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Local Nutter

Local Nutter
Technically German, but born in Sopot, Klaus Kinski is arguably the town’s most famous son. Born into poverty, Kinski found himself flirting with adventure from an early age when he was forced to steal to feed his family. When war broke out, he originally fought for Poland before being conscripted into the German army and eventually finding himself held as an allied prisoner of war. Having discovered his gift for entertaining during his days in a British POW camp, Kinski turned to professional acting following the end of hostilities. Ravaged and spooky looking, Kinski combined the intensity of Gary Oldman with the libido of Warren Beatty both on and off screen. Despite his outspoken contempt for the acting profession he never turned down a job and appeared in some of best and worst films of the post-war era: “So I’ve sold myself for another year. I have no idea what I’ve signed. I have to take on any shit. As I’ve said, it’s all the same to me.” The evidence couldn’t be clearer; Kinski’s list of credits spans everything from Dr Zhivago, For a Few Dollars More and Nosferatu to B-grade flops like Revenge of the Stolen Stars. Describing his head as “one big garbage can,” Kinski’s loopy life witnessed a spell in a lunatic asylum, grisly self-surgery on his throat and hundreds of sexual conquests. His biography, All I Need is Love was originally withdrawn from circulation on account of its pornographic content. Now re-released under the title of Kinski Uncut, the book delves into all corners of his life: from his love/hate relationship with director Werner Herzog to the birth of his daughter, actress Nastassja. But there’s no escaping Kinski’s insatiable sexual appetite, and the book veers from early fumblings with his sister to goatish orgies with groupies, whores and actresses: “Our bodies. Our faces. Our genitals. Attack each other dangerously. Painfully.” When Kinski suddenly passed away in 1991, a friend described the cause of death as “a little bit of everything.” His childhood home is now a popular and suitably odd-looking bar which honours the man by playing his favourite bands in concert on the in-house screens and by staying open long into the night (see Sopot by night).

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