Famous Austrian Film & Theater Personalities

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Find out more about the greatest Austrian Film & Theater Personalities, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mick Blue, Maximilian I of Mexico, Geli Raubal and Michael Haneke.
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 1 
Christoph Waltz
(Best Known for His Academy Award Winning Roles in the Films: ‘Inglourious Basterds’ and 'Django Unchained')
Christoph Waltz
7
Birthdate: October 4, 1956
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Christoph Waltz is best known for his Academy Award-winning performances as Colonel Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds and Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained, both by Quentin Tarantino. Waltz had begun as a stage and TV actor in Germany. Some of his other notable projects are Spectre and Big Eyes.
 2 
Boris Kodjoe
(Best Known for His Role in the Film 'Brown Sugar' and TV Series 'Soul Food')
Boris Kodjoe
4
Birthdate: March 8, 1973
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Boris Kodjoe is an Austrian-American former model, actor, and producer. Over the years, he has been part of several popular films and TV series, such as Brown Sugar, Resident Evil: Afterlife, and Station 19. Also known for his good looks, Boris Kodjoe was named in People magazine's list of 50 Most Beautiful People in the World in 2002.
 3 
Peter Lorre
(Best Known for His Role as the Psychotic Child Murderer in the Thriller Film ‘M’)
Peter Lorre
3
Birthdate: June 26, 1904
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ružomberok, Slovakia
Died: March 23, 1964
Hungarian-American actor Peter Lorre went from stage-acting in Vienna to working in films in Germany. He soared to fame with the films M and The Man Who Knew Too Much. He left Germany during the Nazi rule. Fans loved him as Le Chiffre in the TV version of Casino Royale.
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 4 
Fritz Lang
(Austrian Filmmaker Who Was a Pioneer of Science-Fiction Movies)
Fritz Lang
3
Birthdate: December 5, 1890
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: August 2, 1976

While Austrian filmmaker Fritz Lang initially studied civil engineering, he later trained as a painter, before switching to screenwriting and direction. He was a prominent figure of German Expressionism and mostly worked in Germany and the US. His Woman in the Moon was a pioneering science-fiction movie.

 5 
John Banner
(Best Known for His Role as ‘Sergeant Schultz’ in Sitcom the ‘Hogan's Heroes’)
John Banner
3
Birthdate: January 28, 1910
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine
Died: January 28, 1973

Austrian-born actor John Banner is best remembered as Sergeant Schultz from the World War II-themed sitcom Hogan's Heroes. He was known for his popular catchphrase “I see nothing! I hear nothing! I know nothing!" He has also appeared on Broadway and in films such as Once Upon a Honeymoon

 6 
Maximilian Schell
(Actor Best Known for His Film "Judgment at Nuremberg")
Maximilian Schell
3
Birthdate: December 8, 1930
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: February 1, 2014

Maximilian Schell was an Austrian-born Swiss actor who won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Hans Rolfe in the 1961 courtroom drama film, Judgment at Nuremberg. Remembered for his versatility, Schell received the Golden Globe Award for playing Vladimir Lenin in the 1992 TV film, Stalin. A multi-talented personality, Schell was also an accomplished conductor and pianist.

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 7 
Otto Preminger
(Director and Producer Best Known for His Film ‘Anatomy of a Murder’)
Otto Preminger
3
Birthdate: December 5, 1905
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Vyzhnytsya, Ukraine
Died: April 23, 1986

While he initially wished to follow in his prosecutor father’s footsteps to be a lawyer, Otto Preminger later discovered his love for theater. A master stage director, he later signed with Fox as one of its first independent filmmakers. He soared to fame with the 1944 film Laura.  

 8 
Emily Cox
(Actress)
Emily Cox
5
Birthdate: February 23, 1985
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria

Viennese actor Emily Cox initially wished to be a dancer but later began her career as a theater actor. She is now best known for her performance as Viking warrior Brida in the hit Netflix series The Last Kingdom. She has also been part of movies such as Fatherless.

 9 
Sam Spiegel
(Film producer)
Sam Spiegel
2
Birthdate: November 11, 1901
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Jarosław, Austrian Poland
Died: December 31, 1985
 10 
Michael Haneke
(Film director, Screenwriter, Writer, University teacher)
Michael Haneke
3
Birthdate: March 23, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Munich

Award-winning Austrian film director and screenwriter Michael Haneke, who teaches film direction at the Film Academy Vienna, is best-known for films like The Piano Teacher, Caché, The White Ribbon and Amour. Haneke has made films in English, French and German, and mostly deals with subjects that examine social issues and portrays feelings of individuals facing social alienation in modern society.

 11 
Danny Nucci
3
Birthdate: September 15, 1968
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Klagenfurt, Austria

Danny Nucci is an American actor best known for his work in successful films like Crimson Tide, The Rock, Eraser, and Titanic. Over the years, Danny Nucci has also contributed immensely to the TV industry, having played important roles in TV series like Falcon Crest, Snoops, 10-8: Officers on Duty, and The Fosters.

 12 
Friedensreich Hundertwasser
(Austrian Visual Artist and Architect)
Friedensreich Hundertwasser
2
Birthdate: December 15, 1928
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: February 19, 2000

Austrian visual artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser is remembered for his imagination, his love for bold colors and uneven forms, and his dislike for “straight lines.” He and his Jewish mother escaped the Nazis by posing as Christians. His architectural projects are focused on environment-friendly buildings, such as the Hundertwasserhaus apartment block.

 13 
Patricia Rhomberg
(Pornographic actress)
Patricia Rhomberg
6
Birthdate: September 15, 1953
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria

Patricia Rhomberg is an Austrian former pornographic film actress who was active during the 1970s. She began her career as a medical assistant but her life took an unexpected turn after meeting director Hans Billian, who made sex movies and encouraged her to become a porn star. She played the lead role in many popular porn films before retiring. 

 14 
Christine Kaufmann
(First German Actress to Win the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year)
Christine Kaufmann
3
Birthdate: January 11, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lengdorf, Styria, Austria
Died: March 28, 2017

German-Austrian actress, author, and businesswoman Christine Kaufmann gained attention of post-war German movie audiences with her performances in films like Rosen-Resli, Der schweigende Engel and Ein Herz schlägt für Erika. She became the first German to be honoured with Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress for her performance in the drama film Town Without Pity.

 15 
Barbara Valentin
(Australian Actress)
Barbara Valentin
3
Birthdate: December 15, 1940
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: February 22, 2002

Austrian actor Barbara Valentin, or the Queen of Nudity, was known for her saucy films and for her friendship with Queen star Freddie Mercury. She appeared in the Queen video It’s A Hard Life. Though Freddie was queer, close friends claimed he had shared a bed with Valentin multiple times.

 16 
Reina Triendl
(Model and Actress)
Reina Triendl
3
Birthdate: January 23, 1992
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Born to an Austrian father and a Japanese mother, Reina Triendl traveled to many places as a child due to her father’s work. She was scouted while in high school and thus began to model. She later gained fame with the reality series Terrace House and the film Tag.
 17 
Theodore Bikel
(Folksinger and Actor Known for His Role as ‘Max Muller’ in the 1958 Film ‘The Defiant Ones')
Theodore Bikel
2
Birthdate: May 2, 1924
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: July 21, 2015

Legendary Austrian-American actor Theodore Bikel is best remembered for his Academy Award-nominated portrayal of Sheriff Max Muller in the film The Defiant Ones. He had also ruled the stage with plays such as Fiddler on the Roof. As a folk singer, he sang in 21 languages and also played the guitar.

 18 
Klaus Maria Brandauer
(Austrian Actor and Director)
Klaus Maria Brandauer
2
Birthdate: June 22, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bad Aussee, Styria, Austria

Klaus Maria Brandauer is an Austrian actor and director with an extensive career spanning six decades. He is known internationally for his roles in the films The Russia House and Out of Africa. He is multilingual and has a working knowledge of German, English, Hungarian, and French. He also works as a professor at the Max Reinhardt Seminar.  

 19 
Senta Berger
(Actress Best Known for Her Role in the TV Series 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.')
Senta Berger
3
Birthdate: May 13, 1941
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria

It is believed Austrian actor Senta Berger was suspended by the Max-Reinhardt-Seminar, where she studied drama, after she bagged her first movie role. The three-time Bambi Award winner is known for her roles in films such as The Quiller Memorandum. She is also involved with peace and environmental activism.

 20 
Justin Narayan
(Winner of MasterChef Australia 2021)
Justin Narayan
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Birthdate: 1994 AD
Birthplace: Western Australia
 21 
Lotte Lenya
(Austrian-American Actress, Singer, and Diseuse)
Lotte Lenya
3
Birthdate: October 18, 1898
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: November 27, 1981
 22 
Leon Askin
(Austrian Actor Best Known for Portraying the Character 'General Burkhalter' in the TV Series 'Hogan’s Heroes')
Leon Askin
2
Birthdate: September 18, 1907
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: June 3, 2005

Leon Askin was a prominent actor of Austrian origin. Born in Vienna to a Jewish family, he fled to the United States in 1940 to escape the Nazis. Already trained in acting, he was able to get work in Hollywood. He ventured into television as well and became widely popular with his role in the sitcom Hogan's Heroes.  

