Armin Mueller-Stahl

born on 17/12/1930 in Tilsit (Sowetsk), Kaliningradskaja oblast, Russian Federation

Armin Mueller-Stahl

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Armin Mueller-Stahl

Armin Mueller-Stahl, October 2007
Born December 17 1930
Tilsit, East Prussia, Germany
Other names Armin MüllerStahl
Occupation Actor
Years active 1956present
Spouse(s) Gabriele Scholz (1973present)

Armin Mueller-Stahl (born 17 December 1930) is a German film actor, painter, writer and musician.

Early life

Mueller-Stahl was born in Tilsit, East Prussia (now Sovetsk, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia). His mother, Editta, was from an upper class family and became a university professor in Leipzig, and his father, Alfred Müller, was a bank teller who changed the family's surname to "Mueller-Stahl".[1][2] The rest of the family moved to Berlin while his father fought on the Eastern Front in World War II.[1] Mueller-Stahl was a concert violinist while he was a teenager and enrolled at an East Berlin acting school in 1952.[1]


Mueller-Stahl was a film and stage actor in East Germany, performing such films as Her Third and Jacob the Liar. For that country's TV, he played the main character of the popular series Das unsichtbare Visier (see the article in the German Wikipedia) from 1973-1979, a spy thriller program designed, in co-operation with the Stasi, as a counterpart to the James Bond films. After protesting against Wolf Biermann's denaturalisation in 1976 he was blacklisted by the government. Emigrating in 1980 to the FDR,[1] he found regular work in films. These included Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Lola (1981) and Veronika Voss (1982), Andrzej Wajda's A Love in Germany (1984), Angry Harvest and Colonel Redl (both 1985), the latter about Alfred Redl.

Mueller-Stahl made his American film debut as Jessica Lange's father in Music Box (1989). He subsequently took strong character roles in Kafka by Steven Soderbergh and Night on Earth by Jim Jarmusch (both 1991). He is also remembered for his role as the Soviet general in charge of the occupied United States in the ABC television miniseries Amerika (1987). Mueller-Stahl's leading role in Avalon (1990) is also memorable.

Mueller-Stahl won the Silver Bear for Best Actor at the 42nd Berlin International Film Festival for his performance in Utz.[3] He received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Shine (1996). Mueller-Stahl was also in A Pyromaniac's Love Story (1995) and the 1997 remake of the movie 12 Angry Men. Conversation with the Beast (1996) was his first film as director. In 1998, he played the German scientist and syndicate member, Conrad Strughold, in the feature film The X-Files. In 1999 he played the mastermind of a criminal gang opposite Ray Liotta and Gloria Reuben in Pilgrim, also distributed under the title Inferno.

In the early 2000s, Mueller-Stahl received a positive response for his portrayal of Thomas Mann in a German film about the Mann family (Thomas Mann, his brother Heinrich Mann, and others) called Die Manns - Ein Jahrhundertroman. In 2004, Mueller-Stahl made a foray into American television, guest-starring in four episodes on the television drama series The West Wing as the Prime Minister of Israel. In 2006, he played the role of reclusive Russian artist Nikolai Seroff in Local Color. He had a role in David Cronenberg's crime drama Eastern Promises (2007) and the thriller The International (2009), both of which co-starred British-Australian actress Naomi Watts. In 2008, he won the Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for Eastern Promises, and Mueller-Stahl played the role of Cardinal Strauss, Dean of the College of Cardinals and the Papal Conclave, in Angels and Demons (2009),

Involved too in book design. In 2007 saw book covers and spines by him being presented at the Frankfurt Book Fair from the new Brockhaus encyclopedia. In 2011 he was awarded the Honorary Golden Bear at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival.[4] Armin and his wife maintained a home in Los Angeles.

Selected filmography

  • Angels and Demons (2009)
  • The International (2009)
  • Eastern Promises (2007)
  • Local Color (2006)
  • The Dust Factory (2004)
  • The West Wing (2004)
  • Mission to Mars (2000)
  • The Thirteenth Floor (1999)
  • The X-Files: Fight the Future (1998)
  • The Commissioner (1998)
  • The Game (1997)
  • 12 Angry Men (1997)
  • The Peacemaker (1997)
  • The Ogre (1996)
  • Shine (1996)
  • A Pyromaniac's Love Story (1995)
  • The Last Good Time (1994)
  • The Power of One (1992)
  • Utz (1992)
  • Night on Earth (1991)
  • Avalon (1990 film) (1990)
  • Music Box (1989)
  • Derrick, Episode: "Stellen Sie sich vor, man hat Dr. Prestel erschossen" (1984)
  • The Wounded Man (1983)
  • Lola (1981)
  • Jacob the Liar (1975)
  • Her Third (1972)
  • Ways across the Country (1968)
  • Naked among Wolves (1963)
  • Star-Crossed Lovers (1962)
  • Five Cartridges (1960)


  • Berlin Film Festival
    • Silver Bear for Best Actor at the 42nd Berlin International Film Festival
    • Berlinale Camera at the 47th Berlin International Film Festival[5]
    • Honorary Golden Bear at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival
  • Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (2008)
  • Honorary citizen of Sovetsk (2011)[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Farrell, Mary H.J., Emerging from Behind the Iron Curtain, Armin Mueller-Stahl Finds Freedom-and Stardom in Avalon, People Magazine, 1990-11-12. URL accessed on 2009-12-08.
  2. Geffen, Pearl Sheffy, Shining through the darkness, Jerusalem Post, 1997-02-21. URL accessed on 2009-12-08.
  3. Berlinale: 1992 Prize Winners. Retrieved on 2011-05-29.
  4. Berlinale 2011: The Honorary Golden Bear. (2010-12-26). Archived from the original on 28 December 2010. Retrieved on 2010-12-26.
  5. Berlinale: 1997 Prize Winners. Retrieved on 2012-01-14.
  6. Armin Mueller-Stahl Ehrenbürger seiner Heimatstadt Berliner Zeitung, 8 December 2011 (German)

See also

  • List of German-speaking Academy Award winners and nominees

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Armin Mueller-Stahl

  • Armin Mueller-Stahl at the Internet Movie Database
This page was last modified 07.12.2012 08:59:29

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