20 of the Best German speaking actors ever

by LeaReuss | created - 15 Sep 2013 | updated - 15 Sep 2013 | Public

(includes also Austrians, Swiss and a Dutch man...)

1. Conrad Veidt

Actor | Casablanca

Conrad Veidt attended the Sophiengymnasium (secondary school) in the Schoeneberg district of Berlin, and graduated without a diploma in 1912, last in his class of 13. Conrad liked animals, theater, cinema, fast cars, pastries, thunderstorms, gardening, swimming and golfing. He disliked heights, ...

Brave and versatile actor. Had the balls to play a gay man in movie already 1919.

2. Oskar Werner

Actor | Fahrenheit 451

Remote, somewhat morose and, as a result, intriguing, Viennese talent Oskar Werner was born in 1922, not far from the birthplace of "Waltz King" Johann Strauss, and christened Oskar Josef Bschließmayer. His parents divorced when he was fairly young.

While growing up, Oskar found performing in school...

Probably greatest Austrian actor ever (sorry Christoph). Marlon Brando and Spencer Tracy were huge fans of him.

3. Albert Bassermann

Actor | Foreign Correspondent

Classically-trained actor, former chemist, whose formative years on the stage were spent in Bern (Switzerland) and, from 1909, the Deutsches Theater Berlin under Max Reinhardt's direction. Specialised in Shakespearean roles ('Richard III', 'Hamlet') and was a famous interpreter of the plays of ...

Late career in Hollywood. With over 70 he left Germany to protect his Jewish wife. Got an Oscar nomination, despite his bad English

4. Armin Mueller-Stahl

Actor | Eastern Promises

Armin Mueller-Stahl was born on December 17, 1930 in Tilsit, East Prussia, Germany. He is an actor and director, known for Eastern Promises (2007), Shine (1996) and The International (2009). He has been married to Gabriele Scholz since 1973. They have one child. He was previously married to Monika ...

5. Michael Fassbender

Actor | Shame

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. ...

6. Ken Duken

Actor | Inglourious Basterds

Ken Duken was born on the 17th of April 1979 as a son of an actress and a doctor in Heidelberg / Germany. He started to learn acting from his stage actress mother Christina Loeb. Later he took courses by James Reynolds and Bruce McDonald but he never attended drama school.

Before starting his career...

7. Johannes Heesters

Actor | Die Fledermaus

Johannes Heesters was born on December 5, 1903 in Amersfoort, Utrecht, Netherlands as Johan Marius Nicolaas Heesters. He was an actor, known for Die Fledermaus (1946), Whirled into Happiness (1951) and Im Weissen Rössl (1952). He was married to Simone Rethel and Wiesje Ghijs. He died on ...

8. Emil Jannings

Actor | The Last Command

His real name was Theodor Friedrich Emil Janenz, and in the early 1900s, he was already working in the theater under Max Reinhardt's company. Important movies where he defined himself as a convincing actor were Madame DuBarry (1919) and Quo Vadis? (1924), followed by The Last Laugh (1924)(aka The ...

9. Thure Riefenstein

Actor | The Man in the High Castle

Thure Riefenstein is a German-Serbian born actor, writer and producer who started his career at German Broadway theaters such as the "Berliner Ensemble" or the "Hamburger Schauspielhaus" after graduating drama school. He is best known for playing strong and enigmatic heroes or villains in many ...

10. Sebastian Koch

Actor | Das Leben der Anderen

On stage, television or the movie theatre screen Sebastian Koch is undeniably one of Germany s most multi-faceted and successful actors. Born in Karlsruhe, Germany, May 31, 1962, he spent his childhood and youth in Stuttgart, southwestern Germany. He planned to become a musician, but in the late ...

11. Christoph Waltz

Actor | Django Unchained

Christoph Waltz is an Austrian-German actor. He is 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 ...

12. Klaus Maria Brandauer

Actor | Out of Africa

Gave his debut as an actor in 1962. Member of the 'Wiener Burgtheater' in Vienna since 1972. Played at the 'Salzburger Festspiele' since 1975. Directed plays since 1977. Debuted as a movie actor in 1972.

13. Rolf Hoppe

Actor | Sardsch

Rolf Hoppe was born on December 6, 1930 in Ellrich, Thuringia, Germany. He is an actor, known for Sardsch (1997), Orpheus in der Unterwelt (1974) and Goya - oder Der arge Weg der Erkenntnis (1971). He was previously married to Friederike.

14. Maximilian Schell

Actor | Judgment at Nuremberg

Maximilian Schell was the most successful German-speaking actor in English-language films since Emil Jannings, the winner of the first Best Actor Academy Award. Like Jannings, Schell won the Oscar, but unlike him, he was a dedicated anti-Nazi. Indeed, with the exception of Maurice Chevalier and ...

15. O.W. Fischer

Actor | Ich suche dich

O.W. Fischer was born on April 1, 1915 in Klosterneuburg, Austria-Hungary as Otto Wilhelm Fischer. He was an actor and director, known for Ich suche dich (1956), Helden (1958) and Ludwig II: Glanz und Ende eines Königs (1955). He was married to Anna Usell. He died on January 29, 2004 in Lugano...

16. Helmut Berger

Actor | The Godfather: Part III

Helmut Berger - Austrian born film actor, mostly known for starring in Luchino Visconti's films, which are now considered modern classics. Born Helmut Steinberger in Salzburg in 1944, he turned down a prospect of running a family hotel business and went to London where he worked as waiter to pay ...

17. Gustaf Gründgens

Actor | M - Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder

Gustaf Gründgens was born on December 22, 1899 in Düsseldorf, Germany as Gustav Heinrich Arnold Gründgens. He was an actor and director, known for M (1931), Faust (1960) and Friedemann Bach (1941). He was married to Marianne Hoppe and Erika Mann. He died on October 7, 1963 in Manila, Philippines.

Brilliant in M for Murder....

18. Peter Lorre

Actor | Casablanca

Peter Lorre was born Laszlo Lowenstein on Roszahegy, Hungary. He was educated in elementary and secondary schools in Vienna, Austria. As a youth, he ran away from home, worked as a bank clerk and, after stage training in Vienna, made his acting debut in Zurich. He remained unknown, traveling for ...

19. Andreas Lust

Actor | Der Räuber

Andreas Lust was born on March 20, 1967 in Vienna, Austria. He is an actor, known for Der Räuber (2010), Munich (2005) and Schnell ermittelt (2009).

20. Werner Daehn

Actor | Das Leben der Anderen

Werner Daehn was born on October 14, 1965 in Worms, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. He is an actor, known for The Lives of Others (2006), xXx (2002) and Valkyrie (2008).



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