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Christoph Waltz (German: [ˈkrɪstɔf ˈvalts]; born 4 October 1956) is a German-Austrian actor and director, mainly active in the United States.[1][2][3]

Christoph Waltz
Christoph Waltz Viennale 2017 f (cropped).jpg
Born (1956-10-04) 4 October 1956 (age 63)
Vienna, Austria
Alma materMax Reinhardt Seminar
OccupationActor, director, voice actor
Years active1977–present
Spouse(s)Jackie Waltz (divorced)
Judith Holste (married)
AwardsFull list

His breakout role came in Quentin Tarantino's 2009 film Inglourious Basterds, where he played SS officer Hans Landa. He would later collaborate with Tarantino once again in 2012, where he played bounty hunter King Schultz in Django Unchained. For each performance, he earned an Academy Award, BAFTA Award, and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. Waltz also received the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his portrayal of Landa.[4]

Waltz portrayed computer genius Qohen Leth in the science fiction film The Zero Theorem (2013), American plagiarist Walter Keane in the biographical film Big Eyes (2014), and James Bond's nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld in Spectre (2015) and No Time to Die (2020).[5]

Early lifeEdit

Waltz was born in Vienna, the son of Johannes Waltz and Elisabeth Urbancic, set and costume designers, from Germany and Austria, respectively.[6] His maternal grandfather, Rudolf von Urban, was a psychiatrist and psychologist who wrote the book Sex Perfection and Marital Happiness.[7] His maternal grandmother was Burgtheater actress Maria Mayen, and his step-grandfather was actor Emmerich Reimers. His great-grandparents also worked in theater.[8]


Waltz in 2012

Waltz studied acting at the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna. In the late 1970s, Waltz spent some time in New York City where he studied method acting with Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler. He started as a stage actor, performing at venues such as Zurich's Schauspielhaus Zürich, Vienna's Burgtheater, and the Salzburg Festival. He became a prolific television actor in the years 1980 to 2000. In 2000, he made his directorial debut, with the German television production Wenn man sich traut.[9] Before coming to the attention of a larger audience in Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, he had played Dr. Hans-Joachim Dorfmann in the British TV series The Gravy Train in 1990. The show is a story of intrigue and misdeeds set in the offices of the European Union in Brussels.[10]

In Quentin Tarantino's 2009 film Inglourious Basterds, Waltz portrayed SS-Standartenführer Hans Landa, also known as "The Jew Hunter". Clever, courteous, multilingual — but also self-serving, cunning, implacable and murderous — the character of Landa was such that Tarantino feared he "might have written a part that was un-playable".[11] Waltz received the Best Actor Award for the performance at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and received acclaim from critics and the public. In 2009, he began sweeping critics' awards circuits, receiving awards for Best Supporting Actor from the New York Film Critics Circle, the Boston Society of Film Critics,[12] Los Angeles Film Critics Association,[12] and for Best Supporting Actor at the 67th Golden Globe Awards and the 16th Screen Actors Guild Awards in January 2010.

The following month, he won the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor,[13] and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.[14] He is the only actor to have won an Academy Award for playing a character in a Tarantino film. Tarantino acknowledged the importance of Waltz to his film by stating: "I think that Landa is one of the best characters I've ever written and ever will write, and Christoph played it to a tee. It's true that if I couldn't have found someone as good as Christoph I might not have made Inglourious Basterds".[15]

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.[16] During a training accident prior to filming, Waltz injured his pelvis.[17] His role garnered him acclaim once again, with Waltz winning the Golden Globe, the BAFTA, and ultimately the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Waltz has been cast as the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in the film Reykjavik, based on the 1986 peace talks between the United States and USSR.[18] In April 2013, he was selected as a member of the main competition jury at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.[19] He directed a production of the opera Der Rosenkavalier at the Vlaamse Opera, in Antwerp in late 2013, and in Ghent early 2014.[20] In 2014, he was selected as a member of the jury for the 64th Berlin International Film Festival.[21] He starred as Walter Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes, which opened on 25 December 2014,[22] and appeared as Ernst Stavro Blofeld in Spectre, the 24th film in the James Bond franchise.[23] In July 2019, it was reported that Waltz would reprise the role in No Time to Die (2020).[24]

In 2015, it was announced that Waltz would direct and star in the film Georgetown (formerly titled The Worst Marriage in Georgetown), which is based on the true crime story of the murder of Viola Drath.[25] In July 2016, he portrayed lead villain Captain Leon Rom, a corrupt Belgian captain, in the reboot The Legend of Tarzan.

