Not all of them are my favorites!
From famous to not so famous!
Also celebs with German roots!
Actor, producer, writer, and director Til Schweiger
is Germany's best-known actor and also the country's most successful director. With more than 51 Million admissions no other German filmmaker drew more people to cinemas. He runs his own production company Barefoot Films based in Berlin, Germany...
Born in Berlin, Germany, in 1941, Jürgen Prochnow is a leading actor of the German stage and screen. He was memorable as the submarine captain in the gritty WW II film Das Boot
, which brought him to international prominence. He has since starred in many well-received European and Hollywood productions.
This director seems to shine most when making movies that can best be described as part action movies/part disaster movies. Beginning with Outbreak (1995) about the outbreak of a killer virus. This film had shades of an Irwin Allen disaster movie, The Swarm (1978), about the outbreak of killer bees. Both films had the military and scientists clash, also both had choppers all over the place...
Ralf Rudolf Moeller (born on 12. January 1959) is a German-American actor and former Mr. Universe. He is well-known for his roles as Brick Bardo in Cyborg, Kjartan in The Viking Sagas, as hero in the TV series "Conan the Adventurer", Hagen in Gladiator, Thorak in The Scorpion King and Ulfar in Pathfinder - The Legend of the Ghost Warrior...
Marie Magdelene Dietrich von Losch (aka Marlene) was born in Berlin, Germany on December 27, 1901. Her father was an army officer who had served in the Franco-Prussian War. Because of his constant absences from the family due to his army duties, Marlene and the rest had to rely on themselves. When he died...
Erich von Stroheim
Erich von Stroheim was born Erich Oswald Stroheim in 1885, in Vienna, Austria, to Johanna (Bondy), from Prague, and Benno Stroheim, a hatmaker from Gliwice, Poland. His family was Jewish. After spending some time working in his father's hat factory, he emigrated to America around 1909. Working in various jobs he arrived in Hollywood in 1914 and got work in D.W...
As a child, he produced a number of short films on Super 8 and video before beginning his studies as a film director in Munich and Vienna. He also studied literature and economics in Cologne and Siegen. Uwe graduated from university in 1995 with a doctorate in literature. From 1995-2000, he was a producer and director with Taunus Film-Produktions GmbH...
“ His movies are most *beep* ” - willi-beckenlehner
“ Great Producer of Germany! ” - willi-beckenlehner
Udo Kier was born October 14, 1944 in Cologne, Germany, during World War II. His entrance was just as dramatic as some of his roles. On the evening of his birth Udo's mother requested extra time with her new baby. The nurses had gathered all of the other babies and returned them to the nursery when the hospital was bombed...
German-born composer Hans Zimmer is recognized as one of Hollywood's most innovative musical talents. He featured in the music video for The Buggles' single "Video Killed the Radio Star", which became a worldwide hit and helped usher in a new era of global entertainment as the first music video to be aired on MTV (August 1, 1981)...
“ Composer with Oscar for the Lion King! ” - willi-beckenlehner
He studied at the College of Technical Sciences of Vienna's Academy of Graphic Arts but unhappy with the career path chosen for him by his parents, he ran away to study art in Munich and Paris. He then spent many years travelling the world including Asia. In 1913, he returned to Paris to paint. When World War I began...
Eric Braeden is a German actor in America who began his career playing Nazis and eventually became a star of daytime soap operas. Born Hans Gudegast in Kiel, Germany, during the Second World War, he was a superb athlete who excelled in track-and-field events. As a teenager, he immigrated to the United States and worked in Texas and Montana as a translator...
Daniel Brühl was born in Barcelona, Spain. His father was German TV director Hanno Brühl
(1937-2010), who was born in São Paulo, Brazil. His Spanish mother was a teacher. He also has a brother and a sister, Oliver and Miriam. Shortly after his birth, his family moved to Cologne, Germany, where he grew up and attended the Dreikönigsgymnasium...
Diane Kruger was born Diane Heidkrüger in Algermissen, near Hildesheim, Germany, to Maria-Theresa, a bank employee, and Hans-Heinrich Heidkrüger, a computer specialist. She studied ballet with the Royal Ballet in London before an injury ended her career. She returned to Germany and became a top fashion model...
Franka Potente was born on 22 July 1974 in the German town of Dülmen, to Hildegard, a medical assistant, and Dieter Potente, a teacher. After her graduation in 1994, she went to the Otto-Falckenberg-Schule, a drama school in Munich, but soon broke off to study at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York...
Marianne Sägebrecht, aka, "mother of Munich's sub-culture", a name that was dubbed to her while she was working as a producer and performer in avant garde theater productions, was discovered by Percy Adlon
in 1977. The director gave her a minor part in his feature "The Swing" before he gave her the leading role of Marianne...
