Eric Braeden

Eric Braeden

Born Hans-Jörg Gudegast
(1941-04-03) April 3, 1941
Bredenbek, Germany
Occupation Actor
Years active 1962–present
Spouse(s) Dale Russell Gudegast (m. 1966; 1 child)

Eric Braeden (born Hans-Jörg Gudegast; April 3, 1941)[1] is a German film and television actor, known for his roles as Victor Newman on the soap opera The Young and the Restless, as Hans Dietrich in the 1960s TV series The Rat Patrol, Dr. Charles Forbin in Colossus: The Forbin Project, and as John Jacob Astor IV in the 1997 film Titanic. He won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1998 for Lead Actor in a Drama Series for the role of Victor Newman.[1][2]

Early life

Braeden was born Hans-Jörg Gudegast in Bredenbek, Germany (near Kiel),[1] where his father was once mayor. He was a small child escaping the Russian Army's advance on East Prussia in World War II, January 30, 1945 when the boat on which his family was evacuated, the MV Wilhelm Gustloff, was sunk with the largest loss of life in a single ship sinking. He emigrated to the USA in 1959. In the United States, Braeden attended the University of Montana, Missoula on a Track and Field Scholarship (discus, javelin, shotput).


Braeden accumulated many TV and film credits during his first two decades in America, and guest starred in 120 roles. His earliest credits were all under his birth name, Hans Gudegast.

During the 1960s he appeared in several episodes of TV's longest-running World War II drama (1962–67) Combat!, always playing a German soldier. In 1965 he appeared in a film called Morituri starring Marlon Brando and Yul Brynner, and guest-starred in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. as T.H.R.U.S.H. agent Mr. Oakes in "The Discotheque Affair"; episode 5, season two.[3]

In 1966 he guest-starred as Luftwaffe Major Bentz in episode 28, "Day of Reckoning", of season two of the TV series Twelve O'Clock High, very loosely based on the classic 1949 war film with the same name, and also appeared in an episode of the 1966 espionage drama series Blue Light. His main character for the next two years was his regular starring role playing German Hauptmann (Captain) Hans Dietrich on the TV series The Rat Patrol (1966–1968),

He starred in the 1969 western 100 Rifles with Raquel Welch, Burt Reynolds and Jim Brown (noted for the first big screen "interracial love scene between Welch & Brown), once again playing a villainous German military officer opposite Fernando Lamas, This was his last credit under his birth name.

His starring role in the movie Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970), was when he first took the stage name of Eric Braeden.[3] Lew Wasserman of Universal Pictures told him that no one would be allowed to star in an American film if they had a German name. After much thought he took the name Braeden from his hometown of Bredenbek.[4]

Other movie appearances in the 1970s included the role of the primary antagonist, Dr. Otto Hasslein in Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971), and in Walt Disney's 1977 Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo as the arrogant but formidable race car driver, Bruno von Stickle. Throughout the 1970s, he also guest-starred in a variety of television shows including The Six Million Dollar Man, Wonder Woman, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and also appeared in several episodes of the long-running CBS western series Gunsmoke.

In 1980, he was offered the role of self-made business magnate Victor Newman on the daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless for a 26-week run. His character imprisoned his wife's lover, and became so popular the character became a love-to-hate villain, and his contract was renewed. In February 2017, Braeden will celebrate his 37th anniversary with the show.[5]

in addition to this long-running character, in 1997 he played Colonel John Jacob Astor IV in the blockbuster film Titanic, cast because he strongly resembled the powerful millionaire. Braeden told Cindy Elavsky that the scene in which his character drowned "was one of the scariest moments in this business for me."[6]

Braeden announced on October 18, 2009 that after almost 30 years on The Young and the Restless, he was leaving the show. "We reached an impasse in the negotiations", Braeden said in an exclusive interview with celebrity news website Braeden's last airdate was scheduled to be November 2, 2009; however, on October 23, CBS announced that Braeden had inked a new three-year deal and would remain with the soap, even agreeing to take a pay cut, which was the original issue.[7]

Still on the show as of May 2016, Braeden won a Daytime Emmy for his work in 1998.[3]

Personal life

In 1958 Braeden, then known as Hans Gudegast, won the German National Team Championship in Track and Field (discus, shot-put and javelin with the Rendsburger TSV). Braeden later went on to win the 1973 National Challenge Cup as a fullback with the Jewish American soccer club Maccabi Los Angeles, scoring the winning goal in the semifinal and a penalty kick in the final against Cleveland Inter.[8] In the 1970s/80s he could often be seen boxing at the Hoover Street and Broadway gyms in L.A.[9] His son, Christian, is a screenwriter who wrote the film A Man Apart, which starred Vin Diesel.[9]

Awards, honors and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
1987 14th Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series The Young and the Restless Nominated
1990 17th Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series The Young and the Restless Nominated
1992 18th People's Choice Awards Favorite Male Performer In A Daytime Serial The Young and the Restless Won
1996 23rd Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series The Young and the Restless Nominated
1997 24th Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series The Young and the Restless Nominated
1998 25th Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series The Young and the Restless Won[2]
1999 26th Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series The Young and the Restless Nominated
2000 27th Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series The Young and the Restless Nominated
2004 31st Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series The Young and the Restless Nominated

TV and filmography

Year Title Role
1963 Combat! Cpl. Hans Gruber
1965 The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Mr. Oakes
1965 Combat! Sgt. Ecktmann
1965 Morituri Radio Officer
1966–1967 Mission: Impossible Andrei Fetyakov, Marcus von Frank
1966–1968 The Rat Patrol Hauptmann (Captain) Hans Dietrich
1968 Dayton's Devils Max Eikhart
1969 Hawaii Five-O Dr. Paul Farrar
100 Rifles Lt. Franz Von Klemme
1970 Hawaii Five-O Klaus Marburg
Colossus: The Forbin Project Dr. Charles A. Forbin
The Mask of Sheba Dr. Morgan
1970 The Young Rebels Major Zanker
1971 Escape from the Planet of the Apes Dr. Otto Hasslein
1971 Gunsmoke Carl Jaekel (in episode "Jaekel")
1971 Gunsmoke Jack Sinclair (in 3-part episode "The Bullet")
1971 Bearcats! Colonel Reinert
1972 The Judge and Jake Wyler Anton Granicek
1972 Hawaii Five-O Djebara
1973 The Adulteress Hank Baron
Death Race Stoeffer
The Six Million Dollar Man Findletter
Barnaby Jones Kingston
McCloud Ravic
1974 Kolchak: The Night Stalker Bernhardt Stieglitz
Banacek Paul Bolitho
The Ultimate Thrill Roland
1974 Gunsmoke William E. Talley Episode (The Iron Blood of Courage)
1975 Death Scream Kosinsky
1975 Wonder Woman Evan Donaldson
1977 The Mary Tyler Moore Show Karl Heller
Kojak Kenneth Krug
Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo Bruno von Stickle
1978 The Eddie Capra Mysteries Leo (episode "Murder! Murder!")
1978 Wonder Woman Donalsen (episode "Skateboard Whiz")
1979 CHiPs Senator Lerwin
1980–present The Young and the Restless Victor Newman
1981 Charlie's Angels John Reardon
1986 Airwolf Nick Kincaid
1990 Lucky/Chances Dimitri Stanislopolous
1990 The Ambulance The Doctor
1994 The Nanny Frank Bradley, Sr.
1995 Diagnosis: Murder Himself
1997 Titanic John Jacob Astor IV
1998 Meet the Deedles Elton Deedle
1999 The Bold and the Beautiful Victor Newman
2008 The Man Who Came Back Reese Paxton
2008 How I Met Your Mother Robin Scherbatsky, Sr.

See also


  1. 1 2 3 "SOAP STAR STATS: Eric Braeden (Victor, Y&R)". Retrieved January 13, 2009.
  2. 1 2 "Daytime Emmy Winners & Nominees: 1998". Retrieved July 10, 2009.
  3. 1 2 3 Eric Braeden at the Internet Movie Database
  4. Weaver, Tom Eric Braeden Interview in I Talked with a Zombie: Interviews with 23 veterans of Horror and Sci-fi Films and Television, McFarland, 2009, pp. 11-12
  6. Elavsky, Cindy (2012-03-16). "Celebrity Extra". Downriver Sunday Times. Retrieved 2012-03-23.
  7. Kate Stanhope. "Eric Braeden Returning to Young and the Restless".
  8. Zeller, Johnathan (June 29, 2015). "Los Angeles' Forgotten Jewish Soccer Dynasty". VICE Sports. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  9. 1 2 3 "Victor, Victorious". Soap Opera Weekly. 2007-02-13. p. 32.

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