Christoph Waltz

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Christoph Waltz
Christoph Waltz 2013 Django avp.jpg
Waltz at the Paris premiere of Django Unchained, January 2013
Born (1956-10-04) October 4, 1956 (age 57)
Vienna, Austria
Citizenship Germany
Occupation Actor
Years active 1977–present
Spouse(s) Judith Holste
Children 4

Christoph Waltz (German pronunciation: [ˈkrɪstɔf ˈvalts]; born October 4, 1956) is an actor.[1][2][3] He is best known for his works with American filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, receiving acclaim for portraying SS-Standartenführer Hans Landa in Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (2009) and bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz in Tarantino's Django Unchained (2012). For each performance, he won an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. Additionally, he received the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his portrayal of Landa.[4]

Early life[edit]

Waltz was born in Vienna, the son of German-born Johannes Waltz and Austrian-born Elisabeth Urbancic, set and costume designers.[5] His maternal grandfather, Rudolf von Urban, was a psychiatrist and psychologist who wrote the book Sex Perfection and Marital Happiness.[6] His maternal grandmother was Burgtheater actress Maria Mayen (de), and his step-grandfather was actor Emmerich Reimers (de). His great-grandparents also worked in theatre.[7]


Waltz at the 82nd Academy Awards, March 2010

Waltz studied acting at the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna. He also attended the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York. 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 2000, he made his directorial debut, with the German television production Wenn man sich traut.[8] 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.[9]

In Quentin Tarantino's 2009 film Inglourious Basterds, Waltz portrayed SS-Standartenführer Hans Landa, aka "The Jew Hunter". Clever, courteous, and 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".[10] 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,[11] Los Angeles Film Critics Association,[11] and for Best Supporting Actor at the 67th Golden Globe Awards and the 16th Screen Actors Guild Awards in January 2009.

The following year, he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor[12] and won the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor.[13] He is, as of 2013, the only actor to win an Academy Award for appearing 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".[14]

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. During a training accident prior to filming, Waltz injured his pelvis.[15] His role garnered him awards acclaim once again, with Waltz winning the Golden Globe, the BAFTA, and ultimately the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. His Oscar victory made him one of only three actors to win two Oscars for a supporting role under the direction of the same person (Walter Brennan and Dianne Wiest are the other two).

Waltz has been cast as the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, in the movie Reykjavik, based on the 1986 peace talks between the United States and USSR.[16] In April 2013, he was selected as a member of the main competition jury at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.[17] In late 2013, he directed a production of the opera Der Rosenkavalier at the Vlaamse Opera in Antwerp, Belgium.[18] In 2014, he was selected as a member of the jury for the 64th Berlin International Film Festival.[19] He will star in Tim Burton's Big Eyes, which will open on Christmas Day 2014.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Waltz and his wife, Judith Holste

Waltz has three children – Miriam, Leon, and Rachel – from his first wife, Jackie, a psychotherapist. He is raising a young daughter with his wife, German costume designer Judith Holste.[21] They divide their time between Berlin, London, and Los Angeles.[22]

Waltz is fluent in English, French, and German,[23] and speaks all three in Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. Although his character in Inglourious Basterds also spoke Italian, Waltz stated on the Adam Carolla Podcast that he does not speak it fluently. He is his own voice actor for both the French and German dubs of each film.

Waltz was born to a German father in Vienna, who applied for him to become a German citizen after his birth.[24] 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] 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?"[25]