Matthias Hues was born on Valentine's Day in Waltrop, Germany, to the late Dr. Josef Hues and Maria Humperdinck Hues who still resides in Germany. Maria is the niece of Engelbert Humperdinck
, composer of the opera Hansel and Gretel. Matthias was very involved in sports from an early age on. By the time he...
“ Was born in Vienna! Is an German/Austrian! ” - willi-beckenlehner
Klaus Kinski was born Klaus Günter Karl Nakszynski in Zoppot, Free City of Danzig (now Sopot, Poland), to Susanne (Lutze), a nurse, and Bruno Nakszynski, a pharmacist. He grew up in Berlin, was drafted into the German army in 1944 and captured by British forces in Holland. After the war he began acting on the stage...
Benno Fürmann was born on 17 January 1972 in Berlin, Germany and worked as a waiter, bouncer and drifter before attending acting lessons at the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York. After returning to Germany, he played several minor parts in movie and television projects until his breakthrough performance in Die Bubi Scholz Story
Alexandra Maria Lara
Born on 12 November 1978 in Bucharest, Romania, Alexandra Maria Lara
fled to Germany with her parents when she was four and half years old. After graduating at the French High School, she studied acting at the Theaterwerkstatt Charlottenburg from 1997 and 2000, but had already played leading characters in several TV shows and movies such as Die Bubi Scholz Story
“ Born in Romania, German-Citizienship! ” - willi-beckenlehner
At thirteen years, German-born and raised Hardy Kruger became a member of the "Hitler Jugend" (Hitler Youth), as did all 13-year-old boys in Germany then. The purpose of the organization was to prepare the boys for military service. At age 15, Hardy made his film debut in a German picture (Junge Adler
Hildegard Frieda Albertine Knef was born on December 28, 1925 in Ulm, Germany. In 1940, she began studying acting. Even before the fall of the Third Reich, she appeared in several films, but most of them were only released after the war. To avoid being raped by Soviet soldiers, she dressed like a young man and was sent to a camp for prisoners of war...
This gorgeous Teutonic temptress was one of Hollywood's most captivating imports of the 1960s. Blonde and beautiful, Berlin-born Elke Sommer, with her trademark pouty lips, high cheekbones and sky-high bouffant hairdos, proved irresistible to American audiences, whether adorned in lace or leather, or donning lingerie or lederhosen...
Heidi Klum was born in Bergisch Gladbach, a small city near Cologne, Germany, in 1973. Her career as a top fashion model and swimsuit star began almost by accident when, on a lark, she submitted photos to a model competition hosted by Petra, a young woman's magazine. Klum won the competition, and signed with Metropolitan...
Josef Sommer is a classically trained stage actor who has also been a prolific performer in films. He made his debut at the age of nine in a production of "Watch on the Rhine" with the Carolina Playmakers in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He trained as an actor at the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford...
Michael Fassbender was born in Heidelberg, Germany, to a German father, Josef, and an Irish mother, Adele (originally from Larne, County Antrim, in Northern Ireland). Michael was raised in the town of Killarney, Co. Kerry, in south-west Ireland, where his family moved to when he was two years old. His parents ran a restaurant (his father is a chef)...
“ German Dad and Irish Mom! ” - willi-beckenlehner
was born on July 4, 1990 in Bargteheide, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany next to Hamburg. He attended Eckhorst High School in Bargteheide till 2007. In this period, he first appears in the German movie Help, I'm a Boy!
. He also receives his first leading role in the movie Tough Enough
directed by Detlev Buck
Born in Munich in 1969, Gedeon was raised bilingual (English & German). He was sent to boarding school in England at the age of 8 and transferred to American high school at the age of 12. Gedeon starred in his first movie (Aunt Maria) when he was 10, his second lead role followed one year later in the American / German co-production Blood and Honor (3 part mini series) as Hartmut Keller...
Wolf Kahler is a German born character actor who, thanks to his height (6'2") and blue eyes was often cast as a Nazi or unsympathetic German characters in his career. He has appeared in several successful franchises (Indiana Jones, The Dirty Dozen), both playing a Nazi officer named Dietrich, and most recently was cast as Dr. Hoffmanstahl in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.
Norbert Weisser, born in Neu-Isenburg Germany, came to Los Angeles in the late 60s and began acting in the LA Experimental theatre scene of the 60s and 70s. He became a founding member of the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, the ProVisional Theatre and the Padua Hills Playwrights' Festival where he originated...
