Billy Wilder was an Austrian-born American film producer, screenwriter, and director. Widely considered one of the most versatile and brilliant filmmakers of Classical Hollywood cinema, Wilder became the first person to win Oscars as a screenwriter, director, and producer for his 1960 film The Apartment.
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.
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.
An award-winning adult film star, Austrian actor Mick Blue hails from Graz, the same region of Austria that produced stars such as Arnold Schwarzenegger. Married to porn star Anikka Albrite, he is now focusing on his racing career and wishes to compete in the IndyCar Series.
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.
The son of Archduke Otto von Habsburg, Karl von Habsburg was initially banished from Austria along with his family. Not only has he served the military but he has also been the president of the Pan-European Union. He has also represented Austria in the European Parliament.
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.
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.
12 Emily Cox
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.
13 Sam Spiegel
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.
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 Danny Nucci
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.
17 Paul Henreid
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.
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.
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.
21 Curd Jürgens
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.
22 Lotte Lenya
23 Bibi Besch
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.
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.
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.
26 Senta Berger
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.
Erich von Stroheim was an Austrian-American actor, director, and producer. He was known for being a visionary who gained fame for his avant-garde film projects in the silent era. His film Greed is counted amongst the finest and most important films ever made. He was also a well-respected character actor and a recipient of the French Legion of Honour.
28 Lída Baarová
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.
29 Oskar Werner
31 Leon Askin
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.
32 Maria Schell
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
40 Lionel Royce
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.
42 Marisa Mell
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.
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.
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.
46 Miriam Stein
47 Kurt Kasznar
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.
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.
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.