 23 
Maria Schell
(One of the Leading German Actresses of the 1950s and 1960s)
Maria Schell
3
Birthdate: January 15, 1926
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: April 26, 2005

Maria Schell was an Austrian-Swiss actress who achieved immense popularity during the 1950s and 1960s, when she was considered one of the leading actresses of German cinema. Maria Schell is best remembered for her portrayal of Dr. Helga Reinbeck in the 1954 Austrian-Yugoslavian war drama film The Last Bridge, which earned her the Cannes Best Actress Award in 1954.

 24 
Oskar Werner
(Austrian Stage and Cinema Actor)
Oskar Werner
2
Birthdate: November 13, 1922
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: October 23, 1984
Austrian actor Oskar Werner is best remembered for his Golden Globe-winning role in The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. A life-long alcoholic, he deliberately chopped his hair off to disrupt continuity in the final scene of Fahrenheit 451, as he had a feud with the director, François Truffaut.
 25 
Sybil Danning
(Austrian Model, Actress, and Film Producer)
Sybil Danning
2
Birthdate: May 24, 1952
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wels, Austria
 26 
Jessica Falkholt
(Australian Actress)
Jessica Falkholt
0
Birthdate: May 15, 1988
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia
Died: January 17, 2018
 27 
Fred Zinnemann
(Film Director)
Fred Zinnemann
2
Birthdate: April 29, 1907
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rzeszów, Austria-Hungary
Died: March 14, 1997

Four-time Academy Award-winning director Fred Zinnemann had started off as an extra. He later directed/produced masterpieces such as A Man for All Seasons and was one of the first to use non-professional actors along with stars. He was shattered when his ambitious project Man's Fate was shelved.

 28 
Erich Wolfgang Korngold
(Composer, Conductor)
Erich Wolfgang Korngold
2
Birthdate: May 29, 1897
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brünn, Moravia, Austria
Died: November 29, 1957
 29 
Helmut Berger
(Austrian Actor Known for His Portrayal of Narcissistic and Sexually-Ambiguous Characters)
Helmut Berger
2
Birthdate: May 29, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bad Ischl, Austria

Helmut Berger is an Austrian actor who gained fame with his portrayal of narcissistic and sexually-ambiguous characters. He began his acting career in the 1960s and soon came to be regarded as a sex symbol and pop icon. He became a major star in European cinema in the late 1960s and 1970s. He is openly bisexual. 

 30 
Maximilian Osinski
0
Birthplace: Eisenstadt, Burgenland, Austria
 31 
Curd Jürgens
(Austrian Actor Known for Playing 'Ernst Udet' in the Film 'Des Teufels General' )
Curd Jürgens
0
Birthdate: December 13, 1915
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Solln, Munich, Germany
Died: June 18, 1982

Curd Jürgens was a German-Austrian actor active in both theater and films. Born to parents with no links to the cinema, he never aspired to be an actor and worked as a journalist. He later married an actress who encouraged him to act as well. Naturally skilled at acting, he went on to become a respected character actor.  

 32 
Nauheed Cyrusi
(Actress, Model and VJ)
Nauheed Cyrusi
2
Birthdate: October 19, 1982
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bombay, Maharashtra, India

Nauheed Cyrusi is an Indian model, actress, and VJ. Cyrusi is best known for appearing in TV commercials for well-known brands like Head & Shoulders, Britannia, and Himalaya. Over the years, Cyrusi has become a household name in India, thanks to her acting skills and visibility across the country.

 33 
Rhiannon Fish
(Canadian-Australian Actress)
Rhiannon Fish
0
Birthdate: March 14, 1991
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
 34 
Karlheinz Böhm
(Actor Known for His Role as 'Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria' in the 'Sissi' Film Trilogy)
Karlheinz Böhm
2
Birthdate: March 16, 1928
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Darmstadt, Germany
Died: May 29, 2014

Karlheinz Böhm was an Austrian-German philanthropist and actor. He is best remembered for playing a psychopathic named Mark in the 1960 British psychological horror-thriller film Peeping Tom. In 2003, the Ethiopian government honored Karlheinz Böhm with honorary citizenship for his work as the founder of an organization named Humans for Humans, which aims at helping Ethiopian people in need.

 35 
Marisa Mell
(Austrian Actress)
Marisa Mell
1
Birthdate: February 24, 1939
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Graz, Austria
Died: May 16, 1992
 36 
Jürgen Maurer
1
Birthdate: January 30, 1967
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Klagenfurt, Austria

Jürgen Maurer is an Austrian actor who gained international fame with his role in the Austrian-coproduced crime drama Tatort. He received his acting training at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, following which he began his stage career. He eventually ventured into films and television as well. He has also appeared in English-language shows, including the British-Austrian series Vienna Blood. 

