Hardy Krüger

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Hardy Krüger
Kruger, Hardy 01.jpg
Hardy Krüger, ca. 1960
Born Franz Eberhard August Krüger
(1928-04-12) 12 April 1928 (age 89)
Wedding, Berlin, Germany
Years active 1944–2011
Spouse(s) Anita (1978–present)
Francesca Marazzi (1965–1977) (divorced)
Renate Densow (1950–1964) (divorced)

Hardy Krüger (born Franz Eberhard August Krüger; 12 April 1928) is a German actor who appeared in more than 60 films since 1944. Extremely popular in his own country,[1] Kruger is also known for his appearances in international films like Hatari!, Sundays and Cybele, The Flight of the Phoenix and Barry Lyndon.

Early life[edit]

Hardy Krüger was born as the son of confirmed Nazis in Wedding, Berlin in 1928. "I was raised to love Hitler", he stated in a 2016 interview.[2] From 1941, he went to an elitist Adolf Hitler School at the Ordensburg Sonthofen. At age 15, Hardy made his film début in a German picture, The Young Eagles but his acting career was interrupted when he was conscripted into the German Wehrmacht in 1944 at age 16.

In March 1945, Krüger was conscripted into the 38th SS Division Nibelungen where he was drawn into heavy fighting before being captured by American forces. The 16-year-old Krüger was ordered to eliminate a group of American soldiers. When he refused, he was sentenced to death for cowardice but another SS officer stopped the order.[3] Krüger described this experience as his break with Nazism. He later served as a messenger for the SS but he escaped and hid out in France until the end of the war. He is today a member of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation and frequently speaks out against right-wing extremism, also citing his own experiences.

Life and work[edit]

Because of his stereotypical Teutonic look (blond hair and blue eyes), Hardy Krüger often performed in roles portraying German soldiers.

He first came to the attention of English language audiences in the 1957 British war film The One That Got Away, the story of Franz von Werra, the only German prisoner of war to successfully escape from Allied custody and return to Germany.

In 1960, Krüger bought Ngorongoro farm in the then Tanganyika Territory, which he owned for 13 years. Ngorongoro served as the setting for the 1962 film Hatari!, a Howard Hawks film, in which Krüger appeared with John Wayne.

Fluent in German, English and French, he has worked in numerous European and American films such as the Oscar-winning Les dimanches de ville d'Avray (1962), the original 1965 version of The Flight of the Phoenix and the German version of The Moon is Blue. Other films include The Wild Geese (1978) with Richard Burton, Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon with Ryan O'Neal, the comedy-drama The Secret of Santa Vittoria (1969) where he played a German officer during the Second World War trying to find hidden wine in a small Italian town, and Richard Attenborough's A Bridge Too Far (sharing a scene with Laurence Olivier).

Personal life[edit]

Hardy Kruger married his third wife Anita in 1978. They live in California and Hamburg.[4] His daughter Christiane Krüger and his son, Hardy Krüger Jr. are also actors.

Hardy Krüger, 2013

Selected filmography[edit]

Awards[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]