Steven Berkoff

Active - 1963 - 2016  |   Born - Aug 3, 1937   |   Genres - Drama, Science Fiction, Action, Crime, Thriller

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Trained in drama at Ecole Jacques LeCoq and Britain's Webber-Douglas Academy, actor Steven Berkoff made his London stage bow in a 1959 staging of Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge. Shortly thereafter, Berkoff formed the London Theatre Group, famed for its risk-taking, experimental theatrical pieces. As a playwright, Berkoff displayed a fondness bordering on obsession with Franz Kafka: among his Theatre Group offerings were such Kafka adaptations as The Trial and Metamorphosis. He has also written such original plays as East, and has expressed his life-and-work philosophies in his books I Am Hamlet (a 1989 celebration of his favorite stage role) and Overview (1994). In films from the 1970's, Berkoff is often as not seen as a villain: A Clockwork Orange, Octopussy, Rambo II. Most filmgoers will remember Berkoff as the despicable white-collar miscreant Victor Maitland in Beverly Hills Cop (1984), while TV fans will recall him as Hitler in the miniseries War and Remembrance. In 1994, Steven Berkoff wrote, directed and acted in the aptly titled film Decadence.

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