 37 
Max Reinhardt
(One of the Most Prominent Directors of German-Language Theatre in the Early 20th Century)
Max Reinhardt
1
Birthdate: September 9, 1873
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Baden, Austria
Died: October 31, 1943

Max Reinhardt was an Austrian-born director and producer. The son of a Jewish merchant, he took acting lessons and embarked on a brilliant theatrical career. Before long, he came to be regarded as one of the most prominent directors of German-language theater. However, he had to flee Austria during the Nazi invasion and eventually settled in USA. 

 38 
Georg von Habsburg
(Hungary's Ambassador to France since 2020)
Georg von Habsburg
1
Birthdate: December 16, 1964
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Starnberg, Germany
 39 
Lilia Skala
(Architect)
Lilia Skala
2
Birthdate: November 28, 1896
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: December 18, 1994

One of the first female architects from Austria, Lilia Skala later also became a reputed actor, winning an Academy Award nomination for her film Lilies of the Field. She had also worked in Broadway plays such as Letters to Lucerne and in soaps such as Claudia: The Story of a Marriage.

 40 
Ulla Jacobsson
(Swedish Actress )
Ulla Jacobsson
1
Birthdate: May 23, 1929
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Mölndal, Sweden
Died: August 20, 1982
 41 
Roxane Duran
(French-Austrian Film, TV, and Theater Actress)
Roxane Duran
1
Birthdate: January 27, 1993
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
 42 
Anton Walbrook
(Austrian Actor Who Established a Career in British Cinema)
Anton Walbrook
1
Birthdate: November 19, 1896
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: August 9, 1967

Anton Walbrook was an Austrian actor who established a career in the United Kingdom after leaving Austria in 1936 due to safety concerns. He is best remembered for playing important roles in films like The Red Shoes and The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, where he played Boris Lermontov and Theo Kretschmar-Schuldorff respectively.

 43 
Valerie Pachner
(Austrian Actress)
Valerie Pachner
1
Birthdate: June 26, 1987
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wels, Austria
 44 
Peter Brabeck-Letmathe
(Businessperson, Entrepreneur)
Peter Brabeck-Letmathe
2
Birthdate: November 13, 1944
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Villach

Peter Brabeck-Letmathe is an Austrian businessman best known for his association with the popular Swiss conglomerate corporation Nestlé Group, where he has served as the chairman, CEO, and chairman emeritus. Brabeck-Letmathe is also known for his work as the chairman of the Formula One Group.

 45 
Kurt Kasznar
1
Birthdate: August 12, 1913
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: August 6, 1979

Kurt Kasznar was an American actor who contributed immensely to Broadway, TV, and the film industry. He also served in the Second World War as a soldier and was among the first Army photographers from the USA to capture the ruins of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on camera.

 46 
Roland Kickinger
(Austrian Bodybuilder and Actor Known for His Role as 'Chip Rommel' in TV Series 'Son of the Beach')
Roland Kickinger
2
Birthdate: March 30, 1968
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria

Roland Kickinger is an Austrian actor and bodybuilder best known for his appearances in several fitness magazines, bodybuilding competitions, and training videos. Kickinger is also known for his portrayal of Chip Rommel in the American sitcom Son of the Beach. He gained popularity in 2009 when he appeared as a prototype of the titular character in the film Terminator Salvation.

 47 
Miriam Stein
(Austrian-Swiss Actress)
Miriam Stein
2
Birthdate: May 10, 1988
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
 48 
Lionel Royce
2
Birthdate: March 30, 1891
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dolyna, Ukraine
Died: April 1, 1946

Lionel Royce was an Austrian-American stage and film actor. Born to a Jewish family in Vienna, he went through numerous struggles to survive and build a career in the 1920s and 1930s. He was finally able to emigrate to USA, where he had a thriving acting career. His last movie was the classic film noir, Gilda.  

 49 
Susan Denberg
(German-Austrian Actress and Model)
Susan Denberg
1
Birthdate: August 2, 1944
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bad Polzin, Pomerania, Germany
 50 
Veronika Franz
(Austrian Horror Filmmaker Who Has Formed a Filmmaking Duo with Severin Fiala)
Veronika Franz
1
Birthdate: 1965 AD
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria

Austrian filmmaker Veronika Franz teamed up with her nephew, Severin Fiala, to make several films. Initially a film journalist, she later gained fame with the German-language psychological horror movie Goodnight Mommy, which she co-directed with Fiala. She is married to award-winning filmmaker Ulrich Seidl.