Josef Sommer

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Josef Sommer
Maximilian Josef Sommer

(1934-06-26) June 26, 1934 (age 86)
Greifswald, Germany
EducationCarnegie Mellon University (Bachelor of Fine Arts)
Years active1971—present

Maximilian Josef Sommer (born June 26, 1934) is a German-American stage, television, and film actor.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Greifswald, Germany, and raised in North Carolina, the son of Elisabeth and Clemens Sommer, a professor of Art History at the University of North Carolina.[1] He studied at the Carnegie Institute of Technology.[2] He has a daughter, Maria.


Sommer made his acting debut at the age of nine in a North Carolina production of Watch on the Rhine. He made his film debut in Dirty Harry (1971) and appeared in films such as The Stepford Wives (1975), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Still of the Night (1982), Silkwood (1983), Peter Weir's thriller Witness (1985) opposite Harrison Ford (where he played a dirty cop), Target (1985), Malice (1993), Patch Adams (1998), and X-Men: The Last Stand (2006). He appeared as President Gerald Ford opposite Gena Rowlands in the TV movie The Betty Ford Story (1987). In 1974, he appeared in the role of Roy Mills on The Guiding Light, and played George Barton in the 1983 TV version of Agatha Christie's Sparkling Cyanide. He had starring roles in two short-lived series: Hothouse (1988) and Under Cover (1991). As of 2007, he has appeared in almost 100 films. Some of his more famous roles have been as a crooked businessman or a corrupt politician. Sommer displayed humanity without being seen on screen when he lent his talents as the poignant narrator in Sophie's Choice (1982).

He played a rare leading role—opposite the titular-titled, eponymous character played by Sylvia Kristel—as the film noir-esque detective in the quirky horror comedy Dracula's Widow (1988).



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