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Christoph Waltz Poster

Biography

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Overview (2)

Date of Birth 4 October 1956Vienna, Austria
Height 5' 7" (1.7 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Christoph Waltz was born in Vienna, Austria, to Elisabeth Urbancic, an Austrian-born costume designer, and Johannes Waltz, a German-born stage builder. He has 3 siblings. He was born into a theater family, as his maternal grandmother was Viennese Burgtheater actress Maria Mayen, and his step-grandfather was fellow Burgtheater actor Emmerich Reimers. His maternal grandfather, Rudolf von Urban, was a psychologist and psychiatrist who wrote the 1949 book "Sex Perfection and Marital Happiness".

Waltz attended the Theresianium and Billrothstrasse in Vienna. Upon graduation, he attended the Max-Reinhardt-Seminar before going to New York to the Lee Strasberg Institute. While in New York, Christoph met his first wife, and moved back to Vienna, then to London.

During the 80s, Christoph worked primarily in theater, commuting from his home in London to Germany. Slowly he began to work in TV, taking one-off roles on series, and TV movies. Film roles soon followed, however, attempts to break into English-speaking film and TV were unsuccessful. Christoph has stated he is grateful to have made a living and supported his family through acting. For thirty years he worked steadily, tirelessly, in this manner.

It was not until he met Quentin Tarantino that his career in Hollywood took off. The role of Colonel Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds (2009) catapulted Christoph from a lifetime working in German TV/film to the new life of an international superstar and Academy Award-winning actor. He won 27 awards for his performance as Hans Landa, including the Cannes prix d'interpretation Masculin for 2009, the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor, the BAFTA Best Supporting Actor award, and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (which he won again for 2012's Django Unchained (2012)).

Christoph resides in Berlin and Los Angeles. His wife is costume builder Judith Holste.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: www.ChristophWaltzFans.com

Christoph Waltz is an Austrian-German actor. He is best known for his works with American filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, receiving acclaim for portraying SS-Standartenführer Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds (2009) and bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained (2012). For each performance, he won an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. Additionally, he received the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his portrayal of Landa.

He also portrayed computer genius Qohen Leth in the film The Zero Theorem (2013), American plagiarist Walter Keane in the biographical film Big Eyes (2014), and 007's nemesis and head of SPECTRE Ernst Stavro Blofeld in Spectre (2015).

In Quentin Tarantino's 2009 film Inglourious Basterds, Waltz portrayed SS-Standartenführer Hans Landa, aka "The Jew Hunter". Clever, courteous, and multilingual - but also self-serving, cunning, implacable, and murderous.

Waltz played gangster Benjamin Chudnofsky in The Green Hornet (2011), that same year, he starred in Water for Elephants and Roman Polanski's Carnage. He played German bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained (2012), a role Tarantino wrote specifically for Waltz.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Pedro Borges

Spouse (2)

Judith Holste (? - present) (1 child)
Jackie (? - ?) (divorced) (3 children)

Trade Mark (6)

Frequently works with Quentin Tarantino.
Often plays charming but sinister characters
Polyglotism
Characters often explain their motivations or opinions through long (usually humor-filled) speeches
Deep silky voice
Soft Austrian accent

Trivia (28)

