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The premier Austrian entertainer of the postwar generation, Peter Alexander first vaulted to fame in film musicals, later hosting his own long-running television variety show. He nevertheless enjoyed his greatest success as a pop singer, scoring more than two dozen Top Ten hits across a four-decade span. Born Peter Alexander Ferdinand Maximilian Neumayer in Vienna on June 30, 1926, he began his career as a member the renowned Vienna Boys' Choir. During World War II, he served with the Luftwaffenhelfer and the Reichsarbeitsdienst until 1945, when he was captured by British troops and retained as a prisoner of war. When the war ended, Alexander entered Vienna's Max Reinhardt Seminary to study acting, beginning his professional career in 1948. Musical comedies like Liebe and Tanz und 1000 Schlager made him a star in his homeland, and in 1951 he launched a concurrent career as a pop crooner, in the decades to follow launching myriad Austrian hits including "Mädchen Weine Nicht," "Das Wunder Bist Du," "Der Letzte Walzer," and "Komm und Bedien Dich." The "Count Bobby" feature comedy series elevated Alexander to even greater fame during the 1960s, and in 1972 he launched Die Peter Alexander Show, the television program that remained his primary vehicle until it ended production in 1995. Following the 2003 death of wife Hilde, Alexander receded from public view, completely retiring from performing and living the life of a recluse. He nevertheless remains an iconic figure to successive generations of Austrian audiences. ~ Jason Ankeny
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Peter Alexander Ferdinand Maximilian Neumayer
30 June 1926 in Vienna, Austria
'50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s