The Derrick actor passed away on Saturday in Munich, after a long battle from a diabetes ailment, his wife Ursula said.
Tappert was most famous for starring in the television detective series, which was aired in 108 countries from 1974 until 1998 - when Tappert reached his self-imposed age limit of 75 for being a TV actor.
His wife tells Bunte magazine, "It's sad but he had an exciting life. My husband was well and in high spirits until recently. But in the last few days his condition visibly worsened."
Tappert, whose son died in 2001 from organ failure, is survived by his wife, as well as another son and a daughter.