'Veronica Voss' Actress Rosel Zech Dies of Cancer

The German film star found a second career as a stern nun on hit TV series "For Heaven's Sake."

BERLIN - Rosel Zech, the pale blond actress perhaps best known for her starring turn in Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Veronika Voss (1982), died Wednesday of cancer. She was 69.

Zech caught Fassbinder's eye while playing an extra in Ulli Lommel's 1973 serial killer drama Tenderness of the Wolves, which Fassbinder produced. He gave her a small role in Lola (1981) before handing her the lead in Veronika Voss, playing a down-on-her-luck former star of Naza era cinema. The film, which won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and the international critics prize in Toronto, made Zech an international name. But she stayed true to her roots, rarely venturing abroad. Her few international appearences include roles in Percy Adlon's Salmonberries, where she stared alongside k.d. Lang, and in the Channel 4 miniseries biopic Hemingway, where she had a walk-on role as Lilli Marleen.

In Germany, Zech was best known for her many small screen roles, especially that of the no-nonsense nun Mother Reuter in the long-running TV sitcom For Heaven's Sake.