Tappert died in a Munich clinic in southern Germany on Saturday, the magazine said, quoting his wife Ursula. The cause of death was not given.
“Derrick,” a series in Germany which ran from 1973 to 1997, solved his cases through cold reasoning rather than brute force. Suspects usually confessed their guilt after the tall and quiet German police inspector, with owlish glasses, assisted by sidekick Harry Klein, had
built watertight cases against them.
The cult series, which drew fans as far afield as Australia, China and South Africa, was televised in 281 episodes of 60 minutes each, a Friday evening staple for many years in Germany.
Born in the Rhineland in 1923, Tappert was conscripted into the German army during World War II and held prisoner for a short time after the war. After briefly working as an accountant, he started his acting career in the theatre before moving on to films and television in the late 1950s.
In one of his last interviews in May, Tappert told Bunte that he liked the peace and quiet of retirement.
“I value just being alone with my wife. I don’t really see old colleagues anymore, most of them are already dead. I’ll be joining them soon,” he said.