Klaus Maria Brandauer

Klaus Maria Brandauer (German pronunciation: [klaʊ̯s maˈʀiːa ˈbʀandaʊ̯ɐ] (listen); born Klaus Georg Steng; 22 June 1943) is an Austrian actor and director. He is also a professor at the Max Reinhardt Seminar. Brandauer is known internationally for his roles in Mephisto (1981), Never Say Never Again (1983), Out of Africa (1985), Hanussen (1988), Burning Secret (1988), Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999), and The Strange Case of Wilhelm Reich (2013).

Klaus Maria Brandauer
Brandauer at the Viennale on 28 October 2012
Klaus Georg Steng

(1943-06-22) 22 June 1943
OccupationActor and director
Years active1962–present
Karin Brandauer
(m. 1963; her death 1992)

Natalie Krenn (m. 2007)

For his supporting role as Bror von Blixen-Finecke in the drama film Out of Africa (1985), Brandauer was nominated for an Academy Award and won a Golden Globe Award.

Personal life

Brandauer was born as Klaus Georg Steng in Bad Aussee, Austria.[1] He is the son of Maria Brandauer and Georg Steng (or Stenj), a civil servant.[2] He subsequently took his mother's first name as part of his professional name, Klaus Maria Brandauer.


Brandauer began acting on stage in 1962. After working in national theatre and television, he made his film debut in English in 1972, in The Salzburg Connection. In 1975 he played in Derrick – in Season 2, Episode 8 called "Pfandhaus". His starring and award-winning role in István Szabó's Mephisto (1981) playing a self-absorbed actor, launched his international career.

Following his role in Mephisto, Brandauer appeared as Maximillian Largo in Never Say Never Again (1983), a remake of the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball. Roger Ebert said of his performance: "For one thing, there's more of a human element in the movie, and it comes from Klaus Maria Brandauer, as Largo. Brandauer is a wonderful actor, and he chooses not to play the villain as a cliché. Instead, he brings a certain poignancy and charm to Largo, and since Connery always has been a particularly human James Bond, the emotional stakes are more convincing this time."[3] He starred in Out of Africa (1985), opposite Meryl Streep and Robert Redford, for which he was nominated for an Oscar and won a Golden Globe, and Szabó's Oberst Redl (1985).

In 1987, he was the Head of the Jury at the 37th Berlin International Film Festival.[4]

In 1988 he appeared in Hanussen opposite Erland Josephson and Ildikó Bánsági. Brandauer was originally cast as Marko Ramius in The Hunt for Red October. That role eventually went to Oscar nominee Sean Connery, who played James Bond to Brandauer's Largo in Never Say Never Again (1983). He co-starred with Connery again in The Russia House (1990). His other film roles have been in The Lightship (1986), Streets of Gold (1986), Burning Secret (1988), The Russia House (1990), White Fang (1991), Becoming Colette (1992), Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999), and Everyman's Feast (2002). In 1989 he participated in the great production film for the bicentennial of the French Revolution by the French television channel TF1, La Révolution française: He played the role of Georges Danton.

Brandauer first work as movie director was, in 1989, Seven Minutes, with himself in the title role.

In August 2006, Brandauer's much-awaited production of The Threepenny Opera gained a mixed reception. Brandauer had resisted questions about how his production of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's classic musical comedy about the criminal MacHeath would differ from earlier versions, and his production featured Mack the Knife in a three-piece suit and white gloves, stuck to Brecht's text, and avoided any references to contemporary politics or issues.

Brandauer has at least a working knowledge of five languages: German, Italian, Hungarian, English and French and has acted in each.


His first wife was Karin Katharina Müller (14 October 1945 – 13 November 1992), an Austrian film and television director and screenwriter, from 1963 until her death in 1992, aged 47, from cancer. Both were teenagers when they married, in 1963. They had one son, Christian.[5] Brandauer married Natalie Krenn in 2007.



Year Title Role Notes
1972The Salzburg ConnectionJohann Kronsteiner
1975 DerrickErich ForsterTV series
Episode: "Pfandhaus"
1979A Sunday in OctoberHoffmann
1981MephistoHendrik Höfgen
1983Never Say Never AgainMaximilian Largo
1985Colonel RedlAlfred Redl
Quo Vadis?NeroTV miniseries
The LightshipCaptain Miller
Out of AfricaBaron Bror BlixenGolden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
1986Streets of GoldAlek Neuman
1988HanussenErik Jan Hanussen
Burning SecretBaron Alexander von Hauenstein
1989Spider's WebBenjamin Lenz
Seven MinutesGeorg ElserAlso director
La Révolution françaiseGeorges DantonTV miniseries
1990The Russia HouseDante
1991White FangAlex Larson
Becoming ColetteHenry Gauthier-Villars
1994FelidaePascal/ClaudandusVoice only
Mario and the MagicianCipollaAlso director
1998JeremiahKing NebuchadnezzarTV film
Introducing Dorothy DandridgeOtto PremingerTV film
2000Help! I'm a FishJoeVoice only (German version)
2001DruidsJulius Caesar
2002Everyman's FeastJan Jedermann
Between StrangersAlexander Bauer
2003EntrustedGregor LämmleTV film
2006Kronprinz Rudolfs letzte LiebeEmperor Franz JosephTV film
2009TetroCarlo Tetrocini
2011ManipulationUrs Rappold
2012The Strange Case of Wilhelm ReichWilhelm Reich
2013Die AuslöschungErnst LemdenTV film

See also


  1. "Klaus Maria Brandauer - Biografie WHO'S WHO". Whoswho.de. 1944-06-22. Retrieved 2013-10-06.
  2. Klaus Maria Brandauer Film Reference biography
  3. Ebert, Roger (1983-10-07). "Never Say Never Again". rogerebert.com. Retrieved 2008-10-18.
  4. "Berlinale: Juries". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
  5. "Brandauer, Karin Katharina geborene Müller". Aeiou.at. 2001-07-31. Retrieved 2013-10-06.
  6. Archived March 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  7. "19th Moscow International Film Festival (1995)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 2013-03-22. Retrieved 2013-03-16.
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