I have never been able to find out, or even guess, what it must have been like to have been a Fassbinder regular, as Harry Baer was. He acted in at least 16 Fassbinder films that I know of, and is the model Fassbinder citizen: his first 9 credits are all Fassbinder, and then, like others in the troupe, the confidence, experience and exposure granted by his work with the great man, permitted him a career that went on until 2009; 40 years in all since his debut in Fassbinder’s Katzelmacher, in 1969.


In the mid 1970s Harry Baer and Fassbinder had a professional and personal split that lasted until Fassbinder call him back in 1978 to work as his assistant director in The Marriage of Maria Braun (Die Ehe der Maria Braun).

Like so many others featured in these pages, Harry Baer played small roles in many of Fassbinder's movies and was production manager and assistant director in many of Fassbinder's films including his last: Querelle. Beyond their professional relation, Harry Baer was one of Fassbinder's closest friends. He was the last person that talked to the famous director before Fassbinder was found dead. Baer also wrote a book about his life and times with Fassbinder: I can sleep when I'm dead. The breathless life of Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Schlafen kann ich, wenn ich tot bin. Das atemlose Leben des Rainer Werner Fassbinder)

In Lola, Baer’s role is that of a demonstrator, an important part – but they are all important parts in the well-oiled machine that is an RWF movie.  

It appears to me that so many people loved Fassbinder, and were committed to his work, and Harry Baer was among the forefront of these. It meant that actors such as Baer were able to accept small parts and probably pulled them off quickly and effectively, and certainly in one take, just the way the director liked it. Baer looks great in this movie, I think, in a splendid cream get up