May 10, 1958
December 24, 1988 (Age 30)
|Behind the scenes|
Killed by John McClane
- ""They're using artillery on us!""
Fritz was a German terrorist employed by Hans Gruber to be one of his bodyguards during their takeover of the Nakatomi Plaza building. Like Franco, he was a very reliable and trusted terrorist that was present during several attempts to kill John McClane for much of the film, and was one of the last terrorists to die.
Fritz is hired along with a crew of about a dozen henchmen to rob the Nakatomi building in Los Angeles of its $640 million dollars in negotiable bearer bonds. The plan was cooked up by Fritz’s temporary employer, Hans Gruber, and seemed simple enough to pull off. Take hostages, steal the loot, and escape after blowing up the roofof the building. The police will think the bad guys were killed in the explosion, and they certainly won't wonder why the roof spontaneously blew up in the first place.
Fritz was among the terrorists to arrive in the Nakatomi Plaza by the Pacific Courier truck they use to transport them to the building. He accompanied Hans and many others to the 30th floor, where they took over the floor. He was present when Marco forces out two Nakatomi executives making out in one of the unoccupied offices. Fritz then looked in the office of Harry Ellis with James and found no one there.
While Hans was making a speech to the hostages about the death of CEO Joe Takagi and that they are in charge, Fritz was the first man in Hans' group to see Tony Vreski‘s body in the elevator and warns Hans about it. He asked him if it was the security guard they missed, but Hans knows this is someone more than a security guard. Fritz says that they have to do something and Hans says Fritz has to tell Karl Vreski that his brother is dead and orders to have him come down, which Fritz tells Karl through the radio. Then Hans orders Fritz and Franco to take Tony's corpse upstairs and out of sight to the hostages so they don't think anything of it.
During the heist, Fritz frequently worked with Karl and Franco in their effort to kill their intruder, later identified as John McClane. Fritz passed on the missiles from the 35th floor to James. Then when several explosions occurred in the 3rd floor where James and Alexander were, he assumed the police are using artillery to hit them, but Hans called him an idiot and coldly announced that it was actually their intruder. He was present when Hans killed Ellis when McClane refused to hand over the detonators. Later on, as they received a radio call from Hans to get to the 33rd floor, Fritz, along with Karl and Franco, came out of the elevator to spring the ambush, but he was shot multiple times in the chest and upper torso by McClane's stolen MP5 submachine gun, killing Fritz. He was the sixth terrorist killed by McClane.
- "It's Tony!"
- "A security guard we missed?"
- "We have to do something, Hans."
- "They're using artillery on us!"
- "Wir sind im Heizenhaus, unter dem Dach." ("We are in the boiler room, under the roof.")
- For the character's death scene, the original actor Hans Buhringer was not on set that day of filming. Instead, the filmmakers opted for Native American stuntman Henry Kingi to double for the character's fatality while wearing a wig. As a result, Buhringer joked that he never really died in the film. For more details, see here.
- At one point, during the scene where Fritz runs into the room where Hans was, Buhringer was supposed to say, “Hey, they’re using the artillery on us!” But he said, “Hey, they’re using the elderly on us!” Everyone laughed for almost ten minutes.