Is fluent in English, French and German. Is skilled at mimicking Italian speech.
Made his stage debut at the Schauspielhaus in Zurich (1982).
Is divorced from his first wife, Jackie, a psychotherapist. They have three adult children: Miriam, Leon and Rachel.
Studied acting at the Max Reinhardt-Seminar in Vienna and the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute in New York.
Son of set designers Elisabeth Urbancic and Johannes Waltz.
His grandparents were actors.
His son from his first marriage is a rabbi, a daughter from his first marriage is an architect.
Lives in London, but his longtime companion, costume designer Judith Holste, and their daughter live in Berlin.
Is one of 11 actors to have won the Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Critics' Choice Award, Golden Globe Award and SAG Award for the same performance. The others in chronological order are Geoffrey Rush for Shine (1996), Jamie Foxx for Ray (2004), Philip Seymour Hoffman for Capote (2005), Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland (2006), Javier Bardem for No Country for Old Men (2007), Daniel Day-Lewis for There Will Be Blood (2007) and Lincoln (2012), Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight (2008), Colin Firth for The King's Speech (2010), Christopher Plummer for Beginners (2010), and J.K. Simmons for Whiplash (2014).
Was originally cast as Sigmund Freud in A Dangerous Method (2011), but dropped out of the project in order to film Water for Elephants (2011). Viggo Mortensen was later cast instead.
The first and, thus far, only actor to win an Oscar for acting in a Quentin Tarantino film. He received Best Supporting Actor for both Inglourious Basterds (2009) and Django Unchained (2012).
His first wife, Jackie, was from New York and Jewish.
Despite being born in Austria, he was born with German citizenship (and kept it all his life) since his father was German.
Is one of four consecutive Oscar winners in the Best Supporting Actor category whose name begins with Chris, the other actors being Christian Bale and Christopher Plummer. Waltz won twice.
Counts Federico Fellini's (1963) as one of his all-time favorite films, having seen it numerous times since his teens.
Both his Oscar-winning performances were directed by Quentin Tarantino. This makes him one of four actors to win two Oscars under the same person's direction. The other three are: Walter Brennan for Come and Get It (1936) and The Westerner (1940) (both directed by William Wyler), Jack Nicholson for Terms of Endearment (1983) and As Good as It Gets (1997) (both directed by James L. Brooks) and Dianne Wiest for Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and Bullets Over Broadway (1994) (both directed by Woody Allen).
As of 2013, he is only one of 6 actors who have a 2-0 winning record when nominated for an acting Oscar. The others are Luise Rainer for The Great Ziegfeld (1936) and The Good Earth (1937); Vivien Leigh for Gone with the Wind (1939) and A Streetcar Named Desire (1951); Helen Hayes for The Sin of Madelon Claudet (1931) and Airport (1970); Kevin Spacey for The Usual Suspects (1995) and American Beauty (1999); and Hilary Swank for Boys Don't Cry (1999) and Million Dollar Baby (2004).
Is the only Austrian actor (born in Vienna) to win two Oscars.
He and Marcia Gay Harden are the only two actors to win an Oscar without receiving a SAG nomination for the same performance.
He loves opera. His favorite opera composer is Donizetti.
His stepfather Alexander Steinbrecher had previously been the stepfather of director Michael Haneke by his marriage to actress Beatrix Degenschild.
In 2013, he won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Quentin Tarantino's anti-slavery western Django Unchained (2012), where he plays a bounty hunter who opposes the enslavement of the blacks. The next year, he presented the Best Supporting Actress Oscar to Lupita Nyong'o, who won for her performance as a slave in Steve McQueen's anti-slavery drama 12 Years a Slave (2013). In addition to this, his Oscar for Django was presented to him by Supporting Actress winner Octavia Spencer, who had been awarded the previous year for her performance in The Help (2011), focused on the racism against blacks.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6667 Hollywood Boulevard on December 1, 2014.
He is the first actor to appear in the James Bond franchise to have won two Academy Awards.
He played the small part of a 'German spy' in the British TV-Movie Goldeneye (1989) about the life of James Bond creator Ian Fleming. Waltz was an unknown actor then. Fleming was played by Charles Dance. 26 years later Waltz would appear in Spectre (2015) in the iconic role of James Bond's greatest villain: 'Ernst Stavro Blofeld'.
Along with Christopher Walken in A View To A Kill (1985) and Javier Bardem (in Skyfall (2012)), he is one of three Oscar-winning actors to play a main Bond villain. Benicio Del Toro, who appeared in Licence to Kill (1989) as a henchman of the main villain, won his Oscar after appearing in the Bond film.
Similar to Robin Williams, most of the villainous characters Waltz has played have been clean-shaven, while most of the protagonists he has played have sported beards or some form of facial hair.
He is the grandchild of the actress Maria Mayen.

Personal Quotes (18)

