Walter Kreye studied acting at the Bochum Drama School and performed in some of Germany's most prestigious theater companies after graduating. It wasn't until the 1980s, though, that Kreye decided to start acting in feature films and television, but he quickly racked up jobs, becoming one of the country's most recognizable television actors due to his roles on a number of popular cop shows. His performances on the crime programs "A Case for Two", the long-running "Polizeiruf 10", and "Der Dicke"--just to name a few--all helped make the actor a favorite with home viewers. In 2002, Kreye took over the lead role on the show "The Old Man", a police procedural running since 1976. Playing Chief Commissioner Rolf Herzog, Kreye replaced actor Rolf Schimpf who had played Detective Chief Inspector Kress before him. Some of Kreye's other notable work includes playing a tormented minister in the drama "The Temptation", starring in the acclaimed youth drama "Mondscheinkinder", and appearing in the coming-of-age drama "Nichts als Gespenster". In the summer of 2011, Kreye was diagnosed with colon cancer and was forced to put a halt to acting in "The Old Man", no doubt frustrating to the many fans of this serious and engaging actor.