The Most Famous

ACTORS from Austria

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This page contains a list of the greatest Austrian Actors. The pantheon dataset contains 13,578 Actors, 56 of which were born in Austria. This makes Austria the birth place of the 22nd most number of Actors behind Argentina, and Hong Kong.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Austrian Actors of all time. This list of famous Austrian Actors is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Austrian Actors.

Photo of Arnold Schwarzenegger

1. Arnold Schwarzenegger (b. 1947)

With an HPI of 80.48, Arnold Schwarzenegger is the most famous Austrian Actor.  His biography has been translated into 121 different languages on wikipedia.

Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger (born July 30, 1947) is an Austrian and American actor, businessman, filmmaker, former politician, and former professional bodybuilder known for his roles in high-profile action movies. He served as the 38th governor of California from 2003 to 2011 and was among Time's 100 most influential people in the world in 2004 and 2007. Schwarzenegger began lifting weights at age 15 and won the Mr. Universe title aged 20, and subsequently the Mr. Olympia title seven times. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time, and has written many books and articles about it. The Arnold Sports Festival, considered the second-most important bodybuilding event after Mr. Olympia, is named after him. He appeared in the bodybuilding documentary Pumping Iron (1977). After retiring from bodybuilding, he gained worldwide fame as a Hollywood action star, with his breakthrough in the sword and sorcery epic Conan the Barbarian (1982), a box-office hit with a sequel in 1984. After playing the title character in the science fiction film The Terminator (1984), he starred in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) and three other sequels. His other successful action films included Commando (1985), The Running Man (1987), Predator (1987), Total Recall (1990), and True Lies (1994), in addition to comedy films such as Twins (1988), Kindergarten Cop (1990) and Jingle All the Way (1996). He is the founder of the film production company Oak Productions. As a registered Republican, Schwarzenegger chaired the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports during most of the George H. W. Bush administration. On October 7, 2003, he was elected Governor of California in a special recall election to replace then-Governor Gray Davis. He received 48.6% of the vote, 17 points ahead of Democrat runner-up Cruz Bustamante. He was sworn in on November 17 to serve the remainder of Davis' term, and was reelected in the 2006 California gubernatorial election with an increased vote share of 55.9% to serve a full term. In 2011 he reached his term limit as governor and returned to acting. Schwarzenegger was nicknamed the "Austrian Oak" in his bodybuilding days, "Arnie" or "Schwarzy" during his acting career, and "the Governator" (a portmanteau of "Governor" and "Terminator") during his political career. He married Maria Shriver, a niece of President John F. Kennedy, in 1986. They separated in 2011 after he admitted to having fathered a child with their housemaid in 1997; their divorce was finalized in 2021.

Photo of Romy Schneider

2. Romy Schneider (1938 - 1982)

With an HPI of 77.33, Romy Schneider is the 2nd most famous Austrian Actor.  Her biography has been translated into 58 different languages.

Romy Schneider (German: [ˈʁoː.mi ˈʃnaɪ̯.dɐ] ; born Rosemarie Magdalena Albach; 23 September 1938 – 29 May 1982) was a German-French actress. She is regarded as one of the greatest screen actresses of all time and became a cult figure due to her role as Empress Elisabeth of Austria in the Sissi trilogy in the mid-1950s. She later reprised the role in a more mature version in Luchino Visconti's Ludwig (1973). She began her career in the German Heimatfilm genre in the early 1950s when she was 15. Schneider moved to France, where she made successful and critically acclaimed films with some of the most notable film directors of that era. Her performance in That Most Important Thing: Love is regarded as one of the greatest in the history of cinema. Coco Chanel called Romy “the ultimate incarnation of the ideal woman.” Bertrand Tavernier remarked: “Sautet is talking about Mozart with regard to Romy. Me, I want to talk of Verdi, Mahler…”

Photo of Hedy Lamarr

3. Hedy Lamarr (1914 - 2000)

With an HPI of 72.96, Hedy Lamarr is the 3rd most famous Austrian Actor.  Her biography has been translated into 78 different languages.

Hedy Lamarr (; born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler; November 9, 1914 – January 19, 2000) was an Austrian-born American actress and inventor. After a brief early film career in Czechoslovakia, including the controversial erotic romantic drama Ecstasy (1933), she fled from her first husband, Friedrich Mandl, and secretly moved to Paris. Traveling to London, she met Louis B. Mayer, who offered her a film contract in Hollywood. Lamarr became a film star with her performance in the romantic drama Algiers (1938). She achieved further success with the Western Boom Town (1940) and the drama White Cargo (1942). Lamarr's most successful film was the religious epic Samson and Delilah (1949). She also acted on television before the release of her final film in 1958. She was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960. At the beginning of World War II, along with George Antheil, Lamarr co-invented a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes that used spread spectrum and frequency hopping technology to defeat the threat of radio jamming by the Axis powers. However, the technology was never adopted.

Photo of Christoph Waltz

4. Christoph Waltz (b. 1956)

With an HPI of 68.99, Christoph Waltz is the 4th most famous Austrian Actor.  His biography has been translated into 68 different languages.

Christoph Waltz (German: [ˈkʀɪstɔf ˈvalts]; born 4 October 1956) is an actor known for playing villainous and supporting roles in English-language films since 2009. He has been primarily active in the United States. His accolades include two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, two BAFTA Awards, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. His American breakthrough role came in Quentin Tarantino's 2009 film Inglourious Basterds, in which he played Hans Landa, for which he received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and the Cannes Film Festival Best Actor Award. Waltz collaborated with Tarantino again in Django Unchained (2012), for which he earned his second Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, this time for his performance as a bounty hunter. He has also starred in Carnage (2011), The Zero Theorem (2013), Big Eyes (2014), Downsizing (2017), Alita: Battle Angel (2019), and The French Dispatch (2021). He appeared as Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the James Bond films Spectre (2015) and No Time to Die (2021).

