Austrian distinction for Christoph Waltz
Vienna, Berlin, 6 June 2012 –World-famous and internationally sought-after actor Christoph Waltz was awarded the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art by the President of the Republic of Austria on June 6th, 2012. Waltz received the Austrian distinction from Ambassador Dr. Ralph Scheide at the Austrian Embassy in Berlin.
In his laudatory speech, Scheide referred to Christoph Waltz as being in the first league of internationally successful Austrian actors after WW II, continuing the tradition of Oskar Werner, Curd Jürgens, Maximilian Schell and Klaus Maria Brandauer. Waltz, the Ambassador said, has a pronounced ability to differentiate his acting, excellent sensitivity and high degree of empathy which he demonstrates in his film roles by portraying ambivalent, unfathomable and inscrutable characters. With his artistic skills, his success and his commitment to Austria, Christoph Waltz has contributed an invaluable share to Austria’s international image of a “country of film”.
Waltz gained international fame in 2009 with his role of SS colonel Hans Landa in Quentin Tarantino’s film “Inglorious Basterds”. The role earned him numerous international awards, among them the “Best Actor” award at the International Film Festival of Cannes in 2009, the Golden Globe and Oscar in 2010, both for “Best Supporting Actor”. Waltz is the only artist from the German-speaking area apart from Maximilian Schell to have won the Academy Award in one of the actor categories.
Christoph Waltz was born on 04 October 1956. He studied acting at the Max-Reinhardt-Seminar in Vienna and the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York. His theatre début in his home city of Vienna was in 1977. Theatre engagements in Zurich and Cologne followed; he also performed on theatre stages in Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Salzburg and Vienna. In 1982, he was awarded the highly reputed O.E.-Hasse Prize. He has had roles in numerous cinema and television films since the end of the 1970s. Despite commitments for TV in the past, he has still repeatedly been engaged for roles in international productions, appearing in French, Australian and British TV films. In 1995, he was in the cast of the international TV production “Catherine the Great” with Catherine Zeta-Jones in the leading role. A wide audience got to know him as Roy Black in the film about the singer’s life and – again under director Peter Keglevics – in the role of the cunning and ruthless kidnapper in “Der Tanz mit dem Teufel – The Kidnapping of Richard Oetker”. His most recent international film successes include his roles in “Carnage” directed by Roman Polanski, and his role of circus director in “Water for Elephants”.
Austrian Embassy Berlin