Filmgoers familiar with the work of Rainer Werner Fassbinder will certainly know Günther Kaufmann, who has died of a heart attack aged 64. Kaufmann had parts great and small in more than a dozen of the prolific German director's movies. He was what the Germans call a "Besatzungskind", one of the many children born between 1945 and 1949 as a result of relationships between German women and American soldiers. Kaufmann's black GI father, whom he never knew, returned to the Us before he was born in Munich. According to Fassbinder: "Günther thinks Bavarian, feels Bavarian and speaks Bavarian. And that's why he gets a shock every morning when he looks in the mirror." Kaufmann, whom Fassbinder always called "my Bavarian negro", played an important role in his life.
They first met in the autumn of 1969 on the set of Volker Schlöndorff's television film of Baal,