Eric Braeden (born Hans-Jörg Gudegast; April 3, 1941) is a German-born American film and television actor, known for his roles as Victor Newman on the soap opera The Young and the Restless, as Hans Dietrich in the 1960s TV series The Rat Patrol, Dr. Charles Forbin in Colossus: The Forbin Project, and as John Jacob Astor IV in the 1997 film Titanic. He won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1998 for Lead Actor in a Drama Series for the role of Victor Newman.
Braeden in 2013
April 3, 1941
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
Dale Russell (m. 1966)
Braeden was born Hans-Jörg Gudegast in Bredenbek, Germany (near Kiel), where his father was once mayor. He emigrated to the United States in 1959, where he attended the University of Montana, Missoula.
Braeden accumulated many TV and film credits during his first two decades in America, and guest starred in 120 roles. His earliest credits were all under his birth name, Hans Gudegast.
During the 1960s he appeared in several episodes of TV's longest-running World War II drama (1962–1967) Combat!, always playing a German soldier. In 1965, he appeared in a film called Morituri starring Marlon Brando and Yul Brynner, and guest-starred in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. as T.H.R.U.S.H. agent Mr. Oakes in "The Discotheque Affair"; season two, episode five.
In 1966, he guest-starred as Luftwaffe Major Bentz in episode 28, "Day of Reckoning", of season two of the TV series Twelve O'Clock High (a series which was very loosely based on the classic 1949 war film with the same name) and also appeared in an episode of the 1966 espionage drama series Blue Light. His main character for the next two years was his regular starring role playing German Hauptmann (Captain) Hans Dietrich on the TV series The Rat Patrol (1966–1968),
He starred in the 1969 western 100 Rifles with Raquel Welch, Burt Reynolds and Jim Brown (noted for the first big screen "interracial love scene between Welch and Brown), once again playing a villainous German military officer opposite Fernando Lamas. This was his last credit under his birth name.
His starring role in the movie Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970), was when he first took the stage name of Eric Braeden. Lew Wasserman of Universal Pictures told him that no one would be allowed to star in an American film if they had a German name. After much thought he took the name Braeden from his hometown of Bredenbek.
Other movie appearances in the 1970s included the role of Dr. Otto Hasslein in Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971), and that of the arrogant but formidable race car driver, Bruno von Stickle in Walt Disney's 1977 Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo. Throughout the 1970s, he also guest-starred in a variety of television shows including The Six Million Dollar Man, Wonder Woman, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and also appeared in several episodes of the long-running CBS western series Gunsmoke.
In 1980, he was offered the role of self-made business magnate Victor Newman on the daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless for a 26-week run. His character imprisoned his wife's lover, and became so popular the character became a love-to-hate villain, and his contract was renewed. Braeden announced on October 18, 2009 that after almost 30 years on The Young and the Restless, he was leaving the show. "We reached an impasse in the negotiations", Braeden said in an exclusive interview with celebrity news website EW.com. Braeden's last airdate was scheduled to be November 2, 2009; however, on October 23, CBS announced that Braeden had inked a new three-year deal and would remain with the soap, even agreeing to take a pay cut, which was the original issue.
In addition to this long-running character, in 1997 he played Colonel John Jacob Astor IV in the blockbuster film Titanic. Braeden told Cindy Elavsky that the scene in which his character drowned "was one of the scariest moments in this business for me".
Braeden won a Daytime Emmy for his work in 1998.
In 1958 Braeden, then known as Hans Gudegast, won the German National Team Championship in Track and Field (discus, shot-put and javelin with the Rendsburger TSV). Braeden later went on to win the 1973 National Challenge Cup as a fullback with the Jewish American soccer club Maccabi Los Angeles, scoring the winning goal in the semifinal and a penalty kick in the final against Cleveland Internationals. In the 1970s/80s he could often be seen boxing at the Hoover Street and Broadway gyms in L.A. He is a very fine Tennis player and participated in many celebrity events. His son, Christian, is a director who created the film Den of Thieves, starring Gerard Butler.
Eric Braeden's autobiography, titled I'll Be Damned, was published by Harper Collins in 2017. This mentions how he was a survivor of the MV Wilhelm Gustloff sinking.