In 2017, Waltz appeared in the films Tulip Fever and Downsizing. In 2019, Waltz appeared in the action fantasy Alita: Battle Angel. He directed a production of the opera Falstaff, again at the Vlaamse Opera, in Antwerp in late 2017, and in Ghent in early 2018.

Personal lifeEdit

Waltz and wife Judith Holste at the 82nd Academy Awards, March 2010

Waltz has three children with his former wife, Jackie.[26] He is raising a daughter (b. 2005) with his second wife, costume designer Judith Holste.[27] They divide their time among Berlin, London, and Los Angeles.[28]

Waltz's native language is German, and he also speaks both English and French fluently.[29] He speaks all three of these in Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained, and although his character in Inglourious Basterds also spoke Italian, Waltz said on the Adam Carolla Podcast that he is not fluent in Italian.[citation needed]

Waltz was born in Vienna to a German father who applied for him to become a citizen of Germany after his birth.[30] He received Austrian citizenship in 2010, thus holding citizenships of both Austria and Germany, but considers his German passport a "legal, citizenship law banality"[3] despite the fact that he had not previously been able to vote in Austria's national elections. Asked whether he felt Viennese, he responded: "I was born in Vienna, grew up in Vienna, went to school in Vienna, graduated in Vienna, studied in Vienna, started acting in Vienna – and there would be a few further Viennese links. How much more Austrian do you want it?"[31]



