At seven I had two parents and four grandparents, at 19 it was tabula rasa.” In this dark time, however, Benno Fürmann also got his first film role in “The Second Home – Chronicle of a Youth”. In this course he went to New York, studied at the world-famous Lee Strasberg Institute. He then returned to Germany without having completed drama school. Since then, Fürmann has been one of the most famous actors in the country. “I only came back because I could work here. I had financed the acting school with my inheritance. Here a new generation of young filmmakers like Tom Tykwer offered me exciting things,” says Benno Fürmann today in an interview with “Zeitmagazin”. .

A wish that Fürmann already had as a teenager – he always wanted to be an actor. “I wanted to be seen and heard, in my joy, in my pain, in my sorrow,” he says on ZDF. “I really thought: there’s so much going on in me, it must be interesting for other people too.” And it is, to this day. With his first book, he lets his fans participate even more in his life and grants a rarely private insight into his very personal journey through life.

Sources used:,, DPA,


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