Dirch Passer

Dirch Hartvig Passer was born on May 18, 1926, on Østerbro, Copenhagen, to Ragnhild Fich and Capt. Vilhelm Passer (seaman). He never did well in school, being the class clown, which had a negative effect on his grades. He did especially badly in mathematics, which came to follow him the rest of his life. When Passer left school he wanted to become an actor, but his father insisted that he should become a seaman like himself. In 1944 he attended maritime school. Life at sea, however, did not go well – he was seasick all the time.

After his failure as a seaman he had all kinds of small jobs. In 1946 he made his stage debut with “Six Comrades [seks kammerater]” in “Riddersalen”. In the same year he was accepted to theatre school: De Frederiksbergske Teatres elevskole. After he had completed this education in 1948 he had many small parts in different plays all around Denmark’s theatres. He made his film debut in 1947 as an extra in the Danish movie Lykke paa rejsen (1947) and teamed up with Ove Sprogøe in the 1950s in many films. He became famous in 1953 with Ved Kongelunden… (1953), which let all of Denmark see his comedic genius. He made many other well-received Danish films, such as The Baroness from the Gas Station (1960), Mig og min lillebror (1967), Sommer i Tyrol (1964), the Mafia-movies and Charles Tante (1959).

Passer worked from 1967 to 1974 at the famous “Cirkusrevyen på Bakken”, where he was responsible for their greatest success ever. Many of the sketches which he made here were so famous that they are seen all over the world. He made his last film in 1978, Fængslende feriedage (1978).

In 1978 he acted in the “Tivolirevy”, which he continued until his death on stage of a heart attack on September 3, 1980. Like all great comedians, he always wanted to play serious parts in movies and plays, but never got the chance. Dirch Passer was without a doubt the greatest Danish comedian ever.

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