Eric Braeden

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Eric Braeden
Eric Braeden - Monte-Carlo Television Festival.jpg
Born Hans-Jörg Gudegast
(1941-04-03) April 3, 1941 (age 74)
Bredenbek, Germany
Occupation Actor
Years active 1962–present
Spouse(s) Dale Russell Gudegast (m. 1966; 1 child)

Eric Braeden (born Hans-Jörg Gudegast; April 3, 1941)[1] is a German film and television actor, best known for his roles as Victor Newman on the soap opera The Young and the Restless, as Hans Dietrich in the 1960s TV series The Rat Patrol, Dr. Charles Forbin in Colossus: The Forbin Project, and as John Jacob Astor IV in the 1997 film Titanic. He won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1998 for Lead Actor in a Drama Series for the role of Victor Newman.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Braeden was born Hans-Jörg Gudegast in Bredenbek, Germany (near Kiel),[1] where his father was once mayor. He immigrated to the USA in 1959. In the United States, Braeden attended the University of Montana, Missoula on a Track and Field Scholarship (discus, javelin, shotput).[citation needed]


Braeden accumulated many TV and film credits during his first two decades in America, and guest starred in 120 roles. During the 1960s (credited as Hans Gudegast) he appeared in several episodes of TV's longest-running WWII drama (1962-67) Combat!, always playing a German soldier. In 1965 (again, credited as Hans Gudegast), he appeared in a film called Morituri starring Marlon Brando and Yul Brynner, he also starred in the 1969 western 100 Rifles with Raquel Welch, Burt Reynolds and Jim Brown (notorious for the first big screen "interracial love scene between Welch & Brown), once again playing a villainous German military officer opposite Fernando Lamas, and guest-starred in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. as T.H.R.U.S.H. agent Mr. Oakes in "The Discotheque Affair"; episode 5, season two.[3]

In 1966 he guest-starred (also credited as Hans Gudegast) as Luftwaffe Major Bentz in episode 28, "Day of Reckoning", of season two of the TV series Twelve O'Clock High, very loosely based on the classic 1949 war film with the same name. He appeared in an episode of the 1966 espionage drama series Blue Light, played German Hauptmann (Captain) Hans Dietrich on the TV series The Rat Patrol (1966–1968), and had a starring role in the movie Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970), in which he first took the stage name of Eric Braeden.[3] Lew Wasserman of Universal Pictures told him that no one would be allowed to star in an American film if they had a German name. After much thought he took the name Braeden from his hometown of Bredenbek.[4]

In 1971 he took the role of the primary antagonist, Dr. Otto Hasslein in Escape from the Planet of the Apes. Throughout the 1970s, he guest-starred in a variety of television shows including The Six Million Dollar Man, Wonder Woman, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and also appeared in several episodes of the long-running CBS western series Gunsmoke. In 1977 he appeared in Walt Disney's Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo as the arrogant but formidable race car driver, Bruno von Stickle. In 1980, he was offered the role of self-made business magnate Victor Newman on the daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless for a 26-week run. His character imprisoned his wife's lover, and became so popular the character became a love-to-hate villain, and his contract was renewed. Still on the show today, Braeden won a Daytime Emmy for his work in 1998.[3]

In 1997, he played Colonel John Jacob Astor IV in the blockbuster film Titanic, cast because he strongly resembled the powerful millionaire.[citation needed] Braeden told Cindy Elavsky that the scene in which his character drowned "was one of the scariest moments in this business for me."[5]

Braeden announced on October 18, 2009 that after almost 30 years on The Young and the Restless, he was leaving the show. "We reached an impasse in the negotiations", Braeden said in an exclusive interview with celebrity news website Braeden's last airdate was scheduled to be November 2; however, on October 23, 2009, CBS announced that Braeden had inked a new three-year deal and would remain with the soap, even agreeing to take a pay cut, which was the original issue.[6]

Personal life[edit]

In 1958 Braeden, then known as Hans Gudegast, won the German National Team Championship in Track and Field (discus, shot-put and javelin with the Rendsburger TSV). Braeden later went on to win the 1973 National Challenge Cup as a fullback with the Jewish American soccer club Maccabi Los Angeles, scoring the winning goal in the semifinal and a penalty kick in the final against Cleveland Inter.[7] In the 1970s/80s he could often be seen boxing at the Hoover Street and Broadway gyms in L.A.[8] His son, Christian, is a screenwriter who wrote the film A Man Apart, which starred Vin Diesel.[8]

