Klaus Maria Brandauer

Klaus Maria Brandauer

Klaus Maria Brandauer at the premiere of The Strange Case of Wilhelm Reich (2012)
Born Klaus Georg Steng
(1943-06-22) 22 June 1943
Bad Aussee, Austria
Years active 1962–present
Spouse(s) Karin Brandauer (1963–1992); Natalie Krenn (July 2007 – present)

Klaus Maria Brandauer (German pronunciation: [klaʊ̯s maˈʀiːa ˈbʀandaʊ̯ɐ]; born 22 June 1943) is an Austrian actor, film director, and professor at the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna.

Personal life

Brandauer was born as Klaus Georg Steng in Bad Aussee, Austria.[1] He is the son of Maria Brandauer and Georg Steng (or Stenj), a civil servant.[2] He subsequently took his mother's maiden name as part of his professional name, Klaus Maria Brandauer.


Brandauer began acting on stage in 1962. After working in national theatre and television, he made his film debut in 1972. In 1975 he played in Derrick – in Season 2, Episode 8 called "Pfandhaus". His starring and award-winning role in István Szabó's Mephisto (1981) playing a self-absorbed actor, launched his international career.

Following his role in Mephisto, Brandauer appeared in his first English-speaking role in playing Maximillian Largo in Never Say Never Again (1983), a remake of the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball. Roger Ebert said of his performance: "For one thing, there's more of a human element in the movie, and it comes from Klaus Maria Brandauer, as Largo. Brandauer is a wonderful actor, and he chooses not to play the villain as a cliché. Instead, he brings a certain poignancy and charm to Largo, and since Connery always has been a particularly human James Bond, the emotional stakes are more convincing this time."[3] He starred in Out of Africa (1985), opposite Meryl Streep and Robert Redford, for which he was nominated for an Oscar and won a Golden Globe, and Szabó's Oberst Redl (1985).

In 1987, he was the Head of the Jury at the 37th Berlin International Film Festival.[4]

In 1988 he appeared in Hanussen opposite Erland Josephson and Ildikó Bánsági. Brandauer was originally cast as Marko Ramius in The Hunt for Red October. That role eventually went to Oscar nominee Sean Connery, who played James Bond to Brandauer's Largo in Never Say Never Again (1983). He co-starred with Connery again in The Russia House (1990).

Brandauer directed his first film in 1989, Georg Elser – Einer aus Deutschland, with himself in the title role. His other film roles have been in The Lightship (1986), Streets of Gold (1986), Burning Secret (1988), The Russia House (1990), White Fang (1991), Becoming Colette (1992), Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999), and Everyman's Feast (2002). In 1989 he participated in the great production film for the bicentennial of the French Revolution by the French television channel TF1, La Révolution française: He played the role of Georges Danton.

In August 2006, Brandauer's much-awaited production of The Threepenny Opera gained a mixed reception. Brandauer had resisted questions about how his production of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's classic musical comedy about the criminal MacHeath would differ from earlier versions, and his production featured Mack the Knife in a three-piece suit and white gloves, stuck to Brecht's text, and avoided any references to contemporary politics or issues.

Brandauer has at least a working knowledge of five languages: German, Italian, Hungarian, English and French and has acted in each.


His first wife was Karin Katharina Müller (14 October 1945 – 13 November 1992), an Austrian film and television director and screenwriter, from 1963 until her death in 1992, aged 47, from cancer. Both were teenagers when they married, in 1963. They had one son.[5] Brandauer married Natalie Krenn in 2007.


Selected filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1972 The Salzburg Connection Johann Kronsteiner
1975 Derrick: Season 2, Episode 8: "Pfandhaus" Erich Forster TV
1979 A Sunday in October Hoffmann
1981 Mephisto Hendrik Höfgen
1983 Never Say Never Again Maximilian Largo unofficial James Bond film
1985 Colonel Redl Alfred Redl
Quo Vadis? Nero TV miniseries
The Lightship Captain Miller
Out of Africa Baron Bror Blixen Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
1986 Streets of Gold Alek Neuman
1988 Hanussen Erik Jan Hanussen
Burning Secret Baron Alexander von Hauenstein
1989 Spider's Web Benjamin Lenz
Georg Elser – Einer aus Deutschland Georg Elser also director
La Révolution française Georges Danton TV miniseries
1990 The Russia House Dante
1991 White Fang Alex Larson
Becoming Colette Henry Gauthier-Villars
1994 Felidae Pascal/Claudandus voice only
Mario and the Magician Cipolla also director
1998 Jeremiah King Nebuchadnezzar TV film
1999 Rembrandt Rembrandt
Introducing Dorothy Dandridge Otto Preminger TV film
2000 Help! I'm a Fish Joe voice only (German version)
Dykaren Orlov
2001 Druids Julius Caesar
2002 Everyman's Feast Jan Jedermann
Between Strangers Alexander Bauer
2003EntrustedGregor Lämmle TV film
2006Kronprinz Rudolfs letzte Liebe Emperor Franz Joseph TV film
2009 Tetro Carlo Tetrocini
2011 Manipulation Urs Rappold
2012 The Strange Case of Wilhelm Reich Wilhelm Reich
2013 Die Auslöschung Ernst Lemden TV film

See also


  1. "Klaus Maria Brandauer - Biografie WHO'S WHO". Whoswho.de. 1944-06-22. Retrieved 2013-10-06.
  2. Klaus Maria Brandauer Film Reference biography
  3. Ebert, Roger (1983-10-07). "Never Say Never Again". rogerebert.com. Retrieved 2008-10-18.
  4. "Berlinale: Juries". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
  5. "Brandauer, Karin Katharina geborene Müller". Aeiou.at. 2001-07-31. Retrieved 2013-10-06.
  6. Archived March 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. 1 2 "19th Moscow International Film Festival (1995)". MIFF. Retrieved 2013-03-16.
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