Christoph Waltz is an Austrian actor from Vienna who played Ernst Stavro Blofeld alongside Daniel Craig in the film Spectre (2015). Waltz also played a German spy in the 1989 Goldeneye TV movie.

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.

Early life

Waltz was born on 4 October 1956 in Vienna,[1] Austria, the son of Johannes Waltz, a German set designer, and Elisabeth Urbancic, an Austrian costume designer.[2][3] Waltz comes from a family of theatrical heritage: his maternal grandmother was Burgtheater and silent film actress Maria Mayen, and his step-grandfather, Emmerich Reimers, and his great-grandfather, Georg Reimers, were both stage actors who also appeared in silent films.[4] Waltz's maternal grandfather, Rudolf von Urban, was a psychiatrist and a student of Sigmund Freud.[5]


Waltz studied acting at the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna. He also attended the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York. He started as a stage actor, performing at venues such as Zurich's Schauspielhaus Zürich, Vienna's Burgtheater, and theSalzburg 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 [6]. Before coming to the attention of a larger audience in Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds he had played Dr. Han, 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.

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".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,Los Angeles Film Critics Association,and for Best Supporting Actor at the 67th Golden Globe Awards and the 16th Screen Actors Guild Awards in January 2009.

The following year, he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and won the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor.[7] He is, as of 2013, the only actor to win an Academy Award for appearing 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".

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. During a training accident prior to filming, Waltz injured his pelvis.[8] 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. His Oscar victory made him one of only three actors to win two Oscars for a supporting role under the direction of the same person (Walter Brennan and Dianne Wiest are the other two).

Waltz has been cast as the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, in the movie Reykjavik, based on the 1986 peace talks between the United States and USSR.[9] In April 2013, he was selected as a member of the main competition jury at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.[10] In late 2013, he directed a production of the opera Der Rosenkavalier at the Vlaamse Opera in Antwerp, Belgium. In 2014, he was selected as a member of the jury for the 64th Berlin International Film Festival.[19] He starred in Tim Burton's Big Eyes, which premiered on Christmas Day 2014, and as Blofelt in 2015, in the 24th James Bond film Spectre. Waltz is set to reprise his role in the upcoming 2020 Bond movie, No Time To Die. He is the latest of seven men to play the iconic role of Blofeld on screen.

Personal life

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

Waltz has three children with his first wife. He is raising a daughter (b. 2005) with his wife, costume designer Judith Holste. They divide their time between Berlin, London, and Los Angeles.

Waltz is fluent in German (his native language), English, and French,[25] and speaks all three in Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. 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 German citizen after his birth.He received Austrian citizenship in 2010, thus holding citizenships of both Austria and Germany, but considers his German passport a "legal, citizenship law banality". 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?"


  1. Gettell, Oliver (2 December 2014). "Christoph Waltz". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  2. Badia, Alex; Windolf, Jim (9 December 2014). "M: Good Day, Christoph Waltz". Women's Wear Daily. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  3. Chalmers, Robert (15 May 2015). "We've been expecting you, Mr Waltz". GQ. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  4. Lim, Dennis (12 August 2009). "'Inglourious' Actor Tastes the Glory". New York Times. Retrieved 21 August 2009.
  5. Rafanelli, Stephanie (21 December 2017). "A Merry Dance With Mr Christoph Waltz"MR PORTER. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  6. "IMDB". Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  7. Film Awards Winners in 2010 - Film Awards - Film - The BAFTA site Archived April 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. Borys Kit (30 September 2011). "Christoph Waltz Dislocates Pelvic Bone During 'Django Unchained' Training". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  9. "Christoph Waltz Signs to Star Opposite Michael Douglas in Reykjavik". Hollywood Reporter. 15 October 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  10. Saperstein, Pat (23 April 2013). "Nicole Kidman, Christopher Waltz, Ang Lee Among Cannes Jury Members". VarietyReed Business Information. Retrieved 23 April 2013.

External Links

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