Christoph Waltz

Active - 1979 - 2021  |   Born - Oct 4, 1956 in Vienna, Austria  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Fantasy

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Biography by Cammila Collar

Austrian-born actor Christoph Waltz began his career on the stage, making a name for himself at prestigious venues like Zurich's Schauspielhaus Z├╝rich and Vienna's Burgtheater. He would eventually study at the Lee Strausberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York, and branch out into on-camera acting, appearing in Austrian TV productions. His film career blasted into the stratosphere in 2009, however, when he was cast as Colonel Hans Landa in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. His role as the feared "Jew Hunter" earned him the best supporting actor award from just about every critics group in the country, as well as from the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Flush with this worldwide success, he played bad guys in The Green Hornet and The Three Musketeers, and played the heavy in Water for Elephants, but he earned his best reviews as part of the foursome in Roman Polanski's adaptation of the award-winning play Carnage. In 2012 he reteamed with Tarantino, playing a bounty hunter in Django Unchained, again earning superb revierws as well as a second Best Supporting Actor Oscar at that year's Academy Awards ceremony.

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  • The son of costume and production designers, and the fourth generation of a theater-working family, he began acting in plays and independent films at age 19.
  • In 1979, traveled to New York and studied Method acting with Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler; later returned to Vienna and took classes at the renowned Max Reinhardt Seminar.
  • After many stage performances, found steady work in British and Austrian television programs and won praise for his versatile European film roles.
  • International acclaim and a Best Actor award at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival came with the role of the charming Nazi villain Col. Hans Landa in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds.