Frau Farbissina

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Frau Farbissina
Austin Powers character
Frau Farbissina APIMOM.jpg
Mindy Sterling as Frau Farbissina
First appearanceInternational Man of Mystery
Last appearanceAustin Powers in Goldmember
Created byMike Myers
Portrayed byMindy Sterling
OccupationAttack and defense specialist,
Founder of the militant wing of the Salvation Army,
Significant otherDr. Evil
Una Brau
ChildrenScott Evil

Frau Farbissina is a fictional character played by Mindy Sterling in the Austin Powers film series.[1][2] Farbissina is a German attack and defence specialist and the founder of "the militant wing of the Salvation Army". She is also Dr. Evil's henchwoman and tries to help in his schemes to terrorize and take over the world. She has a heavy German accent, and is well known for a running gag in which she shouts her orders needlessly loud and screeching, often startling Dr. Evil. For her performances Sterling was nominated for Favorite Supporting Actress in a Comedy at the BMI Film & TV Awards.[3]



Frau's look and demeanour are parodies of several female villains from early James Bond films, namely From Russia with Love's Rosa Klebb (played by Lotte Lenya), On Her Majesty's Secret Service's Irma Bunt (played by Ilse Steppat), and particularly the character of Frau Hoffner (played by Anna Quayle) in the 1967 Bond spoof Casino Royale.[4] In Mike Myers's book Canada, he states that Frau was mixture of Rosa Klebb and Lotta Hitschmanova, who appeared in commercials for the Unitarian Service Committee of Canada on late night television. [5]

Farbissina asserts that she would eventually like to get out of the criminal mastermind business and open a boarding school for girls. This is another reference to Quayle's "Frau Hoffner" role in Casino Royale in which Hoffner heads an international spy school in East Berlin known as the "Mata Hari School of Dancing", where she boards and trains young women to be agents for both sides of the Cold War.[citation needed]


Her surname derives from the Yiddish word פאַרביסן farbissen (verbissen in German), meaning "embittered"; a farbissiner is an angry, bitter, vocal (male) person, while farbissina is the corresponding female form. Frau, German for "Mrs." or "woman", is apparently treated as a given name.[citation needed]


She has a heavy German accent; in the German dubbed versions of the films, she speaks with an Upper Saxon dialect, suggesting coming from East Germany. In Comedy Central's Canned Ham: The Doctor Evil Story, a half-hour-long preview special of The Spy Who Shagged Me, Dr. Evil states that he met Farbissina "at gymnasia in Baden-Baden at a street corner next to the McDonald's."[6]

Out of all his henchmen and assistants Farbissina is perhaps closest to Dr. Evil. In praising Dr. Evil, Farbissina commented, "Dr. Evil is a man of great intelligence - able to step on a bug and say 'too bad![7]

International Man of Mystery[edit]

Frau participates in helping Dr. Evil hijack a nuclear warhead and hold the world hostage. It is revealed Frau used a sample of Evil's semen just a couple of years after Dr. Evil's cryostasis to artificially create his son, Scott Evil (played by Seth Green), now a Generation Y young adult. Scott is resentful of his father, but close to Frau, the only one who cares about his wellbeing. In the first film, Dr. Evil is about to press a button that would kill Scott for his insolence by burning him alive, but Frau swats his hand away, then winks at Scott.[8]

The Spy Who Shagged Me[edit]

The second film jumps from the 1990s to the 1960s due to time travel. Inexplicably, Frau Farbissina looks exactly the same in the 1960s as she did in the 1990s, which was used for comedic effect in the film.

In the present she states that she is homosexual, and is in a relationship with Una Brau, a woman she met on a LPGA tour. However, when Dr. Evil goes back in time and imbibing some of Austin Powers' mojo he has sex with Frau. This leads to an uncomfortable morning-after encounter and Farbissina swearing she will never love another man. In the closing credits, Farbissina and Scott Evil go on The Jerry Springer Show, in which she reveals herself to be Scott's mother. She also reveals she never told him because she didn't want him to be hurt, he forgives her and they embrace.[9]


Frau is still helping Dr. Evil with his evil schemes. Frau and Dr. Evil also kiss while he is in prison; although the two enjoy it (despite her having been established as a lesbian in the previous movie), the purpose was to transfer a key to Dr. Evil so that he could escape. Once her son Scott begins to become evil she shows that she is very proud.


  1. ^ "Mindy Sterling Biography (1953-)".
  2. ^ Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery on IMDb. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  3. ^ "BMI Honors Top Film and TV Composers". BMI Film & TV Awards. May 15, 2000. Retrieved June 21, 2011.
  4. ^ "Frau Farbissina". zimbio. Archived from the original on 5 September 2010. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  5. ^ Myers, Mike (2016). Canada, p. 230. Doubleday Canada. ISBN 038568925X
  6. ^ "Comedy Central's Canned Ham: The Dr. Evil Story (1999)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  7. ^ "Comedy Central's Canned Ham: The Dr. Evil Story (1999)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  8. ^ Daily Script. "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery script by Mike Myers". Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  9. ^ Screenplays For You. "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me script by Mike Myers". Retrieved 19 July 2015.

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