The good soul of the “dream ship”: With Heide Keller a part of the ideal world dies

Good soul of the “dream ship”
Part of the ideal world dies with Hyde Keller

Warmth, perseverance and harmony – these are the qualities that many fans of the “dream ship” associate with Heide Keller. She played the lead host Beatrice in the ZDF series for several decades and thus wrote the history of television.

Heide Keller’s helpfulness had almost no limits. When she hired Beatrice to head the ZDF “Dream Ship” in 1981, many of the passengers on the steamer – which not only went to TV crews but also regular tourists across the oceans – did not yet know the actress. The result: When she was in her uniform, she was sometimes confused as a maid – and asked for help accordingly. “I always said, ‘Of course,'” Keller recalls shortly before her last TV cruise. “I will take you fast.”

These are jokes that explain why Heide Keller’s death shocked many people. The actress and the role merged in some way with this Renanitis from the beginning. The long time he played the heartfelt Beatrice, who solved all the big and small problems in the “dream ship” with a smile and a wink, also contributed to this.

It was only after about 37 years that she landed at ZDF on New Year’s Eve 2018. For comparison: Marie-Luise Marjan played Beimer’s mother in “Lindenstrasse” for less than 35 years, Ulrike Folkerts investigates Lena Odenthal as “Tatort” commissioner for 31 years. So Heide Keller was at sea for a crazy time. Her last sentence on the ship: “it was nice”. Keller died Friday at the age of 81.

Hostess Beatrice – the role of her life

“Heide Keller has made history on television,” said Heike Hempel, ZDF Vice Director. “No other actor has played a similar role in a series for so long.” As the mother of the ship, Keller was iconic for the whole series: harmony, bright wardrobe and not too much ambiguity. She was a good soul who became a hostess from a time when television was still made up of ARD, ZDF and third party programs – and the term hostess was still associated with apprenticeship. A part of the ideal world dies with her, that’s how she feels.

Keller was born in Düsseldorf and raised in Düren, Rhineland. He trained as an actor in many theaters and was seen in various scenes before being discovered for television. He also had other appearances besides “Traumschiff” – such as appearances in “Klimbim”, “Manni, der Libero” or film adaptations by Rosamunde Pilcher. She was married to actor Hans von Borsody, among others.

For TV chroniclers, however, it will always be Beatrice. Nor should it be assumed that it would cause grief. During her life she did not refuse to be asked about the role of her life. Even after their departure, Keller, who also wrote the script for the series, kept a close eye on the format. When coordinator Florian Silbereisen introduced himself as the new leader, he initially felt uncomfortable with the election – but later wished him every success. In her last coastal leave she left as a legacy that now please do not change much. With a lot of action, for example. “We have to leave that to the Americans, they can do it better.”

Keller often referred to Wolfgang Randemann, the inventor of the “dream ship” who died in 2016. He often said, “There is so much that is awesome. You do not need to show it in conversation.” Heide Keller also strictly adhered to this. Until the end, she was “a diva in the best sense of the word,” as the entertainer Harald Smith once described her. At the time, she was justifying her departure from the “dream ship” by saying she wanted to disembark as much as she could “still leave the runway in high heels”. In fact he did. And this impression will remain.

Winston Ferguson

"Total travelaholic. Subtly charming zombie geek. Friend of animals everywhere. Music buff. Explorer. Tv junkie."

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