A tall, German actor with a constant villainous and cunning gaze in his eyes is Reiner Schone. Born in Germany on January 19, 1942, Reiner studied acting at the German National Theatre Weimar. He started his acting career in the '60s and since then has enjoyed his share of longevity in television and film...
“ Cameos in The Zookeeper and Sister Act 2! ” - willi-beckenlehner
Philip Wiegratz was born in Germany on 17 February 1993, he is famous for portraying Augustus Gloop in the 2005 film adaptation Charlie and the Charlie Factory, he is also famous for his roles in German and English-language films, he has been in film adaptations of German and English-language children's books.
Matthias Schweighöfer is considered one of the most promising young German actors. Born into a family of actors, he soon knew he belonged in front of a camera, too. His parents, the theatre actors Gitta Schweighöfer
and Michael Schweighöfer
, often took him to some of their rehearsals, so he later participated in his high school's drama group in Chemnitz...
Bruno Ganz debuted at the theatre in 1961 and gained there a good reputation as a solid, young actor. In 1970 he founded with Peter Stein
the theatre company "Schaubuehne" of Berlin. His debut at the movies was early and unsuccessful during the decade of 1960. His talent as a reflexive actor with tendencies towards introspection was widely known after Summer Guests
Luise Rainer, the first thespian to win back-to-back Oscars, was born on January 12, 1910 in Dusseldorf, Germany, into a prosperous Jewish family. Her parents were Emilie (Königsberger) and Heinrich Rainer, a businessman. She took to the stage, and plied her craft on the boards in Germany. As a young actress...
Sandra Annette Bullock was born in Arlington, a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. Her mother, Helga Bullock
(née Helga Mathilde Meyer), was a German opera singer. Her father, John W. Bullock, was an American voice teacher, who was born in Alabama, of Irish, English, French, and German descent. Sandra grew up on the road with her parents and younger sister...
“ American Dad and German Mom! ” - willi-beckenlehner
Actor and musician Bruce Willis is well known for playing wisecracking or hard-edged characters, often in spectacular action films. Collectively, he has appeared in films that have grossed in excess of $2.5 billion USD, placing him in the top ten stars in terms of box office receipts. Walter Bruce Willis was born on March 19...
“ Was born in Germany to an American Dad and a German Mom! ” - willi-beckenlehner
Director. Writer. Producer. Has studied history, literature and theatre, but hasn't finished it. Founded his own production company in 1963. Has staged several operas, besides others in Bayreuth, Germany, and at the Milan Scala in Italy. Herzog has won numerous national and international awards for his films.
Eric Bana was born Eric Banadinovic on August 9, 1968, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He is the younger of two brothers. His father, named Ivan Banadinovic, came from Zagreb, Croatia, and worked as a manager for Caterpillar Inc. His mother, named Eleanor Banadinovic, came from a German family and was a hairdresser...
“ Father from Croatia and Mom from Germany!
Born in Australia! ” - willi-beckenlehner
Peter Strauss has focused on theater for the last few years. He recently performed the role of Leonardo da Vinci in "Divine Rivalry" at Hartford Stage, Ben Bradlee in "Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers" for the New York Theater Workshop, Sigmund Freud in "Sabina" for Primary Stages and in "The Outgoing Tide" as an Alzheimer's patient for the Delaware Theater and Primary Stages in NY...
“ His Grandpa was from Germany! ” - willi-beckenlehner
Katherine Marie Heigl was born on November 24, 1978 in Washington, D.C., to Nancy Heigl
(née Engelhardt), a personnel manager, and Paul Heigl, an accountant and executive. Her father is of German/Swiss-German and Irish descent, and her mother is of German ancestry. A short time after her birth, the family moved to New Canaan...
“ Her Grandpa was from Germany! ” - willi-beckenlehner
Few actors in the world have had a career quite as diverse as Leonardo DiCaprio's. DiCaprio has gone from relatively humble beginnings, as a supporting cast member of the sitcom Growing Pains
and low budget horror movies, such as Critters 3
, to a major teenage heartthrob in the 1990s, as the hunky lead actor in movies such as Romeo + Juliet
“ American Dad and German Mom! ” - willi-beckenlehner
From Ernst Lubitsch's experiences in Sophien Gymnasium (high school) theater, he decided to leave school at the age of 16 and pursue a career on the stage. He had to compromise with his father and keep the account books for the family tailor business while he acted in cabarets and music halls at night...
Film director Douglas Sirk, whose reputation blossomed in the generation after his 1959 retirement from Hollywood filmmaking, was born Hans Detlef Sierck on April 26, 1897, in Hamburg, Germany, to a journalist. Both of his parents were Danish, and the future director would make movies in German, Danish and English...