Photo of Maximilian Schell

5. Maximilian Schell (1930 - 2014)

With an HPI of 67.90, Maximilian Schell is the 5th most famous Austrian Actor.  His biography has been translated into 71 different languages.

Maximilian Schell (8 December 1930 – 1 February 2014) was a Swiss actor. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for the 1961 American film Judgment at Nuremberg, his second acting role in Hollywood. Born in Austria, his parents were involved in the arts and he grew up surrounded by performance and literature. While he was still a child, his family fled to Switzerland in 1938 when Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany, and they settled in Zürich. After World War II ended, Schell took up acting and directing full-time. He appeared in numerous German films, often anti-war, before moving to Hollywood. Fluent in both English and German, Schell earned top billing in a number of Nazi-era themed films. Two earned him Oscar nominations: The Man in the Glass Booth (1975), for a character with two identities, and Julia (1977), portraying a member of a group resisting Nazism. His range of portrayals included personalities as diverse as Venezuelan leader Simón Bolívar, Russian emperor Peter the Great, and physicist Albert Einstein. For his role as Vladimir Lenin in the television film Stalin (1992) he won the Golden Globe Award. Schell also performed in a number of stage plays, including a celebrated performance as Prince Hamlet. Schell was an accomplished pianist and conductor, performing with Claudio Abbado and Leonard Bernstein, and with orchestras in Berlin and Vienna. His elder sister was the internationally noted actress Maria Schell; he produced the documentary tribute My Sister Maria in 2002.

Photo of Helmut Berger

6. Helmut Berger (1944 - 2023)

With an HPI of 66.35, Helmut Berger is the 6th most famous Austrian Actor.  His biography has been translated into 33 different languages.

Helmut Berger (German pronunciation: [ˈhɛlmuːt ˈbɛʁɡɐ] ; né Steinberger; 29 May 1944 – 18 May 2023) was an Austrian actor, known for his portrayal of narcissistic and sexually ambiguous characters. He was one of the stars of European cinema in the late 1960s and 1970s, and is regarded as a sex symbol and pop icon of that period. He is most famous for his work with Luchino Visconti, particularly in his performance as King Ludwig II of Bavaria in Ludwig, for which he received a special David di Donatello award, and his performance in The Damned for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.

Photo of Klaus Maria Brandauer

7. Klaus Maria Brandauer (b. 1943)

With an HPI of 63.31, Klaus Maria Brandauer is the 7th most famous Austrian Actor.  His biography has been translated into 36 different languages.

Klaus Maria Brandauer (German pronunciation: [klaʊ̯s maˈʀiːa ˈbʀandaʊ̯ɐ] ; 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 The Russia House (1990), Mephisto (1981), Never Say Never Again (1983), Out of Africa (1985), Hanussen (1988), Burning Secret (1988), and White Fang (1991). 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. Brandauer has a working knowledge of at least five languages: German, Italian, Hungarian, English and French and has acted in each.

Photo of Maria Schell

8. Maria Schell (1926 - 2005)

With an HPI of 62.63, Maria Schell is the 8th most famous Austrian Actor.  Her biography has been translated into 36 different languages.

Maria Margarethe Anna Schell (15 January 1926 – 26 April 2005) was an Austrian-Swiss actress. She was one of the leading stars of German cinema in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1954, she was awarded the Cannes Best Actress Award for her performance in Helmut Käutner's war drama The Last Bridge, and in 1956, she won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival for Gervaise.

Photo of Oskar Werner

9. Oskar Werner (1922 - 1984)

With an HPI of 60.85, Oskar Werner is the 9th most famous Austrian Actor.  His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.

Oskar Werner (German: [ˈɔskaʁ ˈvɛʁnɐ]; born Oskar Josef Bschließmayer; 13 November 1922 – 23 October 1984) was an Austrian stage and cinema actor whose prominent roles include two 1965 films, The Spy Who Came In from the Cold and Ship of Fools. Other notable films include Decision Before Dawn (1951), Jules and Jim (1962), Fahrenheit 451 (1966), The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968) and Voyage of the Damned (1976). Werner accepted both stage and film roles throughout his career. He won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor and was nominated several times for Golden Globes, Academy Awards and BAFTA Awards.

Photo of Katharina Schratt

10. Katharina Schratt (1853 - 1940)

With an HPI of 60.49, Katharina Schratt is the 10th most famous Austrian Actor.  Her biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Katharina Schratt, Baroness Kiss von Ittebe (11 September 1853 – 17 April 1940) was an Austrian actress who became "the uncrowned Empress of Austria" as a confidante of Emperor Franz Joseph.

People

Pantheon has 66 people classified as Austrian actors born between 1790 and 2004. Of these 66, 18 (27.27%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living Austrian actors include Arnold Schwarzenegger, Christoph Waltz, and Klaus Maria Brandauer. The most famous deceased Austrian actors include Romy Schneider, Hedy Lamarr, and Maximilian Schell. As of April 2024, 11 new Austrian actors have been added to Pantheon including Mizzi Kaspar, Wolf Albach-Retty, and William Berger.

Living Austrian Actors

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Deceased Austrian Actors

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Newly Added Austrian Actors (2024)

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Overlapping Lives

Which Actors were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Actors since 1700.