An actor since the age of 14, Berlin-born Jürgen Prochnow was firmly established on stage and TV when he was featured in his first film, Zoff, in 1971. Prochnow has been able to harness his well-modulated voice, versatile facial features, and athletic frame to portray both the most admirable of heroes and the most despicable of villains. It was for his portrayal of a character in the former category that the actor achieved international fame. He appeared as the stern but humanistic submarine commander in the 1981 Oscar-winning Das Boot. In the latter category, Prochnow all but entreated hisses and tossed tomatoes with his portrayal of the sadistic South African secret police captain in 1989's A Dry White Season. Prochnow's career has subsequently had its fair share of highs and lows, with his appearances in such high profile projects as The English Patient (1996), Air Force One (1997), and The Replacement Killers (1998) helping to sustain him as a fixture in international cinema. Over the coming decades, Prochnow would remain an active force on screen, appearing in a host of German projects, as well as projects like The Da Vinci Code and Beerfest, and the TV series 24.