Christoph Waltz

Christoph Waltz

Waltz at the Berlin premiere
of Spectre in October 2015
Born (1956-10-04) 4 October 1956
Vienna, Austria
Citizenship German-austrian
Occupation Actor
Years active 1977–present
Spouse(s) Judith Holste
Children 4 (1 son, 3 daughters)

Christoph Waltz (German pronunciation: [ˈkrɪstɔf ˈvalts]; born 4 October 1956) is an Austrian-German actor.[1][2][3] He is best known for his works with American filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, receiving acclaim for portraying SS-Standartenführer Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds (2009) and bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained (2012). For each performance, he won an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. Additionally, he received the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his portrayal of Landa.[4]

He also portrayed computer genius Qohen Leth in the sci-fi film The Zero Theorem (2013), American plagiarist Walter Keane in the biographical film Big Eyes (2014), and 007's nemesis and head of SPECTRE Ernst Stavro Blofeld in Spectre (2015), the twenty-fourth James Bond film.[5]

Early life

Waltz was born in Vienna, the son of Johannes Waltz and Elisabeth Urbancic, set and costume designers from Germany and Austria respectively.[6] His maternal grandfather, Rudolf von Urban, was a psychiatrist and psychologist who wrote the book Sex Perfection and Marital Happiness.[7] His maternal grandmother was Burgtheater actress Maria Mayen, and his step-grandfather was actor Emmerich Reimers. His great-grandparents also worked in theatre of dreams.[8]


Waltz in 2012

Waltz studied acting at the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna. In the late 1970s, Waltz spent some time in New York City where he studied method acting with Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler. He started as a stage actor, performing at venues such as Zurich's Schauspielhaus Zürich, Vienna's Burgtheater, and the Salzburg Festival. He became a prolific television actor in the years 1980 to 2000. In 2000, he made his directorial debut, with the German television production Wenn man sich traut.[9] Before coming to the attention of a larger audience in Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds he had played Dr. Hans-Joachim Dorfmann in the British TV series The Gravy Train in 1990. The show is a story of intrigue and misdeeds set in the offices of the European Union in Brussels.[10]

In Quentin Tarantino's 2009 film Inglourious Basterds, Waltz portrayed SS-Standartenführer Hans Landa, aka "The Jew Hunter". Clever, courteous, and multilingual — but also self-serving, cunning, implacable, and murderous — the character of Landa was such that Tarantino feared he "might have written a part that was un-playable".[11] Waltz received the Best Actor Award for the performance at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and received acclaim from critics and the public. In 2009, he began sweeping critics' awards circuits, receiving awards for Best Supporting Actor from the New York Film Critics Circle, the Boston Society of Film Critics,[12] Los Angeles Film Critics Association,[12] and for Best Supporting Actor at the 67th Golden Globe Awards and the 16th Screen Actors Guild Awards in January 2010.

The following month, he won the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor,[13] and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.[14] He is the only actor to have won an Academy Award for playing a character in a Tarantino film. Tarantino acknowledged the importance of Waltz to his film by stating: "I think that Landa is one of the best characters I've ever written and ever will write, and Christoph played it to a tee. It's true that if I couldn't have found someone as good as Christoph I might not have made Inglourious Basterds".[15]

Waltz played gangster Benjamin Chudnofsky in The Green Hornet (2011); that same year, he starred in Water for Elephants and Roman Polanski's Carnage. He played German bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained (2012), a role Tarantino wrote specifically for Waltz.[16] During a training accident prior to filming, Waltz injured his pelvis.[17] His role garnered him awards acclaim once again, with Waltz winning the Golden Globe, the BAFTA, and ultimately the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Waltz has been cast as the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in the film Reykjavik, based on the 1986 peace talks between the United States and USSR.[18] In April 2013, he was selected as a member of the main competition jury at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.[19] In late 2013, he directed a production of the opera Der Rosenkavalier at the Vlaamse Opera in Antwerp, Belgium.[20] In 2014, he was selected as a member of the jury for the 64th Berlin International Film Festival.[21] He starred as Walter Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes, which opened on 25 December 2014,[22] and appeared as the villain in Spectre, the 24th film in the James Bond franchise.[23]

In 2015, it was announced that Waltz will direct and star in the film The Worst Marriage in Georgetown, which is based on the true crime story of the murder of Viola Drath.[24] In July 2016, he portrayed lead villain Captain Leon Rom, a corrupt Belgian captain, in the reboot The Legend of Tarzan.

Personal life

Waltz and his wife, Judith Holste at the 82nd Academy Awards, March 2010

Waltz has three children with his former wife.[25] He is raising a daughter (b. 2005) with his second wife, costume designer Judith Holste.[26] They divide their time among Berlin, London, and Los Angeles.[27]

Waltz's native language is German and he is fluent in English and French.[28] He speaks all three of these in Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained, and although his character in Inglourious Basterds also spoke Italian, Waltz stated on the Adam Carolla Podcast that he does not speak it fluently. He is his own voice actor for both the French and German dubs of each film.

Waltz was born in Vienna to a German father who applied for him to become a citizen of Germany after his birth.[29] He received Austrian citizenship in 2010, thus holding citizenships of both Austria and Germany, but considers his German passport a "legal, citizenship law banality".[3] Asked whether he felt Viennese, he responded: "I was born in Vienna, grew up in Vienna, went to school in Vienna, graduated in Vienna, studied in Vienna, started acting in Vienna – and there would be a few further Viennese links. How much more Austrian do you want it?"[30]



Year Title Role Notes
1981 Kopfstand Markus
1982 Fire and Sword Tristan
1986 Wahnfried Friedrich Nietzsche
1988 Quicker Than the Eye Police Chief
1991 Życie za życie. Maksymilian Kolbe Jan Tytz Credited as Chistopher Waltz
1995 Ein Anfang von etwas Herbert
1997 Our God's Brother Maksymilian Gierymski
1998 Sieben Monde Kommissar Becker
Love Scenes from Planet Earth Charly
1999 Die Braut Duke Karl August
2000 Wenn man sich traut writer and director
Death, Deceit and Destiny Aboard the Orient Express Tarik
Ordinary Decent Criminal Peter
Falling Rocks Louis
2001 She Leo Vincey's father
Queen's Messenger Ali Ben Samm
2003 Angst Psychoanalyst
Gun-shy Johannsen
Berlin Blues (also known as Herr Lehmann) Doctor
2004 Pact with the Devil (also known as Dorian) Rolf Steiner
2006 Lapislazuli – im Auge des Bären Czerny
2009 Inglourious Basterds Standartenführer Hans Landa Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
London Film Critics' Circle Award for Supporting Actor of the Year
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Villain
Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
2011 Green Hornet, TheThe Green Hornet Benjamin Chudnofsky
Water for Elephants August Rosenbluth
Three Musketeers, TheThe Three Musketeers Cardinal Richelieu
Carnage Alan Cowan
2012 Django Unchained Dr. King Schultz Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
2013 Epic Mandrake Voice
The Zero Theorem Qohen Leth Also co-producer
2014 Muppets Most Wanted Himself Cameo
Horrible Bosses 2 Burt Hanson
Big Eyes Walter Keane Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
2015 Spectre Ernst Stavro Blofeld
2016 The Legend of Tarzan Léon Rom
Tulip Fever Cornelis Sandvoort Completed
2017 Downsizing Filming
2018 Alita: Battle Angel Dyson Ido Pre-production


