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Armin Mueller-Stahl (born 17 December 1930) is an Academy Award-nominated Germanmarker film actor.

Early life

Mueller-Stahl was born in Tilsitmarker, East Prussia (now Sovetsk, Kaliningrad Oblastmarker), the son of Editta and Alfred Mueller-Stahl, a bank teller. He was a noted concert violinist while he was a teenager. He turned to film acting in East Berlin in 1950.


Mueller-Stahl was a successful film and stage actor in East Germanymarker where he was declared the country's most popular actor five times in a row, starring in films such The Third and Jacob, the Liar. On East-German TV, he played the main character of the popular series Das unsichtbare Visier (see German Wikipedia) from 1973-1979, a spy thriller program designed, in co-operation with the Stasi, as an East Bloc counterpart to the James Bond franchise. After protesting against Wolf Biermann's denaturalisation in 1976 he was blacklisted by the government and emigrated to West Germanymarker in 1980. Mueller-Stahl's talent found ample work in the West German film industry. He appeared in such films as Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Lola (1981), 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 broadened his film career with his USmarker 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 Sovietmarker 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 in the 1992 Berlinale for his performance in Utz. 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 gained applause for his portrayal of Thomas Mann in a German historic film production about the Mann family (Thomas Mann, his brother Heinrich Mann, and others) called Die Manns - Ein Jahrhundertroman. In 2004, Mueller-Stahl made another rare 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 starred in David Cronenberg's 2007 crime/drama Eastern Promises and 2009's thriller The International. Both of which is starred alongside British-Australian actress Naomi Watts. He starred in 2009's Angels & Demons as Cardinal Strauss.

The year 2007 saw Mueller-Stahl as an artist, when the new Brockhaus encyclopedia was presented at the Frankfurt Book Fair with book covers and spines designed by him.

In 2008, he won the Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for Eastern Promises.


  1. Armin Mueller-Stahl Biography (1930-)

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