Year Title Role Notes
1981 Kopfstand Markus
1982 Fire and Sword Tristan
1982 The Mysterious Stranger Ernst Wasserman
1986 Wahnfried Friedrich Nietzsche
1987 Tatort – Wunschlos tot Inspector Passini
1988 Alien Years, TheThe Alien Years Stefan Mueller
1991 Życie za życie Jan Credited as Chistopher Waltz
1993 König der letzten Tage John of Leiden
1995 Catherine the Great Mirovich
1996 Du bist nicht allein – Die Roy Black Story Roy Black
1996 Inspector Rex Herr Wolf
1998 Final Game, TheThe Final Game Kant
1998 Love Scenes from Planet Earth Charly
2000 Death, Deceit and Destiny Aboard the Orient Express Brian
2000 Ordinary Decent Criminal Peter
2000 Falling Rocks Louis
2001 Der Tanz mit dem Teufel Dieter Cilov
2002 Dienstreise – Was für eine Nacht Klaus-Dieter Lehmann
2003 Jagd auf den Flammenmann Brisky
2003 Herr Lehmann Doctor
2007 Die Zürcher Verlobung – Drehbuch zur Liebe Frank "Büffel" Arbogast
2007 Die Verzauberung Dr. Helmut Bahr
2008 Das Geheimnis im Wald Hans Kortmann
2008 Todsünde Sebastian Flies
2008 Das jüngste Gericht Peters
2009 Inglourious Basterds Standartenführer Hans Landa Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor
Empire Award for Best Actor
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Villain
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
2011 Green Hornet, TheThe Green Hornet Benjamin Chudnofsky Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Villain
2011 Water for Elephants August Rosenbluth
2011 Three Musketeers, TheThe Three Musketeers Cardinal Richelieu
2011 Carnage Alan Cowan Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
2012 Django Unchained Dr. King Schultz Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
Nominated – Empire Award for Best Actor
Nominated - Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
2013 Epic Mandrake Voice
2013 The Zero Theorem Qohen Leth
2014 Muppets Most Wanted Himself
2014 Big Eyes Walter Keane
2014 Horrible Bosses 2
2015 Tulip Fever Cornelis Sandvoort
2016 Tarzan Captain Rom Filming
2017 Pirates of the Caribbean-Dead Men Tell No Tales Captain Brand


Year Title Role Notes
1979 Parole Chicago Eduard "Ede" Bredo 13 episodes
1990 The Gravy Train Dr. Hans-Joachim Dorfmann 4 episodes
2013 Saturday Night Live Host Episode: "Christoph Waltz / Alabama Shakes"

Awards and nominations[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Pass-Hickhack: Christoph Waltz wird im Eilverfahren zum Österreicher – Nachrichten Kultur" (in German). 24 August 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2011. 
  2. ^ Der Standard: Österreichische Staatsbürgerschaft für Christoph Waltz, 8 August 2010
  3. ^ a b (21 January 2011). "Waltz fühlt sich definitiv als Österreicher – Boulevard". 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Mainpost". MAIN-POST. 24 May 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2011. [dead link]
  6. ^ Myself not least: a confessional autobiography of a psychoanalyst and some explanatory history cases, by Rudolf von Urban, p. 210
  7. ^ Lim, Dennis (12 August 2009). "‘Inglourious’ Actor Tastes the Glory". New York Times. Retrieved 21 August 2009. 
  8. ^ "IMDB". Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  9. ^ "4oD Drama". Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  10. ^ Fleming, Michael (17 May 2009). "Tarantino Reflects On 'Basterds'". Variety (Reed Business Information). Archived from the original on 1 February 2010. Retrieved 18 January 2010. 
  11. ^ a b "BSFC Award Winners – Recent". Retrieved 26 January 2011. 
  12. ^ [1] Oscar Nominations
  13. ^ Film Awards Winners in 2010 - Film Awards - Film - The BAFTA site
  14. ^ "''Inglorious Basterds feature". 27 August 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2011. 
  15. ^ Borys Kit (30 September 2011). "Christoph Waltz Dislocates Pelvic Bone During 'Django Unchained' Training". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 14 January 2013. 
  16. ^ "Christoph Waltz Signs to Star Opposite Michael Douglas in Reykjavik". Hollywood Reporter. 15 October 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  17. ^ Saperstein, Pat (23 April 2013). "Nicole Kidman, Christopher Waltz, Ang Lee Among Cannes Jury Members". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  18. ^ Vlaamse Opera | Vlaamse Opera
  19. ^ "Berlinale 2014: International Jury". Berlinale. Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
  20. ^ Weinstein sets awards season dates for Big Eyes, Imitation Game and Eleanor Rigby
  21. ^ Freydkin, Donna (26 January 2010). "At long last, movie stardom shines on Christoph Waltz". USA Today. 
  22. ^ Profile of Waltz at Global Post
  23. ^ Billington, Alex (2009-08-20). "Interview: Col. Hans 'The Jew Hunter' Landa – Christoph Waltz". First Showing. Retrieved 28 August 2009. 
  24. ^ "Waltz to become Austrian citizen". Wiener Zeitung Online. 26 August 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  25. ^ "Waltz to become an Austrian citizen". 26 August 2010. 

External links[edit]