Year Title Role Notes
1976 Am dam des (singer)
1977 Der Einstand Television film
1979 Feuer! Karl Albrecht Schlick Television film
Parole Chicago Eduard "Ede" Bredo 13 episodes
1982 The Mysterious Stranger Ernst Wasserman Television film
Dr. Margarete Johnsohn Rainer Television film
1983 Der Sandmann Nathanael Television film
1985 Ein Fall für zwei Alf Episode: "Blutsbande"
1986 The Old Fox Hans Baumeister Episode: "Zwei Leben"
Derrick Eberhard Bothe Episode: "Schonzeit für Mörder"
Lenz oder die Freiheit Franz Sigel Television miniseries
1987 Tatort Inspektor Passini Episode: "Wunschlos tot"
Das andere Leben Stefan Television film
1988 Alien Years, TheThe Alien Years Stefan Mueller Television film
Derrick Schumann Episode: "Mord inklusive"
1989 Goldeneye German spy Television film
1990 The Gravy Train Dr. Hans-Joachim Dorfmann 4 episodes
The Old Fox Christian Kamp Episode: "So gut wie tot"
1991 The Gravy Train Goes East Dr. Hans-Joachim Dorfmann 4 episodes
1992 5 Zimmer, Küche, Bad Hartwig Klemmnitz Television film
Die Angst wird bleiben Manfred Television film
1993 König der letzten Tage (also known as A King for Burning) John of Leiden Television film
1994 Tag der Abrechnung – Der Amokläufer von Euskirchen Erwin Mikolajczyk Television film
Jacob Morash Television film
Die Staatsanwältin Andreas Doepke Television film
1995 The All New Alexei Sayle Show Weak Moustache Episode #2.3
Prinz zu entsorgen Roman Television film
Man(n) sucht Frau Christoph Television film
Catherine the Great Mirovich Television film
1996 Der Tourist Stephan Görner Television film
Du bist nicht allein – Die Roy Black Story Roy Black Television film
Rosa Roth Wietze Episode: "Nirgendwohin"
Rex: A Cop's Best Friend Martin Wolf Episode: "Der Puppenmörder"
1997 Maître Da Costa Walter Mueller 2 episodes
Faust Gerhardt Schulze-Leitner Episode: "Villa Palermo"
Schimanski Klaus Mandel Episode: "Blutsbrüder"
1998 Vickys Alptraum Johnny Television film
Schock – Eine Frau in Angst Kommissar Kaul Television film
Final Game, TheThe Final Game Kant Television film
Rache für mein totes Kind Paul Television film
Mörderisches Erbe – Tausch mit einer Toten Moritz Fink Television film
1999 Dessine-moi un jouet Klaus Hermann Television film
2000 The Beast (also known as Das Teufelsweib) Herbert Fink Television film
2001 Engel sucht Flügel Caspari Television film
Riekes Liebe Ice dancing coach Karlhoff Television film
Der Tanz mit dem Teufel Dieter Cilov Television film
2002 Dienstreise – Was für eine Nacht Klaus-Dieter Lehmann Television film
Weihnachtsmann gesucht Johannes Böhmke Television film
2003 Jagd auf den Flammenmann Brisky Television film
Der Mörder ist unter uns (also known as Der Fall Gehring) Martin Bach Television film
Zwei Tage Hoffnung Michael Berg Television film
Jennerwein Pföderl Television film
Tigeraugen sehen besser Dr. Thilo Rylow Television film
2004 Scheidungsopfer Mann Benedikt von Arn Television film
Mörderische Suche Richard Benedek Television film
Schöne Witwen küssen besser Jean-France Television film
2005 Die Patriarchin Wolf Sevening 3 episodes
Der Elefant: Mord verjährt nie Richard Seemann Episode: "Verlorene Jahre"
2006 SOKO Rhein-Main Andreas Senner Episode: "Schuld und Sühne"
Polizeiruf 110 Dr. Juris Gríns Episode: "Die Lettin und ihr Lover"
Stolberg Paul Büttner Episode: "Kreuzbube"
Tatort Prof. Robert Henze Episode: "Schlaflos in Weimar"
Franziskas Gespür für Männer Karl Löwen Television film
2007 Der Staatsanwalt Dr. Claudius Tressen Episode: "Glückskinder"
Der letzte Zeuge Dr. Martin York Episode: "Martinspassion"
Unter Verdacht Thomas Sell Episode: "Hase and Igel"
Die Zürcher Verlobung – Drehbuch zur Liebe Frank "Büffel" Arbogast Television film
Die Verzauberung Dr. Helmut Bahr Television film
2008 Das Geheimnis im Wald Hans Kortmann Television film
Todsünde Sebastian Flies Television film
Das jüngste Gericht Peters Television film
Die Anwälte Herbert Jahn Episode: "Leben und Tod"
Tatort Gerd Weißenbach Episode: "Liebeswirren"
2013 Saturday Night Live Host Episode: "Christoph Waltz/Alabama Shakes"