[on working in Hollywood] In Europe, everybody would say, "Well, they just want to squeeze you like a lemon." Well, yeah! But, you know, if I have the juice, why shouldn't they?
[on being typecast] Nobody's talking about that. I get interest coming my way from many different directions. I'd hate to pigeon-hole myself. The variety is what's interesting.
I know what I can contribute. And that's a very limited, very specific unit, whether it's a big movie, a small movie, a German movie, an American movie. That's the advantage I have over a 25-year-old. I've had the chance to understand what it is I do.
The one advantage of having grown up in the business is that you don't romanticize it. "Oh, isn't it wonderful?" Blah, blah, blah. No, it isn't! I've never romanticized it. But on the other hand, the conviction, the dedication that you see here, is tremendous. It would be awful if the whole business consisted of grouchy farts like me.
[on advice a dog trainer once gave him that can apply to him as well] The better the dog, the busier you have to keep him. I'm arrogant and blase enough to consider myself a very good dog. You take pride in what you're doing, in your craft, and all of that, but -- I wouldn't say I resigned myself to mediocrity, not at all, but I started to accept that there might be an ideal you strive for (and) never realize.
[on the toughest aspect of preparing for Inglourious Basterds (2009)] To put aside what I know about the topic. Because it was irrelevant. Growing up in that area, you don't hear much about the French Revolution or the Egyptians or the Seven Year War. You hear about the Nazi era. But it was irrelevant to the part and unnecessary and would have been a bad obstacle.
It's frustrating. Even though I agree with all of you [other actors being interviewed], I have a less romantic and idealistic approach to acting. Over there [Germany], the business is based on mediocrity. On a high level, admittedly, but mediocrity. You reach a certain level, beyond which you will not go. Not just in career but in challenges and opportunity. It's interesting for the specific issue of how to cope with an actor's life. To lead an actor's life. What do you do if you have a stretch of five years where you only get mediocre offers and nothing to sink your teeth into? That's where it is difficult. Becoming an actor is one thing. Being an actor is entirely different.
It's the result that makes the art, not necessarily the process that leads to it. So when Hilary plays Bach, that's the music (but) what you perceive is the art. Is she considering herself as an artist? I don't think so. I think she just puts herself into the craft, into each individual note and ties them together in order to arrive at what the emotion might be. That's one of the biggest problems with the actor. The piece of art -- the person, the performance, everything that leads up to it -- is so difficult to separate from each other.
[his Oscar acceptance speech for Inglourious Basterds (2009)] Oscar and Penélope [Cruz], that's an über bingo! I always wanted to discover some new continent and I thought I had to go this way, and then I was introduced to Quentin Tarantino, who was putting together an expedition that was equipped by Harvey Weinstein and Lawrence Bender and David Linde, and he put this script in front of me and he said, "This is where we're going, but we're going the other way." So Brad Pitt helped me on board and Diane Kruger was there Mélanie Laurent and Denis Ménochet and Bob Richardson and Sally Menke and Adam Schweitzer and Lisa Kasteler. Everybody helped me find a place. Universal and The Weinstein Company and ICM and Quentin, with his unorthodox methods of navigation, this fearless explorer, took this ship across and brought it in with flying colours and that's why I'm here. And this is your welcoming embrace and there's no way I can ever thank you enough, but I can start right now. Thank you.
Becoming an actor is like becoming a father. It's not hard to become one. Making a life of it is the challenge.
If the advice to 'get out' is too late, then my advice would always be read, go to museums, go to concerts. Don't learn life from movies or television.
[on comedy] As long as you take it seriously, you can do it. But in a movie, because comedy is so much timing and rhythm, all of that is most established in editing. I can say a complete straight sentence, just neutral and straight, and a good editor can turn it into a funny or sad thing. Because that's the beauty of movies, nothing works in itself.
[on waiting 30 years to become an overnight success] That was my experience, and it was very frustrating. These false dawns went on for a long time. It feels like someone keeps trying to switch the light on, but the dimmer switch is broken. And then sometimes the bulb blows altogether.
[on being a private person] When I was 25, that's when this whole thing got started. My oldest daughter was a little kid. A tabloid reporter called my house. He said, "I hear a child crying. Is it a boy or a girl? What's their name?". I said "I want to keep that private." He said "It's not private." Thats when I decided I didn't want other people to decide what I disclose.
[on Bill Murray ] He was just the nicest guy, he gave me the biggest tips [while Waltz was working as a waiter]. And now I know him: not like as a close friend, but I know him. I really like how he handles privacy. But then Bill Murray is a radical...I'm not a radical. I'm just a smart-ass.
[on fame] As a motivation in itself, celebrity is foolhardy and stupid.
I do feel I can say - without smugness - that it feels good. I am entitled. I am entitled to judge the situation and say that yes: It feels good, and that yes, I agree with you. I feel like I served my time. I feel like I paid [my dues].
It would be completely laughable if I claimed I was always motivated by the pure craft of acting and that recognition doesn't play a part. Of course it does - that's human nature. The bohemian artist who exists only for his art, it's a myth.

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