Famous Austrian Film & Theater Personalities

Find out more about the greatest Austrian Film & Theater Personalities, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mick Blue, Maximilian I of Mexico, Geli Raubal and Michael Haneke.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Austrian Film & Theater Personalities

 1 

Christoph Waltz
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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
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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 

Maria von Trapp
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Birthdate: January 26, 1905
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria-Hungary [now Austria]
Died: March 28, 1987

Maria von Trapp was the matriarch of the Austrian singing family, Trapp Family Singers. As a young woman, she married widowed naval commander Georg von Trapp. He already had seven children from his first wife, and the couple had three more. The family began singing together at events and became a popular touring act called the Trapp Family Singers. 

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 4 
Fritz Lang
(Film director)

Fritz Lang
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Birthdate: December 5, 1890
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: August 2, 1976

 5 

John Banner
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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 
Otto von Habsburg
(Last crown prince of Austria-Hungary from 1916 until the dissolution of the empire in November 1918)

Otto von Habsburg
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Birthdate: November 20, 1912
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Reichenau an der Rax, Austria
Died: July 4, 2011

Otto von Habsburg was the son of Charles I, the last emperor of Austria. A staunch opponent of Nazism, he called for the unification and integration of Europe. He had been a European Parliament member and spearheaded the Pan-European Picnic at the Austrian-Hungarian border during the 1989 revolution.

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 7 
Maximilian Schell
(Actor Best Known for His Film "Judgment at Nuremberg")

Maximilian Schell
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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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 8 
Emily Cox
(Actress)

Emily Cox
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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 
Otto Preminger
(Director)

Otto Preminger
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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.  

 10 
Francis Lawrence
(Filmmaker)

Francis Lawrence
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Birthdate: March 26, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria

Austrian-American filmmaker Francis Lawrence is best known for films such as the Hunger Games franchise and I Am Legend. He is also a skilled music video director, who has worked with the likes of Britney Spears and Aerosmith and has even won a Grammy for directing Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance.

 11 
Michael Haneke
(Film director, Screenwriter, Writer, University teacher)

Michael Haneke
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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.

 12 
Sam Spiegel
(Film producer)

Sam Spiegel
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Birthdate: November 11, 1901
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Jarosław, Austrian Poland
Died: December 31, 1985

 13 

Danny Nucci
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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.

 14 
Justin Narayan
(Winner of MasterChef Australia 2021)

Justin Narayan
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Birthdate: 1994 AD
Birthplace: Western Australia

 15 

Barbara Valentin
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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 

Paul Henreid
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Birthdate: January 10, 1908
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Trieste, Austria-Hungary (now Italy)
Died: March 29, 1992

Born to an affluent banker, Paul Henreid had an elite education. He also initially worked as a translator and book designer, training as an actor at nights. He gained fame with his role in Goodbye, Mr. Chips and Casablanca. He later also directed a few episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

 17 

Reina Triendl
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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.

 18 
Patricia Rhomberg
(Pornographic actress)

Patricia Rhomberg
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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. 

 19 
Theodore Bikel
(Folksinger and Actor Known for His Role as ‘Max Muller’ in the 1958 Film ‘The Defiant Ones')

Theodore Bikel
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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.

 20 

Christine Kaufmann
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Birthdate: January 11, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mitterberg-Sankt Martin, 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.

Klaus Maria Brandauer
2
Birthdate: June 22, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bad Aussee, 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.  

 22 
Lotte Lenya
(Singer)

Lotte Lenya
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Birthdate: October 18, 1898
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: November 27, 1981

 23 
Bibi Besch
(Actress)

Bibi Besch
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Birthdate: February 1, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: September 7, 1996

Bibi Besch was an Austrian-American actress best known for her role in the science fiction film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The daughter of an actress, she chose to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Making her debut in the mid-1950s, she remained active in the entertainment industry until her death. Her daughter is also an actress.

 24 

Curd Jürgens
2
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.  

 25 
Senta Berger
(Actress)

Senta Berger
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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.

 26 
Jessica Falkholt
(Actress who appeared in 16 episodes of the television series Home and Away as Hope Morrison in 2016)

Jessica Falkholt
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Birthdate: May 15, 1988
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia
Died: January 17, 2018

 27 

Lída Baarová
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Birthdate: September 7, 1914
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Prague, Kingdom of Bohemia, Austria-Hungary
Died: October 28, 2000

Lída Baarová was a Czech actress whose professional life was overshadowed by her personal counterpart; she is best remembered as the mistress of Joseph Goebbels, a Nazi propaganda minister. Her life and career inspired the 2016 film The Devil's Mistress, a dramatization of Lída Baarová's life, in which Baarová was played by Slovak actress Tatiana Pauhofová.

 28 
Leon Askin
(Actor best known in North America for portraying the character General Burkhalter on the TV situation comedy 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.  

 29 

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.

 30 
Maria Schell
(Actress)

Maria Schell
3
Birthdate: January 15, 1926
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: April 26, 2005

 31 

Emil Jannings
2
Birthdate: July 23, 1884
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rorschach, Switzerland
Died: January 2, 1950

Emil Jannings was a German actor who became the first recipient of the Academy Award for Best Actor. He was born in Switzerland but moved to Germany as a young child. He began his career as a theater actor and enjoyed tremendous success. He later ventured into films and became a popular figure in Hollywood in the 1920s.   

 32 
Erich Wolfgang Korngold
(Composer, Conductor)

Erich Wolfgang Korngold
2
Birthdate: May 29, 1897
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brünn, Moravia, Austria
Died: November 29, 1957

 33 

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. 

 34 
Sybil Danning
(Actress)

Sybil Danning
2
Birthdate: May 24, 1952
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wels, Austria

 35 
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.

 36 

Walter Slezak
2
Birthdate: May 3, 1902
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: April 21, 1983

Walter Slezak was an Austrian-born actor with an illustrious career spanning over half a century. He often played clever, talkative, and philosophical characters. The son of a famous opera tenor, he was fascinated by the show business and began acting in the 1920s. He was famous as both a stage performer and a film actor. 

 37 

Maximilian Osinski
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Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Eisenstadt, Burgenland, Austria

 38 

Joseph Schildkraut
2
Birthdate: March 22, 1896
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: January 21, 1964

Joseph Schildkraut was an Austrian-American actor best known for winning an Academy Award for his performance in the film The Life of Emile Zola. The son of an actor, he began stage training with Max Reinhardt. He began his career as a character actor on the stage, eventually transitioning to films. He was also active on television. 

 39 

Nauheed Cyrusi
2
Birthdate: October 19, 1982
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mumbai, 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.

 40 
Rhiannon Fish
(Actress)

Rhiannon Fish
0
Birthdate: March 14, 1991
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 41 

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. 

 42 
Marisa Mell
(Actress)

Marisa Mell
1
Birthdate: February 24, 1939
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Graz, Austria
Died: May 16, 1992

 43 
Georg von Habsburg
(Hungary's Ambassador to France since 2020)

Georg von Habsburg
1
Birthdate: December 16, 1964
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Starnberg, Germany

 44 
Max Reinhardt
(Theatre Director)

Max Reinhardt
1
Birthdate: September 9, 1873
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Baden bei Wien, 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. 

 45 

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.

 46 
Miriam Stein
(Actress)

Miriam Stein
2
Birthdate: May 10, 1988
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria

 47 

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.

 48 
Elias Canetti
(Former author who received the Nobel Prize in literature in 1981)

Elias Canetti
2
Birthdate: July 25, 1905
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ruse, Bulgaria
Died: August 14, 1994

Bulgarian-born author and Nobel laureate Elias Canetti interestingly became one of the greatest authors in German, his third language. Though equipped with a doctoral degree in chemistry, he gained fame for his iconic works such as The Tower of Babel and Crowds and Power, which focused on crowd psychology.

 49 
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.

 50 

Ulla Jacobsson
1
Birthdate: May 23, 1929
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Mölndal, Sweden
Died: August 20, 1982