As director

Year Title Role Notes
2000 Wenn man Sich traut
2016 The Worst Marriage in Georgetown


See also


  1. "Pass-Hickhack: Christoph Waltz wird im Eilverfahren zum Österreicher – Nachrichten Kultur" (in German). 24 August 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
  2. Der Standard: Österreichische Staatsbürgerschaft für Christoph Waltz, 8 August 2010
  3. 1 2 "Waltz fühlt sich definitiv als Österreicher – Boulevard". 21 January 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
  4. "". Retrieved 2015-01-28.
  5. Miller, Ross (4 December 2014). "The next James Bond film is called Spectre: new car, poster, and full cast confirmed". The Verge. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  6. "Mainpost". MAIN-POST. 24 May 2010. Archived from the original on July 17, 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
  7. Myself not least: a confessional autobiography of a psychoanalyst and some explanatory history cases, by Rudolf von Urban, p. 210
  8. Lim, Dennis (12 August 2009). "'Inglourious' Actor Tastes the Glory". New York Times. Retrieved 21 August 2009.
  9. "IMDB". Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  10. "4oD Drama". Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  11. Fleming, Michael (17 May 2009). "Tarantino Reflects On 'Basterds'". Variety. Reed Business Information. Archived from the original on 1 February 2010. Retrieved 18 January 2010.
  12. 1 2 "BSFC Award Winners – Recent". Retrieved 26 January 2011.
  13. Film Awards Winners in 2010 - Film Awards - Film - The BAFTA site Archived April 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  14. "2015 Oscars: Nominees - 87th Academy Awards Nominations".
  15. "''Inglorious Basterds feature". 27 August 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
  16. Ordoña, Michael (27 December 2012), Christoph Waltz admires Tarantino's to-the-heart style, Los Angeles Times, retrieved 12 January 2016
  17. Borys Kit (30 September 2011). "Christoph Waltz Dislocates Pelvic Bone During 'Django Unchained' Training". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  18. "Christoph Waltz Signs to Star Opposite Michael Douglas in Reykjavik". Hollywood Reporter. 15 October 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  19. Saperstein, Pat (23 April 2013). "Nicole Kidman, Christopher Waltz, Ang Lee Among Cannes Jury Members". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  20. "Vlaamse Opera | Vlaamse Opera". 2015-01-15. Retrieved 2015-01-28.
  21. "Berlinale 2014: International Jury". Berlinale. Retrieved 2013-12-31.
  22. Sepinwall, Alan (2014-05-02). "Weinstein sets awards season dates for Big Eyes, Imitation Game and Eleanor Rigby". Retrieved 2015-01-28.
  23. "Bond 24 title revealed as 'Spectre', Christoph Waltz joins cast". Retrieved 2014-12-04.
  24. Andrews, Helena (6 May 2015). "Actor Christoph Waltz will direct and star in 'The Worst Marriage in Georgetown'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  25. Dennis Lim (August 12, 2009). "'Inglourious' Actor Tastes the Glory". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  26. Freydkin, Donna (26 January 2010). "At long last, movie stardom shines on Christoph Waltz". USA Today.
  27. Profile of Waltz at Global Post
  28. Billington, Alex (2009-08-20). "Interview: Col. Hans 'The Jew Hunter' Landa – Christoph Waltz". First Showing. Retrieved 28 August 2009.
  29. "Waltz to become Austrian citizen". Wiener Zeitung Online. 26 August 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  30. "Waltz to become an Austrian citizen". 26 August 2010.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Christoph Waltz.
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Heath Ledger (posthumous)
The Dark Knight
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Inglourious Basterds
Succeeded by
Christian Bale
The Fighter
Preceded by
Christopher Plummer
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Django Unchained
Succeeded by
Jared Leto
Dallas Buyers Club
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