Helmut Qualtinger (alt. sp. Helmuth Qualtinger) (8 October 1928 – 29 September 1986) was an Austrian actor, writer and cabaret performer.
Helmut Qualtinger was born in Vienna, Austria. He initially studied medicine, but quit university to become a newspaper reporter and film critic for local press, while beginning to write texts for cabaret performances and theater plays. Qualtinger debuted as an actor at a student theater and attended the Max Reinhardt Seminar as a guest student.
Beginning in 1947, he appeared in cabaret performances. In 1949, Qualtinger's first theatrical play, Jugend vor den Schranken, was staged in Graz. Up to 1960, Qualtinger collaborated on various cabaret programmes with the Namenlosen Ensemble made up of Gerhard Bronner, Carl Merz, Louise Martini, Peter Wehle, Georg Kreisler, and Michael Kehlmann.
Qualtinger was famous for his practical jokes. In 1951, he managed to launch a false report in several newspapers announcing a visit to Vienna of a (fictional) famous Inuit poet named Kobuk (author of "The Burning Igloo"). The reporters who assembled at the railway station however were to witness Qualtinger, in fur coat and cap, stepping from the train. Asked