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Christine Maria Kaufmann (11 January 1945 – 28 March 2017) was a German-Austrian[1] actress, author, and businesswoman. The daughter of a German father and a French mother, she won the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress in 1961, the first German to be so honoured. In her 40s, Kaufmann was called the "most beautiful grandmother in Germany".[2][3][4]

Christine Kaufmann
DEG BRET 222.jpg
Kaufmann in 2014
Born Christine Maria Kaufmann
(1945-01-11)11 January 1945
Lengdorf, Styria, Nazi Germany
Died 28 March 2017(2017-03-28) (aged 72)
Munich, Germany
Cause of death Leukemia
Occupation Actress, author, businesswoman
Years active 1952–2017
Spouse(s) Tony Curtis
(m. 1963; div. 1968)
Children 2, including Allegra Curtis


Life and careerEdit

Kaufmann was born in Lengdorf, Styria, Austria, then part of Nazi Germany. Her mother, Geneviève Kaufmann (née Gavaert), was a French make-up artist; her father, Johannes Kaufmann, was a German Luftwaffe officer and engineer.[5] Christine Kaufmann also had Circassian ancestry.[6]

Growing up in Munich, Bavaria, Kaufmann became a ballerina at the Munich Opera. She began her film career at the age of seven in The White Horse Inn (1952), but gained attention with Rose-Girl Resli (1954). She gained international recognition when she starred with Steve Reeves in The Last Days of Pompeii (1959) and with Kirk Douglas in Town Without Pity (1961). The following year she appeared in Escape from East Berlin (1962).

At age 18 in 1963, Kaufmann married Tony Curtis, whom she had met during the filming of Taras Bulba (also 1962). They had two daughters, Alexandra (born 19 July 1964) and Allegra (born 11 July 1966). The couple divorced in 1968. Kaufmann resumed her career, which she had interrupted during her marriage. Kaufmann married three more times: television director Achim Lenz (1974–76), musician and actor Reno Eckstein (1979-1982) and illustrator Klaus Zey (1997-2011).[7]

On German television, Kaufmann admitted to having an affair with Warren Beatty.[8][9]

Kaufmann was also a successful businesswoman, promoting her own cosmetics products line that sells well in Germany. She wrote several books about beauty and health, as well as two autobiographies. She spoke three languages: German, English, and French.

Kaufmann enjoyed travelling. She moved from one place to another frequently—a pattern that she believed she had inherited from her Circassian forefathers.[6]

Kaufmann died on 28 March 2017 in Munich from leukaemia at the age of 72.[10]

Selected filmographyEdit


  1. ^ „Christine Kaufmann über die Entführung ihrer Töchter in T-online (Retrieved at 28. March 2017)
  2. ^ Kaufmann, Christine (2012). "Der Sex-Appeal der schönsten Großmutter Deutschlands". ChristineKaufmann. Retrieved 11 July 2015. 
  3. ^ Kraft, Katja (2015). "Christine Kaufmann – Deutschlands schönste Oma wird 70" [Christine Kaufmann – Germany's most beautiful grandmother turns 70]. Hamburger Abendblatt (in German). Hamburg. Retrieved 11 July 2015. 
  4. ^ "Deutschlands berühmte Großmütter" [Germany's famous grandmothers]. Die Welt (in German). Berlin. 11 June 2006. Retrieved 11 July 2015. 
  5. ^ "Das Doppelleben der Christine Kaufmann" [The double life of Christine Kaufmann]. RP Online (in German). Frankfurt am Main. 2005. Retrieved 11 July 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Hinkofer, Christine (2014). "Christine Kaufmann: Die Lust und Last zu reisen" (Interview). Interview with Christine Kaufmann. Munich. Retrieved 11 July 2015. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Lafer! Lichter! Lecker! ZDF, November 1, 2014.
  9. ^ von Mutius, Franziska (2014). "Christine Kaufmann schreibt Hollywood-Affären" [Christine Kaufmann writes Hollywood affairs]. Bild (in German). Berlin. Retrieved 11 July 2015. 
  10. ^

External linksEdit