Jürgen Prochnow

Jürgen Prochnow (German pronunciation: [ˈjʏʁɡn̩ ˈpʁɔxnoː] About this soundlisten ; born 10 June 1941) is a German-American actor. His best-known roles internationally have been as the good-hearted and sympathetic U-boat captain in Das Boot (1981), Duke Leto Atreides in Dune (1984), the minor but important role of Kazakh dictator General Ivan Radek in Air Force One (1997), and the antagonist Maxwell Dent in Beverly Hills Cop II (1987).

Jürgen Prochnow
MJK 60861 Verena Wengler und Jürgen Prochnow (Hessischer Film- und Kinopreis 2019) (cropped).jpg
Prochnow in 2019
Born (1941-06-10) June 10, 1941 (age 80)
Berlin, Germany
  • Germany
  • United States
Years active1963–present
  • Isabel Goslar
    (m. 1982; div. 1997)
  • Birgit Stein
    (m. 2004; div. 2014)
  • Verena Wengler
    (m. 2015)
Partner(s)Antonia Reininghaus (1978–1981)

Early lifeEdit

Prochnow was born in Berlin and brought up in Düsseldorf, the son of an engineer.[1] He studied acting at the Folkwang Academy in Essen.


Thanks to his on-screen intensity and his fluency in English, he has become one of the most successful German actors in Hollywood. He portrayed Arnold Schwarzenegger in a film about the actor's political career in California, entitled See Arnold Run (2005); coincidentally, Prochnow was one of the actors considered for the title role in The Terminator (1984). He was the main antagonist in the Broken Lizard film, Beerfest (2006), which contains a submarine scene that references his role in Das Boot. He also played Commander Paul Gerald in Wing Commander (1999).

In addition, he dubbed Sylvester Stallone's voice in the German version of Rocky (1976) and Rocky II (1979), as well as F.I.S.T and Paradise Alley (both 1978), he later acted alongside in the 1995 movie adaptation of Judge Dredd. After the retirement of Stallone's long-time voice actor Thomas Danneberg he resumed this task in 2018 (Creed II). He usually also dubs his own roles in English-language productions.[2]

In 1996, he was a member of the jury at the 46th Berlin International Film Festival.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

In the early 1980s, Prochnow was in a relationship with Austrian actress Antonia Reininghaus [de], who fatally poisoned their 7-year-old daughter, Johanna, in 1987. In 1982, he married actor Jürgen Goslar's daughter, Isabel Goslar, with whom he has two children: a daughter, Mona, and a son, Roman. The couple divorced in 1997. From 2004 until the divorce in 2014, he was married to Birgit Stein [de], a German actress and screenwriter. Stein died in August 2018 in a motorcycle accident in Kanab, Utah.[4] Since 2015, he has been married to actress Verena Wengler.[5]

His elder brother, Dieter [de] (born May 22, 1939), is also an actor. Together, the brothers appeared in The Man Inside (1990), where Jürgen played the leading role and Dieter a small supporting role.

Prochnow used to divide his time between Los Angeles and Munich. He received U.S. citizenship in 2004.[6] In 2017, he announced that he had sold his house in California and would be moving to Berlin.[7]



Audiobooks (excerpt)Edit

  • 2008: Frank Herbert: Dune: Der Wüstenplanet (together with Simon Jäger and Marianne Rosenberg), publisher: Lübbe Audio, ISBN 978-3-7857-3584-8
  • 2013: Andreas Eschbach: Quantenmüll, publisher: Lübbe Audio (Audible)
  • 2017: Andreas Eschbach: Eine unberührte Welt (together with Simon Jäger, Yara Blümel and Nicole Engeln), publisher: Lübbe Audio, ISBN 978-3785754979


  1. ^ Juergen Prochnow Biography (1941-). Filmreference.com. Retrieved on 18 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Deutsche Synchronkartei (german)". synchrondatei.de. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  3. ^ "Berlinale: 1996 Juries". berlinale.de. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  4. ^ "Jürgen Prochnow trauert um seine Ex-Frau".
  5. ^ ""Das Boot"-Schauspieler heiratet zum dritten Mal".
  6. ^ "Jürgen Prochnow: Making It as a German Actor in Hollywood".
  7. ^ Jürgen Prochnow über Ehrgeiz - Kultur - Süddeutsche.de. Sueddeutsche.de (20 January 2017). Retrieved on 18 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 March 2009. Retrieved 19 August 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit