William Berger Memoirs?

Hello everyone,
does anyone know if there is a memoirs by actor William Berger available?
Wikipedia mentions the following:
“His 1985 memoirs, Half Way Home , recount his life to that point.”
I can’t find anything by that title online, amazon, etc.
William Berger was a cool and prolific actor and if there is a Memoir out there I would love to read it.

I don’t see this biography mentiones in either German or English Wikipedias

It’s mentioned in the english wikipedia page under William Berger’s Biograpy/ Career section, at the end of the second paragraph.


Ah, sloppy reader. Hm… Let me ask a few folks. It might be a translation but not the official title…


Thank you. Fingers crossed.

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Btw @Pumaman have you heard of this?

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Never heard of this… I guess if anyone knows it would be Christian Kessler who interviewed so many actors who worked in Italy for Splatting Image in the day…

Looking at the edit history, its from a random user back in 2007 so it’s possibly vandalism. Even weirder is there’s an even earlier edit that lists his memoirs as being “Desperado Blues” from 1987.

If you can read German :wink: the interview with splatting image is still up on archive:

There’s some interesting facts in there; like I never knew Berger was meant to be in Run Man Run! I imagine he would have played Cassidy or maybe the main French mercenary?


Cool Interview. …


Thank you for sharing that link! Great Interview!

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Did a little more research, and there is a book called “House of the Angels :Love Notes from the Asylum” which seems to be more about his marriage to Carol, and the ‘lifestyle’ they were living up til her death, as opposed to his thoughts on his films.


Thank you for the info.

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I machine translated this section on Antony Steffen …

IL SUO NOME - you played there with Antonio de Teffé. How was that?

(thinks for a long time) He can be pretty disgusting (grins). He tends to boast, he can’t do anything. We once shot a film together and we had to cross a suspension bridge, he on one side and I on the other. I’m not usually the bravest, they have the acrobats for that and we should meet in the middle of the bridge. We then rode to the edge of the bridge ourselves, and from there it was the stunt people’s turn. It was too ticklish for Antonio, long discussion with the director, he didn’t want to get to the bridge… Then the director shouted at me across the river: “We’re not shooting it!”, and although I’m not stupid and not that brave, but I just couldn’t help it: I rode my horse across the bridge to the other side and said: What, I didn’t understand… (both bawling) In short: It’s hard to take him too seriously .


This one was my favourite while I was looking for more on Berger.
From Brett Halsey’s biography:


Revisited “SABATA” (1969) yesterday… Lee Van Cleef and William Berger are priceless :+1:


I also watched it again recently after at least a 10 year gap … I’d forgotten just how damn stylish and theatrical it is, right from the beginning, even before we see LVC … the storm, flashes of lightning, a certain nervousness as the army guard the bank of Doherty … those familiar baritone voice artists (English dub) feel very reassuring … and then the title music kicks in … just great!

Although the film is a little draggy and repetitive at times, it just oozes style and fun … and it looks great, down to excellent photography by Alessandro Mancori, with costumes and sets (or set dressing) by Carlo Simi. It looks like it had a healthy budget, probably due to the involvement of producer Alberto Grimaldi and it’s international distributor, United Artists.

As a story it’s only worth about a 5 out of 10 … but the overall energy and talent involved rates it an 8 out of 10 :wink: Very happy I re-watched it.


Always had fond memories of Sabata. I believe it was the first non-Dollars Trilogy spag I watched. I think I loved Lee so much that I looked up what other stuff he’d been in, saw Sabata and thought “that looks cool”. So to this day Sabata and even Return of Sabata hold a special place in my heart.

My two favourite bits are the opening title sequence when that fantastic theme song comes on, and the bit where Banjo reveals his hidden banjo rifle contraption. I just remember thinking: “damn these Italians know how to make fun movies”.


Reading a little of Berger’s biography helps explain perhaps the bohemian countercultural outsider vibe he brought to so many of his roles.

“House of the Angels: Love Notes from the Asylum” covers the shocking and horrific events that have been outlined here and elsewhere already. But perhaps they merit recounting in a little more detail:

Following a raid on 4th August 1970, at 2 in the morning, on Berger’s Villa degli Angeli in Praiano, the police found 37 syringes, 3 pills, a vial of distilled water and 0.9 grams of cannabis in a snuff box.

The raid it seems was triggered by growing paranoia and suspicion amongst the local community of the new bohemians, combined with an insane, out of control official anti-drugs campaign. The outcome: William and his actress wife Carol Lobravico, and their seven guests, were thrown into asylums for the criminally insane (William in Naples, Carol in Pozzuoli).

Carol, already suffering from hepatitis (hence the medications) was tied to a bed for days, pleading for help as she developed peritonitis. On 16th September, the asylum’s medical director requested permission from the investigating judge to send her to the surgical centre of Poggioreale prison, but it did not happen.

Meanwhile, from his asylum in Naples, William repeatedly explained to the public prosecutor, through his lawyer, his wife’s ongoing and urgent need for hepatitis treatment.

On September 25th Carol was in agony, her condition critical, probably fatal. Not until October the 2nd was she taken to Cardarelli Hospital for surgery, but it was too late. She was moved to a ward for the terminally ill where William was allowed to visit her on the 9th October, just before she died on the 14th.

William was moved to a prison in Salerno and not released until March 1971.

It appears that all charges (such as they were) were eventually dropped.

Such a prolonged horrific experience must surely profoundly colour your attitude to authority and life in general.

Carol’s only film (as far as I know), made just before this incident, was Shadow of Illusion (Ombre Roventi) in which she appeared alongside her husband: Shadow of Illusion / Ombre Roventi - YouTube

She had an early involvement with the nomadic Living Theatre. I’m not sure whether William did also, but can believe he would have been in tune with its collectivist anarcho-pacifist ideals.


Looks like an interesting book.
Sadly, although the price is fine the postage costs makes it a non starter for me. 35 quid to post a book to the UK?!?
Pity, I would have liked to have it


There’s a copy on Amazon UK from a local seller for £30 and 3.50 pnp. Still a little rich for a book though IMO.

Managed to find the Donal O’Brien interview from Kessler’s old website:

Here’s his thoughts on Berger:

Donal remembers William Berger quite well, although he also had some problems with him. “This was a guy who had everything. He was handsome, knew how to act. He could have gone all the way to the top. But he got mixed up with drugs. I got a couple of parts because he was busy or he was arrested. When I made that Crea film, Berger had just been arrested because somebody had left drugs in his place, on the Costa Amalfi. His wife died in prison. I didn’t get along with him because he was too hippy or what they call it, and I’m square! I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, and that’s the way it is…But I knew so many psychedelic sophisticates in the early 1950s in Paris, that I just have my problems with them.”

Definitely makes me think Berger was supposed to have been Cassidy in Run Man Run.

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