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