Gunter Sachs: The Last Playboy

“The golden age when an elite breed of professional pleasure seekers fascinated the world is over. We were charming and spoke languages and behaved well with women” – Sachs.

To be able to fully explain or interpret the phenomenon that was Sachs, one has to dwell a bit deeper into extraordinary playboys of the 50’s and the 60’s. Including Race car drivers, royalties and presidents, they were the self-proclaimed elite breed of pleasure seekers with unmatched wealth. It was around this time that jets started to fly international and this in combination with the absence of paparazzi and internet paved the way for the Playboys to have a far greater impact on the world than any actor could hope to have today.

Gunter himself was the scion of the Opel Motor Dynasty, boasting that he had “never worked a day in his life” and during his active year he was a constant feature in international gossip magazines. The vivid art collector won the national championship in 1958 and also dabbled in amateur photography, something that he proved to have a talent in.

“Sexy Sachs” acquired his international celebrity status through relationships with different distinct women around the world, such as the earlier Queen of Iran, Soraya Esfandiary-Bakhtiari, and then later of course Brigitte Bardot. Sachs first met Bardot in St. Tropez in May of 1966. Brigitte was sipping champagne in a lounge, accompanied by a few lady friends, when she first laid her eyes upon the German Playboy. Later she said of the meeting: “I thought he was magnificent, I was hypnotized… he had the same Rolls as me! The same model, the same color, in fact, the same everything”.

The very next day Gunter arranged for a helicopter to drop a ton of roses over the actress’s Cote D’Azur home. As expected it worked out exceptionally well and the couple got married in Vegas only two months later. The honeymoon was spent in Tahiti and Gunter later said: “To go with a girl to Tahiti was incredible and something unheard of. Now everybody goes to Tahiti.” The marriage would prove to be short-lived with both spouses being unfaithful several times. Gunter, however, never ever seized to madly love Brigitte.

His art collection was nothing short of incredible, even featuring portraits of himself painted by Warhol. Warhol and Sachs met in St. Tropez and became lifelong friends, with Sachs presenting one of Warhol’s first large exhibitions in Europe. Curiously enough, the exhibition was a disaster and Sachs ended up secretly buying half of the presented work. The art collection fetched over 35 million pounds when sold at Sotheby’s.

Gunter committed suicide in his chalet in Gstaad and he stated in his suicide letter that loosing mental control wasn’t fitting for a man of his importance. This was the end to an era of which the like we will never see again.