August Zirner

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August Zirner at the Romy TV awards (Hofburg Imperial Palace in Vienna)

August Zirner (born 7 January 1956) is an American-Austrian actor, who starred in over 60 film productions. He is one of the most popular actors in Germany.[1]


Zirner was born as son of Austrian Jewish immigrants in the United States in Urbana, Illinois. His father had fled from the Nazis.[2] In 1976 he studied drama at the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna before he made his debut as an actor at the Volkstheater in Vienna. After that he was engaged in Hanover, Wiesbaden and at the Munich Kammerspiele. His breakthrough into film was in The Promise in 1994.[1]

He has appeared in numerous films and television films, e. g. in Café Europa [de] (1990) by Franz Xaver Bogner [de], Voyager (1991) by Volker Schlöndorff,[3] Talk of the Town (1995) by Rainer Kaufmann, Winterkind (1997) by Margarethe von Trotta, The Pharmacist (1997) by Rainer Kaufmann and The Counterfeiters by Stefan Ruzowitzky, which was awarded with the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2008. For the film Rage, he got the 2006 Grimme-Preis.[4]

In 2009 Zirner played the transverse flute together with the Spardosen-Trio and the Theatre Program Diagnose: Jazz. In May 2011 Zirner acts in Blind Date, a play based on a film by Theo van Gogh at the Schauspielhaus Graz, a production of Bernadette Sonnenbichler.

Zirner is married to actress Katalin Zsigmondy and one of his four children is the actor Johannes Zirner.[5] Although he has lived in Europe since 1973, August Zirner has retained his U.S. citizenship.[1][5]


August Zirner supports the Austrian Service Abroad as an advisor for the Austrian Holocaust Memorial Service.


2006 - "Special Recognition" by the German Academy of Performing Arts on the Film Festival Baden-Baden for the production team of Wut.

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Interview mit August Zirner: "Eigentlich bin ich ein Komiker"". 4 August 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  2. ^ a b "August Zirner im Interview : August Zirner wollte mit Senta Berger drehen - News -". Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  3. ^ Canby, Vincent (31 January 1992). "Movie Review - Voyager - Review/Film; A Variation on the Oedipus Theme -". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  4. ^ "Fünf Adolf-Grimme-Preise für Colonia Media-Produktion "Wut"". Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  5. ^ a b GQ. "Alles zum Thema: August Zirner - GQ". GQ. Archived from the original on 1 October 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  6. ^[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Mitchell, Elvis (16 August 2002). "Movie Review - Mostly Martha - FILM REVIEW; A Single-Minded Cook Who Wakes Up to Life -". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 September 2014.

External links[edit]