Year Title Role Director Notes
1979 Breakthrough Paramedic Andrew V. McLaglen Uncredited
1981 Headstand Markus Veith von Fürstenberg
1982 Fire and Sword Tristan
1986 Wahnfried Friedrich Nietzsche Peter Patzak
1988 Quicker Than the Eye [de] Police Chief Nicolas Gessner
1991 Life for Life: Maximilian Kolbe [pl] Jan Tytz Krzysztof Zanussi Credited as Chistopher Waltz
1995 The Start of Something Herbert Nikolaus Leytner
1997 Our God's Brother [pl] Maksymilian Gierymski Krzysztof Zanussi
1998 Seven Moons Kom. Becker Peter Fratzscher
Love Scenes from Planet Earth Charly Marc Rothemund
1999 The Bride Karl August Egon Günther
2000 Ordinary Decent Criminal Peter Thaddeus O'Sullivan
Falling Rocks Louis Peter Keglevic
Death, Deceit and Destiny Aboard the Orient Express Ossama / Tarik Mark Roper
2001 Queen's Messenger Ali Ben Samm Mark Roper
She Michael Vincey Timothy Bond
2003 Angst Psychoanalyst Oskar Roehler
Gun-Shy Johannsen Dito Tsintsadze
Berlin Blues Doctor Leander Haußmann
2004 Pact with the Devil Rolf Steiner Allan A. Goldstein
2006 Lapislazuli: In the Eyes of the Bear Czerny Wolfgang Murnberger
2009 Inglourious Basterds Col. Hans Landa Quentin Tarantino
2011 The Green Hornet Benjamin Chudnofsky / Bloodnofsky Michel Gondry
Water for Elephants August Rosenbluth Francis Lawrence
The Three Musketeers Cardinal Richelieu Paul W. S. Anderson
Carnage Alan Cowan Roman Polanski
2012 Django Unchained Dr. King Schultz Quentin Tarantino
2013 Epic Mandrake Chris Wedge Voice
The Zero Theorem Qohen Leth Terry Gilliam Also co-producer
2014 Muppets Most Wanted Himself James Bobin Cameo
Horrible Bosses 2 Burt Hanson Sean Anders
Big Eyes Walter Keane Tim Burton
2015 Spectre Ernst Stavro Blofeld Sam Mendes
2016 The Legend of Tarzan Léon Rom David Yates
2017 Tulip Fever Cornelis Sandvoort Justin Chadwick
Downsizing Dusan Mirkovic Alexander Payne
2019 Alita: Battle Angel Dr. Dyson Ido Robert Rodriguez
Georgetown Ulrich Mott Himself
2020 The French Dispatch Boris Schommers Wes Anderson Post-production
No Time to Die Ernst Stavro Blofeld Cary Fukunaga Post-production
TBA Rifkin's Festival Woody Allen Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1977 Am dam des (singer)
1977 Der Einstand Gunther Vesley Television film
1979 Feuer! Karl Albrecht Schlick Television film
Parole Chicago Eduard "Ede" Bredo 13 episodes
1982 The Mysterious Stranger Ernst Wasserman Television film
Dr. Margarete Johnsohn Rainer Television film
1983 Der Sandmann Nathanael Television film
1985 Ein Fall für zwei Alf Episode: "Blutsbande"
1986 The Old Fox Hans Baumeister Episode: "Zwei Leben"
Derrick Eberhard Bothe Episode: "Schonzeit für Mörder"
Lenz oder die Freiheit Franz Sigel Television miniseries
1987 Tatort Inspektor Passini Episode: "Wunschlos tot"
Das andere Leben Stefan Television film
1988 The Alien Years Stefan Mueller Television series
Derrick Schumann Episode: "Mord inklusive"
1989 Goldeneye German spy Television film
1990 The Gravy Train Dr. Hans-Joachim Dorfmann 4 episodes
The Old Fox Christian Kamp Episode: "So gut wie tot"
1991 The Gravy Train Goes East Dr. Hans-Joachim Dorfmann 4 episodes
1992 5 Zimmer, Küche, Bad Hartwig Klemmnitz Television film
Die Angst wird bleiben Manfred Television film
1993 König der letzten Tage (also known as A King for Burning) John of Leiden Television film
1994 Tag der Abrechnung – Der Amokläufer von Euskirchen Erwin Mikolajczyk Television film
Jacob Morash Television film
Die Staatsanwältin Andreas Doepke Television film
1995 The All New Alexei Sayle Show Weak Moustache Episode #2.3
Prinz zu entsorgen Roman Television film
Man(n) sucht Frau Christoph Television film
Catherine the Great Mirovich Television film
1996 Der Tourist Stephan Görner Television film
Du bist nicht allein – Die Roy Black Story Roy Black Television film
Rosa Roth Wietze Episode: "Nirgendwohin"
Rex: A Cop's Best Friend Martin Wolf Episode: "Der Puppenmörder"
1997 Maître Da Costa Walter Mueller 2 episodes
Faust Gerhardt Schulze-Leitner Episode: "Villa Palermo"
Schimanski Klaus Mandel Episode: "Blutsbrüder" [de]
1998 Vickys Alptraum Johnny Television film
Schock – Eine Frau in Angst Kommissar Kaul Television film
The Final Game Kant Television film
Rache für mein totes Kind Paul Television film
Mörderisches Erbe – Tausch mit einer Toten Moritz Fink Television film
1999 Dessine-moi un jouet Klaus Hermann Television film
2000 The Beast (also known as Das Teufelsweib) Herbert Fink Television film
2001 Engel sucht Flügel Caspari Television film
Riekes Liebe Pair skating coach Karlhoff Television film
Der Tanz mit dem Teufel Dieter Cilov Television film
2002 Dienstreise – Was für eine Nacht Klaus-Dieter Lehmann Television film
Weihnachtsmann gesucht Johannes Böhmke Television film
2003 Jagd auf den Flammenmann Brisky Television film
Der Mörder ist unter uns (also known as Der Fall Gehring) Martin Bach Television film
Zwei Tage Hoffnung Michael Berg Television film
Jennerwein Pföderl Television film
Tigeraugen sehen besser Dr. Thilo Rylow Television film
2004 Scheidungsopfer Mann Benedikt von Arn Television film
Mörderische Suche Richard Benedek Television film
Schöne Witwen küssen besser Jean-France Television film
2005 Die Patriarchin Wolf Sevening 3 episodes
Der Elefant: Mord verjährt nie Richard Seemann Episode: "Verlorene Jahre"
2006 SOKO Rhein-Main Andreas Senner Episode: "Schuld und Sühne"
Polizeiruf 110 Dr. Juris Gríns Episode: "Die Lettin und ihr Lover"
Stolberg Paul Büttner Episode: "Kreuzbube"
Tatort Prof. Robert Henze Episode: "Schlaflos in Weimar"
Franziskas Gespür für Männer Karl Löwen Television film
2007 Der Staatsanwalt Dr. Claudius Tressen Episode: "Glückskinder"
Der letzte Zeuge Dr. Martin York Episode: "Martinspassion"
Unter Verdacht Thomas Sell Episode: "Hase and Igel"
The Zurich Engagement [de] Frank "Büffel" Arbogast Television film
Die Verzauberung Dr. Helmut Bahr Television film
2008 Das Geheimnis im Wald Hans Kortmann Television film
Todsünde Sebastian Flies Television film
Das jüngste Gericht Peters Television film
Die Anwälte Herbert Jahn Episode: "Leben und Tod"
Tatort Gerd Weißenbach Episode: "Liebeswirren"
2013 Saturday Night Live Host Episode: "Christoph Waltz/Alabama Shakes"

As directorEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2000 Wenn man sich traut
2019 Georgetown[32] Ulrich Mott


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Pass-Hickhack: Christoph Waltz wird im Eilverfahren zum Österreicher – Nachrichten Kultur" (in German). 24 August 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
  2. ^ "Österreichische Staatsbürgerschaft für Christoph Waltz'". Der Standard. 8 August 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Waltz fühlt sich definitiv als Österreicher – Boulevard". 21 January 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
  4. ^ "Christoph Waltz Wins The Academy Award For Best Actor In A Supporting Role". Archived from the original on 10 May 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  5. ^ Miller, Ross (4 December 2014). "The next James Bond film is called Spectre: new car, poster, and full cast confirmed". The Verge. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Mainpost". MAIN-POST. 24 May 2010. Archived from the original on 17 July 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
  7. ^ Myself not least: a confessional autobiography of a psychoanalyst and some explanatory history cases, by Rudolf von Urban, p. 210
  8. ^ Lim, Dennis (12 August 2009). "'Inglourious' Actor Tastes the Glory". New York Times. Retrieved 21 August 2009.
  9. ^ "IMDB". Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  10. ^ "4oD Drama". Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  11. ^ Fleming, Michael (17 May 2009). "Tarantino Reflects On 'Basterds'". Variety. Reed Business Information. Archived from the original on 3 March 2012. Retrieved 18 January 2010.
  12. ^ a b "BSFC Award Winners – Recent". Archived from the original on 16 February 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
  13. ^ Film Awards Winners in 2010 - Film Awards - Film - The BAFTA site Archived 27 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "2015 Oscars: Nominees - 87th Academy Awards Nominations".
  15. ^ "''Inglorious Basterds feature". The National Post. 27 August 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2011.[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ Ordoña, Michael (27 December 2012), "Christoph Waltz admires Tarantino's to-the-heart style", Los Angeles Times, retrieved 12 January 2016
  17. ^ Borys Kit (30 September 2011). "Christoph Waltz Dislocates Pelvic Bone During 'Django Unchained' Training". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  18. ^ "Christoph Waltz Signs to Star Opposite Michael Douglas in Reykjavik". The Hollywood Reporter. 15 October 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  19. ^ Saperstein, Pat (23 April 2013). "Nicole Kidman, Christoph Waltz, Ang Lee Among Cannes Jury Members". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  20. ^ "Vlaamse Opera | Vlaamse Opera". 15 January 2015. Archived from the original on 3 August 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  21. ^ "Berlinale 2014: International Jury". Berlinale. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  22. ^ Sepinwall, Alan (2 May 2014). "Weinstein sets awards season dates for Big Eyes, Imitation Game and Eleanor Rigby". Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  23. ^ Polowy, Kevin (7 November 2015). "So Who Does Christoph Waltz Play in 'SPECTRE'? (Spoilers!)". Yahoo!. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  24. ^ Kroll, Justin (12 July 2019). "Christoph Waltz to Return as Blofeld in 'Bond 25'". Variety.
  25. ^ Andrews, Helena (6 May 2015). "Actor Christoph Waltz will direct and star in 'The Worst Marriage in Georgetown'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  26. ^ Dennis Lim (12 August 2009). "'Inglourious' Actor Tastes the Glory". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  27. ^ Freydkin, Donna (26 January 2010). "At long last, movie stardom shines on Christoph Waltz". USA Today.
  28. ^ Profile of Waltz Archived 10 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine at Global Post
  29. ^ Billington, Alex (20 August 2009). "Interview: Col. Hans 'The Jew Hunter' Landa – Christoph Waltz". First Showing. Retrieved 28 August 2009.
  30. ^ "Waltz to become Austrian citizen". Wiener Zeitung Online. 26 August 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  31. ^ "Waltz to become an Austrian citizen". 26 August 2010.[permanent dead link]
  32. ^ Ritman, Alex. "Cannes: Christoph Waltz's Directorial Debut Adds Vanessa Redgrave". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 8 May 2017.


External linksEdit