Klaus Maria Brandauer

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Klaus Maria Brandauer at the premiere of The Strange Case of Wilhelm Reich (2012)
Klaus Maria Brandauer 2019 as Hagen at the Nibelungen Festival

Klaus Maria Brandauer , actually Klaus Georg Steng (born June 22, 1943 in Bad Aussee , Styria ), is an Austrian actor and director .


Brandauer is the son of the German customs officer Georg Steng and the Austrian Maria Brandauer, whose first and maiden names he later added to his first name as an artist name. He spent the first years of his youth with his grandparents in Altaussee . Later he lived with his parents a. a. in Kehl am Rhein and Grenzach near Basel , a place that Brandauer claims to have had a major influence on his acting development. Brandauer was raised a Catholic . After graduating from high school in 1962, Brandauer began studying at the Stuttgart University of Music and Performing Arts , which he broke off after two semesters. In 1963 he made his debut as Claudio in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure at the Tübingen State Theater . Later he was engaged at the Theater in der Josefstadt in Vienna . He first became known to a broader public through his participation in the last production by Fritz Kortner ( Emilia Galotti , Theater in der Josefstadt 1970).

Brandauer has been a member of the ensemble and director at the Vienna Burgtheater since 1972 . He teaches as a professor at the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna and is also chairman of the “ Poesie im Ausseerland ” association, which realizes cultural projects every summer (including the Midsummer Night's Dream of William Shakespeare with students at the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna ).

He became internationally known in 1981 with the role of Hendrik Höfgen in the film adaptation of the Klaus Mann book Mephisto , directed by István Szabó . Brandauer also worked with Szabó for Colonel Redl (1985) and Hanussen (1988). All three films were nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film , Mephisto received the award.

Brandauer celebrated another great international box office success as Maximilian Largo , opponent of Sean Connery in the James Bond film Never Say Never (1983). At the side of Connery, Brandauer played again in the highly acclaimed spy thriller Das Russland-Haus (1990). Brandauer is one of the few Austrians who could also make a name for themselves in Hollywood ; he received more American critic awards than any other German-speaking film actor. He received a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for the role of Baron Bror Blixen-Finecke in Out of Africa .

Brandauer was one of the founding members of the German Film Academy in 2003 .

On the occasion of the so-called Mozart Year - the honor of Mozart's 250th birthday - Brandauer was engaged as a spokesman for a recitation of Mozart's letters. In 2006 the state broadcasting corporations of the German public service broadcast a reading of a letter every day, framed by music by Mozart.

In 2006 he directed the production of Bertolt Brecht's Threepenny Opera in the reopened Admiralspalast in Berlin , in which Katrin Sass and Campino participated. The reopening of the venue on the occasion of Brecht's 50th anniversary of his death was in jeopardy to the very last, the rehearsals ran parallel to the unfinished construction work. Despite some bad reviews and unanimous rejection at the premiere, over 70,000 viewers saw the production in seven weeks, which made it one of the most successful theater productions.

Almost at the same time Brandauer staged Richard Wagner's romantic opera Lohengrin at the Cologne Opera , the premiere of which marked the beginning of the season on September 9, 2006. In 2007 Klaus Maria Brandauer was seen in Berlin as Wallenstein in Peter Stein's major project that was realized with the Berliner Ensemble . In January 2008 Klaus Maria Brandauer played the leading role together with Sebastian Koch in the international cinema production Das Verhör des Harry Wind based on the novel of the same name by Walter Matthias Diggelmann . In May and June 2008 Klaus Maria Brandauer directed the film Tetro in Argentina under the direction of Francis Ford Coppola .

Klaus Maria Brandauer was married to the director and screenwriter Karin Brandauer until her death in 1992 . From this marriage their son Christian (born 1963) emerged. In July 2007 Brandauer married the theater scholar Natalie Krenn in Berlin's Nikolaikirche . Best man was his son Christian. Brandauer's second son, Ferdinand, was born in Vienna at the beginning of May 2014. It is Brandauer and Krenn's first child together. Klaus Maria Brandauer now lives in Altaussee , Vienna , Berlin and New York City .


