Friday, November 23, 2007

There Was Nothing "Natural" About That Guy

The following is taken from the pages of ER #33/34, our Winter 1992 Conspiracy-themed double issue. Today celebrates the 16th anniversary of Klaus' death and the continued interest in him as an actor, author, artist, performer and poet makes me wish he was still around to bask in the deserved attention – and defend himself against those who would rather take potshots at his personality than admit that he was a truly gifted actor. A man who gave it his all whether he was starring in one of Herzog's epics or playing a time-traveling bad guy in a TV movie with William Devane and Lauren Hutton. Look for some Klassic Kinski Moments coming to this blog over the next few days...

Me: Did you hear who died? Kinski...
Lou: Aw man, now I'm really depressed. What did he die of?
Me: They're saying natural causes.
Lou: Bullshit -- there was nothin' natural about that guy.

On Saturday, November 23rd, 1991, exploitation actor extraordinaire Klaus Kinski was found dead in his Los Angeles home. With his shock of white hair, rubbery face, spooky bug-eyes, and somewhat bizarre accent ("zoom kind uv collactive intelligence"), Kinski made a lasting impression on both the film world and the ER staff.

From his first film -- 1948's MORITURI -- through his work in more recent fare as CREATURE (aka TITAN FIND), K2 always left the viewer wondering, "How much of this is real and how much is an act?" Up front, confrontational, and often shocking, Kinski was so real it was surreal.

Having made headlines for his hostile relationship with director Werner Herzog (a relationship that brought out the best in both men), Klaus splashed into the news again with his autobiography, All I Need is Love. Pulled from shelves after only a brief release, rumors abounded as to why. Though Random House maintains that legal wranglings with an Italian publisher were the real reason, we prefer to believe that the book's near-pornographic prose, vividly detailing many of K2's 160-some alleged sexual encounters, frightened the weasely publisher. Either way, this sucker's a collectors item to be cherished.

Though he'll probably be remembered more for being "Natassia Kinski's father," a candle will always burn brightly in these offices in HIS memory. When all is said and done, Klaus Kinski will be remembered as one of a kind... a true original.

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