Wilhelm Von Homburg (A.K.A. Norbert Grupe) was born in Berlin, Germany. He started out his career as a wrestler during the fifties in Germany where he earned his fame. He also toured the States. Homburg’s stage name was Prinz Wilhelm Von Homburg. In the early sixties, he shifted from wrestling to boxing. Between 1962 and 1970, he was in the light heavyweight and the heavyweight class.
In Hollywood, he made his debut on the popular television show “Gunsmoke”, as “Otto”. The director Andrew V. McLaglen, had writer John Meston write the episode inspired by Wilhelm’s life as a boxer. The production flew Wilhelm in from Germany to the U.S. for a special appearance of the “Gunsmoke” episode “The Promoter”. Later, Wilhelm had a recurring role on Television show “The Wild Wild West”.
Wilhelm is best known for playing “Vigo the Carpathian” in the big hit movie “Ghostbusters ll”. His other movies includes, to name a few, “Die Hard”, “Diggstown”, “The Package”, “Eye of The Storm”, “In The Mouth of Madness”, “The Devil’s Brigade”, “The Wrecking Crew”, and “Stroszek”.
Wilhelm made headlines after his controversial appearance on German T.V. at the Z.D.F. Sport Studio, after the reporter Rainer Günzler had made some rude, snide remarks about his boxing career and his private life.
In 2000, German film-maker Gerd Kroske produced a prize-winning documentary on Wilhelm’s life called Der Boxprinz (2002).
In his later years, Wilhelm lived in the beautiful Malibu/Santa Monica Mountains, together with his dog ‘Kiss’. Wilhelm Von Homburg died of cancer in March, 2004 on the Villa Estate of his close friend in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
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