He has been in front of the camera since the 1980s, and since then has regularly flickered across the screens with series and films. But there are also dark times behind Helmut Zierl – with drugs and without a roof over their heads.
“Die Berggretter”, “Tatort”, “Alarm für Cobra 11”, even on the “Traumschiff” he was seen several times. There is hardly a series in which Helmut Zierl has not yet played. The 67-year-old has been one of the most sought-after actors in Germany since the 1980s. But before the native of Meldorfer got into the acting business, Zierl lived under the bridge.
“It was 1971, the wedding of the hippies,” remembers the TV star now 50 years later in an interview with “Bunte”. “They wanted to be like those from America, like those hippies who originated there. I actually slept in the open air, in the park. And that for weeks.” He also spent the nights under motorway bridges. “Everything was really detached from bourgeois life.”
Helmut Zierl also came into contact with drugs on the street. He consumed LSD and mescaline. “Back then, my parents strictly forbade me to use drugs. And that is exactly what triggers resistance among adolescents. In my case, at least, it sparked great resistance,” said the actor. He was then 16 years old and “incredibly naive”. “I stumbled into it.” He would not regret the time, “but of course, if I had today’s awareness, I would do it completely differently”.
He is now a father himself and has three sons. Helmut Zierl spoke with them openly about his drug past. “I told my children in no uncertain terms that I would like them to keep their hands off it. But I also said that if they had to choose between light drugs like hashish or alcohol, (…) then I almost would rather they smoke weed than get drunk senselessly. Because alcohol is the much more dangerous drug. “