Friday, August 18, 2023

Jürgen Kluckert, The Voice of Mr. Krabs in the German Dub of 'SpongeBob,' Passes Away Aged 79

Jürgen Kluckert, the renowned voice actor known for his role as Mr. Krabs in the German dub of SpongeBob SquarePants, sadly passed away on Wednesday 16th August 2023, aged 79.

Jürgen Kluckert Tribute

Kluckert, who lived near Potsdam, was a graduate of the Ernst Busch State Drama School in East Berlin and had a prolific career as a dubbing and voice actor. He spent the post-war years in East Germany and performed at the Maxim Gorki Theater for twelve years.

“I left East Germany in 1980,” he said in a 2022 interview with the History Channel. “I then worked in theater in West Germany, but gradually ended up in the dubbing studio more and more. Back in East Germany, someone once said to me: ‘You have a nice voice. Why not try your luck at Defa-Synchron? You could earn some extra money there.’ So, I gave it a shot.”

In his career, Kluckert went on to dub many Hollywood stars, including Chuck Norris, Morgan Freeman, Danny Glover, James Brolin, Robbie Coltrane, and Louis Gossett Jr. He also provided his voice for the character of Helicopter pilot “T.C.” portrayed by Roger E. Mosley in the 1980s version of the TV series Magnum.

Kluckert also made appearances as an actor on German television, including multiple supporting roles in the popular crime series Tatort. He was also involved in several radio plays as a narrator for the rbb.

Kluckert also reprised his SpongeBob role for spin-off Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years.

One of his most well-known roles was that of talking elephant Benjamin Blümchen, bringing joy to millions of children through his work on the Benjamin the Elephant series. In the mid-1990s, Jürgen Kluckert took over as the main voice for the beloved character following the death of Edgar Ott, who originally voiced Benjamin Blümchen. The similarity between their voices made for a seamless transition, and Kluckert recalled listening to Ott’s recordings before saying his own lines during the early recording sessions. As time went on, he no longer needed that reference and became more comfortable and efficient in the role. With his kind-hearted and deep voice, Kluckert lent his distinctiveness to over 70 episodes of the series.

The actor also provided the German voice of American actor Ernie Hudson in several movies, including as Winston Zeddemore in the first two Ghostbusters movies, reprising the role for 2021's Ghostbusters: Afterlife, locally titled Ghostbusters: Legacy.

The passing of Jürgen Kluckert marks the end of an era in the voice acting industry. His contributions and the joy he brought to children and fans of his work will be remembered fondly.

Kluckert's SpongeBob Schwammkopf co-star Santiago Ziesmer, who voices the titular sponge on the series, paid tribute to the late actor on YouTube, saying "RIP Jürgen Kluckert - Part of us goes with you - 🥺," adding "We will never forget you Klucki."

Meanwhile, Stimmen unter Wasser, the YouTube channel Kluckert launched with Ziesmer and Fritz Rott, who voices Patrick Star on the animated series, earlier this year, released a tribute video, saying "RIP - Jürgen Kluckert - A part of us went with you - 😭," adding "RIP dear colleague 🥰".

Nickelodeon Deutschland also paid tribute to the late actor on Instagram, captioning a video of Kluckert voicing Mr. Krabs with "One of the greatest voices of all time has left us. 🕊 We thank Jürgen Kluckert for almost 25 years in which he has lended his voice to Mr. Krabs."

R.I.P. Jürgen Kluckert, December 29, 1943 - August 16, 2023.

Additional source: UKSnackAttack.

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