Awards, honors and nominations[edit]

  • Braeden won Distinguished German-American of the Year in 1990.
  • Braeden received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on July 20, 2007.
  • Braeden received the Gilmore Award from the Pacific Pioneers, a radio and television industry group, in 2007.[8]
  • Braeden received the 2009 Friend of German Award from the American Association of Teachers of German.
  • Braeden was awarded 2 Bundesverdienstkreuze (the German Medal of Honor) from the German Federal Government.
  • Braden was awarded a Humanitarian Award from the Government of Israel by Ambassador Yuval Rotem.
Year Award Category Work Result
1987 14th Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series The Young and the Restless Nominated
1990 17th Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series The Young and the Restless Nominated
1992 18th People's Choice Awards Favorite Male Performer In A Daytime Serial The Young and the Restless Won
1996 23rd Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series The Young and the Restless Nominated
1997 24th Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series The Young and the Restless Nominated
1998 25th Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series The Young and the Restless Won[2]
1999 26th Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series The Young and the Restless Nominated
2000 27th Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series The Young and the Restless Nominated
2004 31st Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series The Young and the Restless Nominated

TV and filmography[edit]

Year Title Role
1963 Combat! Hans Gruber
1965 The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Mr. Oakes
1965 Combat! Ecktmann
1965 Morituri Radio Officer
1966–1967 Mission: Impossible Andrei Fetyakov, Marcus von Frank
1966–1968 The Rat Patrol Hauptmann (Captain) Hans Dietrich
1968 Dayton's Devils Max Eikhart
1969 Hawaii Five-O Dr. Paul Farrar
100 Rifles Lt. Franz Von Klemme
1970 Hawaii Five-O Klaus Marburg
Colossus: The Forbin Project Dr. Charles A. Forbin
The Mask of Sheba Dr. Morgan
1970 The Young Rebels Major Zanker
1971 Escape from the Planet of the Apes Dr. Otto Hasslein
1971 Gunsmoke Carl Jaekel (in episode "Jaekel")
1971 Gunsmoke Jack Sinclair (in 3-part episode "The Bullet")
1971 Bearcats! Colonel Reinert
1972 The Judge and Jake Wyler Anton Granicek
1972 Hawaii Five-O Djebara
1973 The Adulteress Hank Baron
Death Race Stoeffer
The Six Million Dollar Man Findletter
McCloud Ravic
1974 Kolchak: The Night Stalker Bernhardt Stieglitz
Banacek Paul Bolitho
The Ultimate Thrill Roland
1975 Death Scream Kosinsky
1975 Wonder Woman Evan Donaldson
1977 The Mary Tyler Moore Show Karl Heller
Kojak Kenneth Krug
Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo Bruno von Stickle
1978 The Eddie Capra Mysteries Leo (episode "Murder! Murder!")
1979 CHiPs Senator Lerwin
1980–present The Young and the Restless Victor Newman
1981 Charlie's Angels John Reardon
1986 Airwolf Nick Kincaid
1990 Lucky/Chances Dimitri Stanislopolous
1990 The Ambulance The Doctor
1994 The Nanny Frank Bradley, Sr.
1995 Diagnosis: Murder Himself
1997 Titanic John Jacob Astor IV
1998 Meet the Deedles Elton Deedle
1999 The Bold and the Beautiful Victor Newman
2008 The Man Who Came Back Reese Paxton
2008 How I Met Your Mother Robin Scherbatsky, Sr.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "SOAP STAR STATS: Eric Braeden (Victor, Y&R)". Retrieved January 13, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Daytime Emmy Winners & Nominees: 1998". Retrieved July 10, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c Eric Braeden at the Internet Movie Database
  4. ^ Weaver, Tom Eric Braeden Interview in I Talked with a Zombie: Interviews with 23 veterans of Horror and Sci-fi Films and Television, McFarland, 2009, pp. 11-12
  5. ^ Elavsky, Cindy (2012-03-16). "Celebrity Extra". Downriver Sunday Times. Retrieved 2012-03-23. 
  6. ^ Kate Stanhope. "Eric Braeden Returning to Young and the Restless". 
  7. ^ Zeller, Johnathan (June 29, 2015). "Los Angeles' Forgottten Jewish Soccer Dynasty". VICE Sports. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c "Victor, Victorious". Soap Opera Weekly. 2007-02-13. p. 32. 

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