Dirk Benedict was born in Montana on March 1st, 1945. He was raised in the country, far away from anything connected with movies or acting. He gathered his first experiences in acting (on a dare) in a college production of "Showboat" where he got the main part. His father, a lawyer, died when Dirk was 18...
“ His Grandpa was from Germany! ” - willi-beckenlehner
Curd Jürgens (commonly billed as "Curt Jurgens" in anglophone countries) was one of the most successful European film actors of the 20th Century. He was born Curd Gustav Andreas Gottlieb Franz Jürgens on December 13, 1915, in Solln, Bavaria, in Hohenzollern Imperial Germany, a subject of Kaiser Wilhelm II
Boris Frederic Cecil Tay-Natey Ofuatey-Kodjoe, better known as Boris Kodjoe, is a German actor known for his roles as Jason in the 2000 film Love & Basketball
, and the sports-courier agent Damon Carter on the Showtime drama series Soul Food
. Kodjoe was born in Vienna, Austria, the son of Ursula...
Kirsten Caroline Dunst is an American actress, who also holds German citizenship. She was born on April 30, 1982 in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, to parents Inez (née Rupprecht), who owned an art gallery, and Klaus Dunst, a medical services executive. She has a younger brother named Christian Dunst
, born in 1987...
Kurt Russell is an American actor. His first roles were as a child in television series, including a lead role in the Western series The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters (1963-64). In the late 1960s, he signed a ten-year contract with The Walt Disney Company, where, according to Robert Osborne, he became the studio's top star of the 1970s...
Nervous-looking lead and supporting actor of the American stage and films, with sandy colored hair, pale complexion and a somewhat nervous disposition. He won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Deer Hunter
, and has been seen in mostly supporting roles, often portraying psychologically unstable characters...
David Hasselhoff has become one of the most recognizable faces on television and throughout the world. Aside from starring in Knight Rider
, he is also an accomplished singer and popular recording artist. David Michael Hasselhoff was born on July 17, 1952 in Baltimore, Maryland...
Nick Nolte was born in Omaha, Nebraska, to Helen (King) and Franklin Arthur Nolte, who worked in irrigation pump sales. He has German and British Isles ancestry. Nolte began his career on stage at the Pasadena (California) Playhouse and in regional theatre productions. His breakthrough role was in the TV mini-series Rich Man, Poor Man
Considered by many critics to be the greatest living actress, Meryl Streep has been nominated for the Academy Award an astonishing 19 times, and has won it three times. Meryl was born Mary Louise Streep in 1949 in Summit, New Jersey, to Mary Wolf (Wilkinson), a commercial artist, and Harry William Streep...
A small-town guy with a big heart, William Fichtner has been captivating the hearts of Western New Yorkers for decades. Bill was born in 1956 on Long Island, New York, to Patricia A. (Steitz) and William E. Fichtner. He is of German, Irish, and English descent. Fichtner was raised in Cheektowaga, and graduated from Maryvale High School in 1974...
Originally from Wellington, New Zealand, Karl Urban now lives in Auckland. Born on June 7, 1972, he is the son of a leather-goods manufacturer (who had hoped that Karl would follow in his footsteps). His first acting role was when he was 8 -- he had a line on a television series. However, he did not act again until after high school...
Uma Karuna Thurman was born in Boston, Massachusetts, into a highly unorthodox and Eurocentric family. She is the daughter of Nena Thurman
(née Birgitte Caroline von Schlebrügge), a fashion model and socialite who now runs a mountain retreat, and of Robert Thurman
(Robert Alexander Farrar Thurman)...
“ German Grandpa! ” - willi-beckenlehner
Chloë Grace Moretz
Chloë Grace Moretz was born in Atlanta, Georgia, to Teri (Duke), a nurse, and McCoy Lee Moretz, a plastic surgeon. She has four brothers, all older, including actor Trevor Duke-Moretz
. Her ancestry is mostly German and English. Chloë's first two appearances were as Violet in two episodes of the series The Guardian
Born in Heidelberg; a curious and shy boy; found the key for his world through passion for music, dance and theater; Richard studied music and drama in Germany, acting and direction in France and method acting with Susan Strasberg and Francesca de Sapio in Italy. He first went on stage in 1981 at the local theater Hildesheim...
Tall, portly built German born actor (and talented violinist) who notched up over 100 film appearances, predominantly in German-language productions. He will forever be remembered by Western audiences as the bombastic megalomaniac "Auric Goldfinger" trying to kill Sean Connery
and irradiate the vast US gold reserves within Fort Knox in the spectacular "James Bond" film Goldfinger