Recommended, 2020

Editor'S Choice

A family tragedy changed his whole life

Thomas Gottschalk speaks openly about a family tragedy
Photo: Getty Images

Thomas Gottschalk speaks openly for the first time

Due to a serious loss, he became an early "man in the house": For the first time speaks Thomas Gottschalk open about the death of his father's cancer

Recklessness, charm and sovereignty - those are the qualities that paved the way for Thomas Gottschalk on the TV throne. These are the traits that his wife Thea (60) loves so much about him. Typical Thommy! But what hardly anyone knows and about which the 59-year-old never spoke openly: A family tragedy ripened and made him early to the strong man he is today. Fate left him no choice. It's about a terrible drama, it's about the painful death of his revered father.

He realized that he could not force the cure

"You're too immature to ask questions, " the showmaster recalls on November 6, 1964, when Hans Gottschalk's family came together to say goodbye forever. It was the day that turned everything upside down. The weeks before, little Thomas (then 14 years old) had often prayed to Papa's bedside and made the pills. But he realized that he could not force the cure - the stomach cancer was stronger.

The father died. Way too early. And with him the protector of the Gottschalks. "My mother was desperate. She was 41 then, we were three children, "says Thomas Gottschalk . "This is a fate that many have to deal with." But not everyone draws strength from the loss. But Hans Gottschalk gave his oldest son an order, a moving motto to life. From his deathbed he asked in a firm voice: "Keep everyone together." And everyone knew what was meant! The father had ceded his role - to Thomas. His childhood was over, from one moment to the next. It was the blond boy who had to take care of his brother Christoph (then 11) and his sister Raphaela (then 2). He was the new pillar of his mother Rutila - until she died at the age of 82 five years ago.

With great bravery he sailed around all the cliffs

No doubt that Thomas Gottschalk is up to his task. For decades. "I was always the oldest in the family, " describes the ZDF star the terrible drama that changed his life. But not only his fans appreciate Thommy's virtues. Brother Christoph also admitted in an interview: "Thomas has always been the sonny boy, he has crossed all the cliffs."

Top