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Curd Jürgens Poster

Biography

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Overview (5)

Born in Solln, Munich, Bavaria, Germany
Died in Vienna, Austria  (heart attack)
Birth NameCurd Gustav Andreas Gottlieb Franz Jürgens
Nickname The Norman Hulk
Height 6' 4" (1.93 m)

Mini Bio (1)

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. Of Franco-German parentage, Jürgens -- who was born during the closing days of the second year of the First World War -- would abandon the country of his birth after the end of World War II: Jürgens became an Austrian citizen in 1945 and lived part-time in France.

Jürgens entered the journalism profession after receiving his education, and married Louise Basler, an actress. Basler, the first of his five wives, encouraged him to switch careers and become an actor. He learned his new profession on the Vienna stage, which retained his loyalty even after he became an global film star. Jürgens was sent to a concentration camp for "political unreliables" in 1944, due to his anti-Nazi opinions. It was this experience in Nazi Germany that led him to become an Austrian citizen after the war.

His appearance in The Devil's General (1955) ("The Devil's General" (1955)), established him as a star of German cinema, and his role as Brigitte Bardot's older lover in Roger Vadim's ...And God Created Woman (1956) (And God Created Woman (1956)) made him an international star. Always interested in multilingual European actors with good looks and talent, Hollywood beckoned the 6' 4" Jürgens, casting him in The Enemy Below (1957) as a WWII German U-boat commander in a duel with American destroyer commander Robert Mitchum. He constantly was in demand to play Germany military officers (e.g., The Longest Day (1962), the most expensive black-and-white film ever made) -- indeed, his last role was as "The General" in the miniseries Smiley's People (1982) -- and Germanic villains (e.g., "Cornelius", the cowardly and treacherous trading company representative, in Lord Jim (1965)) for the rest of his life. One of his most famous roles in the English-language cinema was as the James Bond villain, "Karl Stromberg", in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977); it was Moore's favorite Bond film.

Jürgens considered himself primarily a stage actor and often performed on the Vienna stage. Though the world knew him as a cinema actor, he also directed several films and wrote several screenplays and an autobiography, "Sixty and Not Yet Wise" (1975). His death from a heart attack in 1982 in Vienna was front-page news across Austria and Germany.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Spouse (5)

Margie Schmitz (21 March 1978 - 18 June 1982) (his death)
Simone Bicheron (14 September 1958 - 1977) (divorced)
Eva Bartok (13 August 1955 - 1957) (divorced) (1 child)
Judith Holzmeister (16 October 1947 - 1955) (divorced)
Lulu Basler (15 June 1937 - 8 October 1947) (divorced)

Trade Mark (2)

Husky, yet rich, commanding voice.
Tall, bulky, imposing stature.

Trivia (21)

In 1987 his former wife, Hungarian-born actress Eva Bartok, claimed that their daughter, Deana Jurgens (b. 1957), was actually fathered by Frank Sinatra during a brief affair that Sinatra and Bartok had had in 1956.
In 1935 he had a severe car accident. Medics had to cut his spermatic cords, which resulted in a life-long infertility. His only child, Deana Jurgens was, as later revealed by her mother, Eva Bartok, not his own.
Born to a German father, a salesman from Hamburg, and a French mother, he had two older twin sisters.
Became naturalized citizen of Austria in 1945.
Owned several residences: in Saint Paul de Vence (France), Gstaad (Switzerland) and in the Bahamas.
Ranked #2 in a list by German tabloid "Bild" searching the men with the most sex-appeal ever (2005).
Ensemble member at the famous Vienna Burgtheater from 1940-53 and 1965-68.
Was interred in the Central Cemetery, Vienna.
Until his death in February 2015, he was the only actor to play the main villain in a "Bond" film starring Roger Moore to have died. He played Karl Stromberg in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). Christopher Lee, who played villain Francisco Scaramanga in Moore's Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), has also since died.
His acting teacher was Walter Janssen.
Began making international films in the mid-'50s, and continued in that genre until his death.
He first started out in Berlin to become a journalist, but his wife, actress Lulu Basler, convinced him to take up a career as an actor.
During the last days of World War II he tangled with the brother of high-ranking Gestapo official Ernst Kaltenbrunner, resulting in his being drafted into the army.
He died from a heart attack in 1982, but had suffered a heart attack several years previously. At that time he claimed he had a near-death experience and went to Hell.
During the war he was critical of the Adolf Hitler National Socialist regime. In 1944 he was sent to an internment camp in Hungary as a "political unreliable".
He came to Hollywood after appearing in the Brigitte Bardot hit ...And God Created Woman (1956).
Maintained a home in France, but frequently returned to Vienna to perform on stage.
Although he appeared in over 100 films, he considered himself primarily a stage actor.
His height (6'4") resulted in his being nicknamed "The Norman Hulk" by Brigitte Bardot while they were working on ...And God Created Woman (1956).
Like many multilingual German-speaking actors, he went on to play German soldiers--usually high-ranking officers--in innumerable World War II films. Among the best known was as a frustrated general in The Longest Day (1962).
He appeared in two films that depicted the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944: The Longest Day (1962) and Battle of the Commandos (1969). Wolfgang Preiss also appeared in both films.

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