Brandauer with the Nestroy Theater Prize 2014 for his life's work

Theater roles (excerpt)

Filmography (selection)


"It is this mixture of arrogance and sovereignty, of slick, narcissistically padded insolence and nonchalant self-confidence that has grown from discipline, skill, success, with which Brandauer has become a public figure, on which the spirits are divided: You like him completely, or you don't like him at all. "

- FAZ , August 11, 2006

In July 2006, in an interview with Playboy magazine , he announced that he had only drank water and not ate any solid food for 22 days. As a result, he says he lost 18 kilograms of body weight.

The German magazine Stern reported on a rehearsal for the Threepenny Opera , in which Brandauer first threw out a TV team from ttt - titel, thesen, temperamente and then the stern reporter.

The 2013 Alpine World Ski Championships in Schladming took place in February; Brandauer gave a reading of texts written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart .

Director Istvan Szabó made another film with Klaus Maria Brandauer for the first time in over 30 years. The final report (Zarojelentes) should come to the cinema in Hungary in spring 2020.


  • Klaus Maria Brandauer - The Player. Documentary, Germany, 2012, 44 min., Script and director: Johanna Schickentanz, production: euro kultur tv, SWR , arte , first broadcast: August 19, 2012 on arte, film information from ARD .


  • Gero von Boehm : Klaus Maria Brandauer. July 7, 2006. Interview in: Encounters. Images of man from three decades. Collection Rolf Heyne, Munich 2012, ISBN 978-3-89910-443-1 , pp. 512-526.


Web links

Commons : Klaus Maria Brandauer  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Klaus Maria Brandauer. In: http://www.steffi-line.de . October 1, 2018, accessed June 25, 2020 .
  2. ^ Klaus Maria Brandauer - Munzinger biography. https://www.munzinger.de , November 19, 2019, accessed on June 25, 2020 .
  3. Roland Müller: Interview with Klaus Maria Brandauer: "How does it come that Shakespeare knows me so well?" In: https://www.stuttgarter-zeitung.de . Stuttgarter Zeitung, Stuttgart Germany, September 30, 2016, accessed on June 25, 2020 .
  4. Broad rejection of Brandauer's "Dreigroschenoper". In: oe1.orf.at. Retrieved August 2, 2019 .
  5. Klaus Maria Brandauer receives BZ culture award. In: https://www.presseportal.de . January 11, 2008, accessed June 25, 2020 .
  6. Klaus Maria Brandauer received the Golden Medal of Honor from the town hall correspondence dated December 1, 2008 (with photo of the presentation).
  7. Klaus Maria Brandauer received a gold medal of honor from the City of Vienna - derStandard.at. Retrieved June 26, 2020 (Austrian German).
  8. Brandauer receives “Golden Record” in the Berliner Ensemble. In: https://www.theaterkompass.de . December 3, 2008, accessed June 26, 2020 (German).
  9. Eysoldt-Ring 2008 for Klaus Maria Brandauer. In: FAZ.net of January 24, 2008.
  10. ^ Diagonale: Austro film in the shop window. at diepresse.com, March 16, 2010 (accessed on March 17, 2010).
  11. Focus online January 17, 2013 Theater: Brandauer and Wuttke receive Stanislawski Prize , accessed on January 17, 2013.
  12. Brandauer: "Now I have to behave properly". In: Small newspaper. October 5, 2013, accessed May 24, 2020 .
  13. FAZ: Theater - Wahnsinn Wallenstein . Article dated May 21, 2007, accessed November 15, 2014.
  14. Steffen Becker: Overwhelming - Nibelungen Festival Worms - Lilja Rupprechts and Thomas Melle's star-studded production wants to put the Nibelung material to the test. Retrieved on August 13, 2019 (German).
  15. Irene Bazinger: "The new Wallenstein" . FAZ , August 11, 2006.
  16. "Klaus Maria Brandauer has not eaten for three weeks" , ORF ticker, 2006.
  17. "You are now leaving the room" , stern , 2006, no. 31.
  18. “Bend and break. How Klaus Maria Brandauer wants to stage Bertolt Brecht ” ( Memento from August 9, 2006 in the Internet Archive ), ttt , July 30, 2006.
  19. Ski festival with a heart in Schladming: Brandauer, Mozart and ... https://newsroom.pr , February 8, 2013, accessed on June 26, 2020 .