Who is Christoph Waltz?
Christoph Waltz is an Austrian actor who is known for his roles in films such as ‘Inglourious Basterds’ and ‘Django Unchained’ for which he won the Oscars in the ‘Best Supporting Actor’ category. He decided to become an actor as a young man and began his career as a stage actor, performing in venues such as Schauspielhaus Zurich in Zurich. Later, he also started acting on TV and appeared in many television films. Eventually moving to movies, he appeared in numerous German films, mostly playing villainous roles. He came to international recognition for his role of Colonel Hans Landa in renowned American filmmaker Quentin Tarantino’s film ‘Inglourious Basterds’. The film became a critical and commercial success and won Waltz his first Oscar as well as the BAFTA Award in the ‘Best Supporting Actor’ category. He was again appreciated for his role in Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Django Unchained’ which was also a commercial and critical hit. As a voice actor, he dubbed his own character in the French and German versions of the films. The other works he is known for include the James Bond film ‘Spectre,’ where he played the main antagonist, and ‘The Legend of Tarzan,’ where he played a supporting role.
Childhood & Early Life
Christoph Waltz was born in Vienna on 4th October 1956 to Johannes Waltz and Elisabeth Urbancic, who were set and costume designers. His maternal grandmother, his step-grandfather, and his great-grandparents were also theater professionals.
He studied acting at the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna. He also studied acting for some time in New York City, under the tutelage of Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler.
He began his career as a stage actor, performing in venues such as Schauspielhaus Zurich in Zurich and the Burgtheater in Vienna.
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In 1977, Christoph Waltz was seen in his first TV film ‘Der Einstand’. He proceeded to appear in numerous TV films, such as ‘The Mysterious Stranger’ (1982), ‘Der Sandman’ (1985), ‘Die Angst wird bleiben’ (1992), ‘König der letzten Tage’ (1993), and ‘Catherine the Great’ (1995). He also appeared in two British miniseries ‘The Gravy Train’ (1990) and ‘The Gravy Train Goes East’ (1991).
His early works on the big screen include films, such as ‘Headstand’ (1981), ‘Fire and Sword’ (1982) and ‘Quicker than the Eye’ (1988). In the ensuing years, he landed roles in ‘Love Scenes from Planet Earth’ (1998), ‘Ordinary Decent Criminal’ (2000) and ‘Pact with the Devil’ (2004).
In 2009, he was seen in the war film ‘Inglourious Basterds’. Directed by Quentin Tarantino, the film was a huge success commercially and was met with positive reviews. Waltz won the Oscar for ‘Best Supporting Actor’ for his role of Colonel Hans Landa and also the ‘BAFTA Award’ in the same category.
In 2011, he was seen in the superhero film ‘The Green Hornet’ which was directed by Michel Gondry. The film was a commercial success and was met with mixed reviews. He then appeared in the romantic drama film ‘Water for Elephants’. The same year, he also appeared in ‘The Three Musketeers’ which was met with negative reviews, though it did well commercially. He appeared in another film ‘Carnage’ the same year.
Waltz joined Quentin Tarantino again in 2012, playing a supporting role in the Western film ‘Django Unchained’. The film was a commercial success, with critical reception being positive as well. Waltz won his second Oscar for ‘Best Supporting Actor’ for his role of Dr King Schultz. He also won the BAFTA Award in the same category. The film won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, which was received by Tarantino.
In 2013, he had a voice role in the animated film ‘Epic’. It was a commercial success. He was next seen in the sci-fi film ‘The Zero Theorem’ where he played the lead role of a computer programmer and mathematician searching for the meaning of life. The film was a critical and commercial failure.
In 2015, he was seen in the spy film ‘Spectre’, the 24th James Bond film. Directed by Sam Mendes, the film starred Daniel Craig as the British Secret Service Agent James Bond, while Waltz played Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the main antagonist. The film was a commercial success and was met with mostly positive reviews.
In 2016, he was seen in the adventure film ‘The Legend of Tarzan’. The film was directed by David Yates. It was a commercial success and was met with mixed reviews.
In 2017, he played a supporting role in the historical romantic drama film ‘Tulip Fever’. The film was an average commercial success, but reviews were mostly negative. He was next seen in the sci-fi film ‘Downsizing’. The film was a financial failure, and was met with average reviews.
Christoph Waltz came to international popularity, and also earned his first Oscar, for his role in the war film ‘Inglourious Basterds’. Directed by Quentin Tarantino, the film is a story set in alternate history, revolving around two plots to assassinate the leader of Nazi Germany. It was a commercial success, earning over $321 million on a $70 million budget. The film was nominated for eight Oscars, including the one for Best Picture.
Another important work in his career was a main role in the black comedy drama film ‘Carnage’. Directed by Roman Polanski, the film is similar to the Shakespearean play ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. The film wasn’t very successful commercially, though it managed to earn more than its budget. It was met with mostly positive reviews from critics and it also won several awards and nominations.
Waltz played the main antagonist in the 2015 spy film ‘Spectre’, which is the 24th James Bond film. Directed by Sam Mendes, the story shows Bond pitted against a global criminal organization named Spectre, which is led by Ernst Stavro Blofeld, played by Waltz. The film was a huge success commercially and was met with mixed to positive reviews. It also won several awards, including an Oscar.
Christoph Waltz is currently married to Judith Holste, a costume designer. They have one daughter who was born in 2005.
He was previously married to a woman named Jackie. He has three children with her. Nothing else is known about his past marriage.