Gottfried John

Gottfried John (German: [ˈjoːn];[1] 29 August 1942 – 1 September 2014) was a German stage, screen, and voice actor. A long-time collaborator of Rainer Werner Fassbinder, John appeared in many of the filmmaker's projects between 1975 and his death in 2014, including Eight Hours Don't Make a Day, Mother Küsters Goes to Heaven, Despair, The Marriage of Maria Braun, and Berlin Alexanderplatz. His distinctive, gaunt appearance saw him frequently cast as villains, and he is best known to audiences for his role as the corrupt General Arkady Ourumov in the 1995 James Bond film GoldenEye, and for his comedic turn as Julius Caesar in Asterix & Obelix Take On Caesar, the latter for which he won the Bavarian Film Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Gottfried John
Gottfried John (Berlinale 2012).jpg
Gottfried John at the 2012 Berlin International Film Festival
Born(1942-08-29)29 August 1942
Died1 September 2014(2014-09-01) (aged 72)
SpouseBrigitte John (2004–2014; his death)
Gottfried and Brigitte John in 2004

Early lifeEdit

John was born in Berlin, Germany, on 29 August 1942.[citation needed] In World War II, he and his mother were evacuated to East Prussia; his father, whom he never met, was married to another woman.[citation needed] He grew up with his single-parent mother and in several protectories; John fled from such a protectory when he was 15 years old and returned to his mother, who was living in Paris.[citation needed]

In Paris, he earned a living as a pavement artist and construction worker, and he returned to Berlin in 1960.[2][3][4]


During the 1970s and early 1980s, John was cast by director Rainer Werner Fassbinder in several of his projects, in particular as Reinhold in the Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980) mini-series.[citation needed]

He was internationally known for his portrayal of General Arkady Ourumov in the James Bond film GoldenEye and Julius Caesar in Asterix and Obelix take on Caesar.[citation needed]

Personal lifeEdit

Many years he lived in Kelmis, Belgium, near the Border to Aachen until 2008. John lived with his wife, Brigitte, in Utting am Ammersee from 2008 until his death in 2014.[5]

On 1 September 2014, it was announced that John had died in Utting am Ammersee near Munich, Germany, of cancer at the age of 72.[6]




  • Gottfried John reads: Die toten Seelen by Nikolai Gogol. 2006, ISBN 978-3-7831-2794-2.
  • Gottfried John reads: Die Stunden by Michael Cunningham. 2007, ISBN 978-3-86604-759-4.

Written worksEdit

Nominations and awardsEdit


  1. ^ Unlike the common English name John, the German pronunciation begins with a "y" sound.
  2. ^ Frank, Arno (3 September 2014). "Nachruf auf Gottfried John: Mit "Schlägervisage" zum Fassbinder-Gesicht" (in German). Retrieved 19 November 2018 – via Spiegel Online.
  3. ^ ""James Bond"-Bösewicht: Schauspieler Gottfried John ist tot" (in German). 2 September 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2018 – via Spiegel Online.
  4. ^ Ravensburg, Munzinger-Archiv GmbH. "Gottfried John – Munzinger Biographie". (in German). Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  5. ^ Frank, Arno (3 September 2014). "Nachruf auf Gottfried John: Mit "Schlägervisage" zum Fassbinder-Gesicht" (in German). Retrieved 19 November 2018 – via Spiegel Online.
  6. ^ "Panorama". Die Welt (in German). Archived from the original on 30 October 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2018.[dead link]

External linksEdit