skip navigation
Armin Mueller-Stahl

Armin Mueller-Stahl

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Also Known As: Died:
Born: December 17, 1930 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Profession: actor, pianist, violinist, screenwriter, director, music teacher, author

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

An overnight success years in the making, Armin Mueller-Stahl spent the post-World War II era in East Berlin studying and playing the violin. The former music teacher made his stage acting debut at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm (home of the famous Berliner Ensemble) in 1953 and worked for more than two decades with another noted East Berlin company, Volksbuehne (People's Stage). After making a smooth transition from stage to screen in "Heimleche Ehe/The Secret Marriage" (1958), he became one of DEFA's (the state-run film conglomerate) outstanding young actors. His three-picture collaboration with director Frank Beyer culminated with "Jakob der Luegner/Jakob the Liar" (1974), the only DEFA picture to ever receive a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nomination, and he also consolidated his popularity with frequent television appearances. His decision to sign the Biermann Resolution, a manifesto critical of the government, however, led to his blacklisting in 1976. "When you lived in the G.D.R., you were political, even if you didn't want to be," he told Premiere (November 1990). "I felt I had a responsibility to the public."

An overnight success years in the making, Armin Mueller-Stahl spent the post-World War II era in East Berlin studying and playing the violin. The former music teacher made his stage acting debut at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm (home of the famous Berliner Ensemble) in 1953 and worked for more than two decades with another noted East Berlin company, Volksbuehne (People's Stage). After making a smooth transition from stage to screen in "Heimleche Ehe/The Secret Marriage" (1958), he became one of DEFA's (the state-run film conglomerate) outstanding young actors. His three-picture collaboration with director Frank Beyer culminated with "Jakob der Luegner/Jakob the Liar" (1974), the only DEFA picture to ever receive a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nomination, and he also consolidated his popularity with frequent television appearances. His decision to sign the Biermann Resolution, a manifesto critical of the government, however, led to his blacklisting in 1976. "When you lived in the G.D.R., you were political, even if you didn't want to be," he told Premiere (November 1990). "I felt I had a responsibility to the public."

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Knight of Cups (2016)
2.
 Angels & Demons (2009)
3.
 Leningrad (2009)
5.
6.
 Eastern Promises (2007)
7.
 Local Color (2007)
8.
9.
 Dust Factory, The (2004) Grandpa Randolph
10.
 Long Run, The (2002) Bertold Bohmer
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Was a noted concert violinist as a teenager
:
Family moved to East Berlin after WWII
1953:
First stage role was at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm in East Berlin
:
Performed with the East Berlin Theater Company, Volksbuehne for 25 years
1958:
Film debut, the East German movie, "Heimliche Ehe"
1962:
Starred in the political thriller, "Flucht aus der Holle" for German Television
1962:
First film with director Frank Beyer, "Konigskinder/Invincible Love"
1963:
Re-teamed with Beyer for "Nackt unter Wolfen/Naked Among Wolves"
1974:
Third film with Beyer, "Jakob der Luegner/Jacob the Liar"
1976:
Banned from acting by the East German government after signing the Biermann Resolution
1976:
Penned memoir, <i>Ordered Sundays</i>
1980:
Moved to West Germany
1981:
Made West German film debut in Rainer Werner Fassbinder's "Lola"
1982:
Re-teamed with Fassbinder for "Veronika Voss"
1983:
Acted in Andrzej Wajda's "Love in Germany"
1985:
Portrayed a Polish farmer who shelters a Viennese Jew in Holland's Academy Award-nominated foreign film, "Angry Harvest"
1985:
Portrayed doomed Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Istvan Szabo's "Colonel Redl"
1987:
Made US television debut as Russian General Samanov in the ABC miniseries, "Amerika"
1989:
Played a man accused of being a brutal Nazi collaborator in Costa-Gavras' "Music Box"
1990:
Received critical acclaim for his role as the family patriarch in Barry Levinson's "Avalon"
1991:
Played a police inspector investigating Jeremy Irons' title character in Steven Soderbergh's "Kafka"
1992:
Played a dying man whose lifelong obsession has been collecting porcelain figurines in "Utz"; son Christian was the younger version of the character
1994:
First collaboration with Bob Balaban, "The Last Good Time"
1996:
Wrote and directed and starred as a 103-year-old Adolph Hitler in "Conversations With the Beast"; Balaban also starred
1996:
Received a Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination for his role as the father of pianist David Helfgott in "Shine"
1997:
Starred in the Showtime remake of Rod Serling's drama of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, "In the Presence of Mine Enemies"
1997:
Played Juror No. 4 in Showtime's acclaimed remake of "12 Angry Men"
1998:
Cast as the German scientist, Conrad Strughold, in the feature film "The X-Files"
1999:
Co-starred with Bob Balaban in the remake of "Jakob the Liar"
2000:
Portrayed Joseph in the CBS miniseries, "Jesus"
2001:
Portrayed Thomas Mann in a German historic film production about the Mann family, "Die Manns - Ein Jahrhundertroman"
2004:
Appeared in four episodes of the NBC drama series, "The West Wing" as the Prime Minister of Israel
2007:
Co-starred with Viggo Mortensen in director David Cronenberg's "Eastern Promises"
2009:
Teamed with Clive Owen and director Tom Tykwer for "The International"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

"I played the heroes and sons in East Europe. I played the father and the bad guys in West Europe. Now, I'm going to make a full circle by playing the grandfathers in America." --Armin Mueller-Stahl quoted in the press-kit for "Avalon"

Received the Chaplin Schuh (1982), the prize for a German actor awarded by the Association of German Film and Televison Directors

"We are a throwaway generation. We have writers, but we have no readers anymore. So we have films. I've played parts like Mike Laszlo [in "Music Box"] for two reasons. One is that we must never allow this black point in our history to ever happen again. The second is to show that every man in a similar situation could be capable of the same evil. We actors can't change the world. But we can try." --Mueller-Stahl to Premiere, November 1990

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Gabriele Mueller-Stahl. Dermatologist.

Family close complete family listing

brother:
Hagen Mueller-Stahl. Director.
son:
Christian Mueller-Stahl. Actor. Born in 1974; played his father's character as a youth in "Utz" (1992).

Bibliography close complete biography

"In Gedanken an Marie Louise: Eine Liebesgeschichte"
"Unterwegs nach Hause: Erinnerungen"
"Verordneter Sonntag/Ordered Sunday"
"Armin Mueller-Stahl: Seine Filme, sein Leben"
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute