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Marthe Keller Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (14) | Personal Quotes (4)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 28 January 1945Basel, Switzerland
Height 5' 8" (1.73 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Marthe Keller was born on January 28, 1945 in Basel, Switzerland. She studied ballet as a child but stopped after a skiing accident at age 16. She changed to acting, and worked in Berlin at the Schiller Theatre and the Berliner Ensemble.

Keller's earliest film appearances were in Funeral in Berlin (1966) (uncredited) and the German film Wilder Reiter GmbH (1967). She appeared in a series of French films in the 1970s, including Un cave (1972), La raison du plus fou (1973) and And Now My Love (1974). Her most famous American film appearances are her Golden Globe-nominated performance as Dustin Hoffman's girlfriend in Marathon Man (1976) and her performance as an Arab terrorist who leads an attack on the Super Bowl in Black Sunday (1977). Keller also acted with William Holden in Billy Wilder's romance drama Fedora (1978). She appeared alongside Al Pacino in the auto racing film Bobby Deerfield (1977). Her later films included Oci ciornie (1987), with Marcello Mastroianni.

Keller has appeared in Europe and America in plays, directed opera and as a speaker on classical music in the last twenty years. For example, in 2001, Keller appeared in a Broadway adaptation of Abby Mann's play "Judgment at Nuremberg" as Mrs. Bertholt (the role played by Marlene Dietrich in the 1961 Stanley Kramer film version). She was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Featured Actress for this performance.

In addition to her work in film and theatre, Keller has developed a career in classical music as a speaker and opera director. She has performed the speaking role of Joan of Arc in the oratorio "Jeanne d'Arc au Bûcher of Arthur Honegger" on several occasions, with conductors such as Seiji Ozawa and Kurt Masur. She has recorded the role for Deutsche Grammophon with Ozawa (DG 429 412-2). Keller has also recited the spoken role in Igor Stravinsky's "Perséphone". She has performed classical music melodramas for speaker and piano in recital. The Swiss composer Michael Jarrell wrote the melodrama "Cassandre", after the novel of Christa Wolf, for Keller, who gave the world premiere in 1994.

Keller's first production as an opera director was "Dialogues des Carmélites", for Opéra National du Rhin, in 1999. This production subsequently received a semi-staged performance in London that year. She has also directed "Lucia di Lammermoor" for the Washington National Opera and for the Los Angeles Opera. Her directorial debut at the Metropolitan Opera was in a 2004 production of "Don Giovanni". Keller has one son, Alexandre (born 1971), from her relationship with director Philippe de Broca.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Marthe Keller

Trivia (14)

Has one son with Philippe de Broca: Alexandre (born 1971).
She has been directing operas since 1999.
Was nominated for Broadway's Tony Award as Best Actress (Featured Role - Play) for "Judgment at Nuremberg" (2001).
Member of the 'Official Competition' jury at the 30th Cannes International Film Festival in 1977.
French Critics' Award for the best stage performance as Sheila in Peter Nichols' play "A Day in the Death of Joe Egg" (1970).
Modeled to pay the rent while studying to become an actress.
Received formal training at the Stanislavsky School in Munich.
Studied ballet as a child but stopped after a skiing accident at age 16. Changed to acting and worked in Berlin at the Schiller Theatre and the Berliner Ensemble.
Kicked off the film career of Jessica Chastain, by recommending her to Al Pacino. He says she told him, "There's this girl at Juilliard." He then cast Chastain in his play "Salome" and his long-awaited epic film Salomé (2013).
President of the 'Un Certain Regard' jury at the 69th Cannes International Film Festival in 2016.
President of the 'Caméra d'Or' jury at the 47th Cannes International Film Festival in 1994.
Member of the 'Caméra d'Or' jury at the 55th Cannes International Film Festival in 2002.
Won the Grand Prix de la Critique for her stage direction of Francis Poulenc's "Dialogue des Carmélites" in 1999.
Replaced Dominique Sanda in The Formula after George C Scott complained that he couldn't understand Dominique's thick French accent.

Personal Quotes (4)

One evening, a 35-year-old woman in tennis shoes and an old sweater rang the doorbell, stuck a foot in the door and said: "I want to kill you - your son, as well!" The cops arrested her - and told me she wasn't dangerous. I replied: "That woman had a gun. Next time, I'll phone you after I'm dead." I later learned she was a frustrated actress.
[on her role in Marathon Man (1976)] You know, when I got the script, when I read the book, it was a kind of Mata Hari [role]. Though I think it's more interesting to have only a real relationship between persons. And I think Dustin Hoffman is too intelligent to have only a very beautiful lady. She must have something else. Not only beautiful, you know what I mean? And we changed it. We wrote other scenes. And it changed. We get enough of relationship. And now I like it. I like it well, this part.
[on her role in Marathon Man (1976)] Once you have unfortunately an accent, which everybody knows I have, you get those kind of parts, which are sometimes a little bit the villain parts. Those characters are very interesting to play, like Lady Macbeth. But after a while, I stopped. I don't want it anymore. I don't want to be a bad girl. I'm not a bad girl - I'm blond. [laughs]
[on 'Un Certain Regard' at the Cannes Film Festival] In a first film, as in any first time, there is a purity, an astonishment that is never to be found again, an irrepressible desire to show us and to tell us something. [2016]

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