|1962–1964||Combat!||Cpl. Hans Gruber / Sgt. Ecktmann||6 episodes|
|The Man from U.N.C.L.E.||Mr. Oakes||Episode: "The Discotheque Affair"|
|12 O'Clock High||Maj. Gerhard Bentz / Captain Zoller||2 episodes|
|1966–1967||Mission: Impossible||Andrei Fetyakov / Marcus von Frank||2 episodes|
|1966–1968||The Rat Patrol||Hauptmann (Captain) Hans Dietrich||58 episodes|
|1966||The Virginian||Augustin||Episodes: "No Drums, No Trumpets"|
|1968||Dayton's Devils||Max Eikhart|
|1969||100 Rifles||Lt. Franz Von Klemme|
|1969–1973||Hawaii Five-O||Djebara / Klaus Marburg / Dr. Paul Farrar||3 episodes|
|1970||The Mask of Sheba||Dr. Morgan||TV movie|
|Colossus: The Forbin Project||Dr. Charles A. Forbin|
|The Young Rebels||Major Zanker||Episode: "The Hostages"|
|1971||Escape from the Planet of the Apes||Dr. Otto Hasslein|
|Mannix||Viktor Gruniev||Episode: “Woman in the Shadows”|
|Bearcats!||Colonel Reinert||Episode: "Dos Gringos"|
|1971–1974||Gunsmoke||Jack Sinclair / Talley / Carl Jaekel||5 episode|
|1972||The Judge and Jake Wyler||Anton Granicek||TV movie|
|1973||McCloud||Ravik||Episode: "The Million Dollar Round Up"|
|Lady Ice||Peter Brinker|
|The Six Million Dollar Man||Findletter||TV movie|
|Death Race||Stoeffer||TV movie|
|The Adulteress||Hank Baron|
|1973-1975||Barnaby Jones||'Hans' / Jennings / Raven / Steven Kingston||2 episodes|
|1974||Banacek||Paul Bolitho||Episode: "The Vanishing Chalice"|
|The Ultimate Thrill||Roland Parlay|
|Kolchak: The Night Stalker||Bernhardt Stieglitz||Episode: "The Werewolf"|
|1975||Death Scream||Kosinsky||TV movie|
|1975–1978||Wonder Woman||Donalsen / Captain Drangel||2 episodes|
|1977||The Mary Tyler Moore Show||Karl Heller||Episode: "The Critic"|
|Kojak||Kenneth Krug||Episode: "When You Hear the Beep, Drop Dead"|
|Code Name: Diamond Head||Ernest Graeber||TV movie|
|Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo||Bruno von Stickle|
|1978||The Eddie Capra Mysteries||Leo||Episode: "Murder! Murder!"|
|Piranha||Dr. Robert Hoak (swimming double)||Uncredited|
|1979||CHiPs||Senator Bob Larwin||Episode: "MAIT Team"|
|1980||The Aliens Are Coming||Leonard Nero||TV movie|
|1980–present||The Young and the Restless||Victor Newman|
|1981||Charlie's Angels||John Reardon||Episode: "Attack Angels"|
|1986||Airwolf||Nick Kincaid||Episode: "Birds of Paradise"|
|1986||Murder, She Wrote||Col. Gerhardt Brunner||Episode: "One White Rose for Death"|
|1990||The Ambulance||The Doctor|
|Lucky/Chances||Dimitri Stanislopolous||3 episodes|
|1993||Perry Mason: Wicked Wives||David|
|1994||The Nanny||Frank Bradley, Sr.||Episode: "Sunday in the Park with Fran"|
|1995||Diagnosis: Murder||Himself||Episode: "Death in the Daytime"|
|1997||Titanic||John Jacob Astor IV|
|1998||Meet the Deedles||Elton Deedle|
|1999||The Bold and the Beautiful||Victor Newman||4 episode|
|2008||The Man Who Came Back||Reese Paxton|
|2008||How I Met Your Mother||Robin Scherbatsky, Sr.||Episode: "Happily Ever After"|
|2018||Den of Thieves||Ziggy Zerhusen|
Awards and honors
- 1990: Distinguished German-American of the Year
- 2007: Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (July 20)
- 2007: Received the Gilmore Award from the Pacific Pioneers, a radio and television industry group
- 2009: Received the Friend of German Award from the American Association of Teachers of German
|1987||Daytime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series||The Young and the Restless||Nominated|
|1990||Daytime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series||The Young and the Restless||Nominated|
|1992||People's Choice Awards||Favorite Male Performer In A Daytime Serial||The Young and the Restless||Won|
|1996||Daytime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series||The Young and the Restless||Nominated|
|1997||Daytime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series||The Young and the Restless||Nominated|
|1998||Daytime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series||The Young and the Restless||Won|
|1999||Daytime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series||The Young and the Restless||Nominated|
|2000||Daytime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series||The Young and the Restless||Nominated|
|2004||Daytime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series||The Young and the Restless||Nominated|
- "Soap Star Stats: Eric Braeden (Victor, Y&R)". SoapOperaDigest.com. Retrieved January 13, 2009.
- "Daytime Emmy Winners & Nominees: 1998". SoapOperaDigest.com. Archived from the original on July 15, 2009. Retrieved July 10, 2009.
- Weaver, Tom. "Eric Braeden Interview". In I Talked with a Zombie: Interviews with 23 veterans of Horror and Sci-fi Films and Television, McFarland, 2009, pp. 11–12
- Kate Stanhope. "Eric Braeden Returning to Young and the Restless". TVGuide.com.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-11-08. Retrieved 2016-11-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Elavsky, Cindy (2012-03-16). "Celebrity Extra". Downriver Sunday Times. Retrieved 2012-03-23.
- "Eric Braeden". IMDb.
- Zeller, Johnathan (June 29, 2015). "Los Angeles' Forgotten Jewish Soccer Dynasty". VICE Sports. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
- "Victor, Victorious". Soap Opera Weekly. 2007-02-13. p. 32.
- Braeden, Eric (2017-02-07). I'll Be Damned: How My Young and Restless Life Led Me to America's #1 Daytime Drama. HarperCollins. ISBN 9780062476111.
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