Music and acting were in his blood. At age 18, completing his baccalaureate, Ruedi Walter, together with friend Adolf Bauer, composed music and text for a public show at the city casino in Basel, but opted for a career in business. This was cut short at the outbreak of WWII when he returned from his work for Twinings Tea in London. In Basel, during his military service, Ruedi Walter acted on stage for the first time. After the war, he decided to go pro and joined Cabaret Cornichon, where he met Margrit Rainer and one of the most enduring acting partnerships was formed. For thirty years, the duo played many roles together, first on the radio, then on stage and TV until Margrit Rainer’s surprise death in 1982. Ruedi Walter was thrown off kilter and could not see himself continuing acting alone. Gradually, he returned to the stage – his favorite medium – and also took on roles in a number of film and tv movies. He even participated at the Swiss national Circus Knie. Becoming increasingly sight impaired, he continued to act until his death June 16, 1990, when he passed away during knee surgery.
Ruedi Walter played roles from drama to comedy and everything in-between. In an interview shortly before his death, he spoke about how proud he was to be called an ‘actor of the people’ (Volksschauspieler). The list is long and you may remember some of his unforgettable appearances in: Die kleine Niederdorfoper (1951 & 1978), Polizischt Wäckerli (1955), Spalebärg 77a (1957), Demokrat Läppli (1961), Die sechs Kummerbuben (1968), Pfarrer Iseli (1969), Ein Fall für Männdli (1973), Der Schwarze Hecht (1981), and many more.
Thank you, Ruedi Walter – and Margrit Rainer – for so many enjoyable moments and memories of a Switzerland gone by! Streets perpendicular to each other and only separated by a park have been named in honor of both artists in the city of Zurich.