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.
With an HPI of 83.95, Arnold Schwarzenegger is the most famous Austrian Actor. His biography has been translated into 113 different languages on wikipedia.
Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger (; German: [ˈaʁnɔlt ˈʃvaʁtsn̩ˌʔɛɡɐ]; born July 30, 1947) is an Austrian-American actor, businessman, retired professional bodybuilder and former politician who served as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 to 2011. As of 2021, he is the most recent Republican governor of California. Schwarzenegger began lifting weights at the age of 15, and went on to win the Mr. Universe title at age 20 before winning the Mr. Olympia contest seven times; he remains a prominent presence in bodybuilding and has written many books and articles on the sport. The Arnold Sports Festival, considered the second-most important bodybuilding event after Mr. Olympia, is named after him. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time, as well as the sport's most charismatic and famous ambassador.Schwarzenegger gained worldwide fame as a Hollywood action film icon. After appearing in the bodybuilding documentary Pumping Iron (1977), his breakthrough film was the sword-and-sorcery epic Conan the Barbarian (1982), a box-office hit that resulted in a sequel in 1984. He appeared as the title character in James Cameron's critically and commercially successful science fiction film The Terminator (1984), and subsequently played similar characters in the sequel films Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), Terminator Genisys (2015) and Terminator: Dark Fate (2019). He also starred in other successful action films such as 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), Junior (1994) and Jingle All the Way (1996). As a Republican candidate, Schwarzenegger was first elected on October 7, 2003, in a special recall election to replace then-Governor Gray Davis, with 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. Schwarzenegger was re-elected in the 2006 California gubernatorial election with an increased vote share of 55.9%, to serve a full term as governor. In 2011, he reached his term limit as Governor and returned to his career in 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, the niece of 35th U.S. President John F. Kennedy, in 1986. They separated in 2011 after he admitted to having fathered an illegitimate child with their housemaid in 1997, and their divorce was finalized in 2017. The name of his production company is Oak Productions.
With an HPI of 82.13, Romy Schneider is the 2nd most famous Austrian Actor. Her biography has been translated into 53 different languages.
Romy Schneider (German: [ˈʁoː.mi ˈʃnaɪ̯.dɐ] (listen); born Rosemarie Magdalena Albach; 23 September 1938 – 29 May 1982) was a German-French actress. She began her career in the German Heimatfilm genre in the early 1950s when she was 15. From 1955 to 1957, she played the central character of Empress Elisabeth of Austria in the Austrian Sissi trilogy, and later reprised the role in a more mature version in Visconti's Ludwig (1973). Schneider moved to France, where she made successful and critically acclaimed films with some of the most notable film directors of that era.
With an HPI of 78.38, Hedy Lamarr is the 3rd most famous Austrian Actor. Her biography has been translated into 73 different languages.
Hedy Lamarr (, born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler; November or 9 September 1914 – 19 January 2000), was an American actress, inventor, and film producer. She appeared in 30 films over a 28-year career, and co-invented an early version of frequency-hopping spread spectrum communication for torpedo guidance.Lamarr was born in Vienna, Austria-Hungary, and acted in a number of Austrian, German, and Czech films in her brief early film career, including the controversial Ecstasy (1933). In 1937, she fled from her husband, a wealthy Austrian ammunition manufacturer, secretly moving to Paris and then on to London. There she met Louis B. Mayer, head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) studio, who offered her a Hollywood movie contract, where he began promoting her as "the world's most beautiful woman".She became a star through her performance in Algiers (1938), her first American film. She starred opposite Clark Gable in Boom Town and Comrade X (both 1940), and James Stewart in Come Live with Me and Ziegfeld Girl (both 1941). Her other MGM films include Lady of the Tropics (1939), H.M. Pulham, Esq. (1941), as well as Crossroads and White Cargo (both 1942); she was also borrowed by Warner Bros. for The Conspirators, and by RKO for Experiment Perilous (both 1944). Dismayed by being typecast, Lamarr co-founded a new production studio and starred in its films: The Strange Woman (1946), and Dishonored Lady (1947). Her greatest success was as Delilah in Cecil B. DeMille's Samson and Delilah (1949). She also acted on television before the release of her final film, The Female Animal (1958). She was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960.At the beginning of World War II, Lamarr and composer George Antheil developed a radio guidance system using frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology for Allied torpedoes, intended to defeat the threat of jamming by the Axis powers. She also helped improve aircraft aerodynamics for Howard Hughes while they dated during the war. Although the US Navy did not adopt Lamarr and Antheil's invention until 1957, various spread-spectrum techniques are incorporated into Bluetooth technology and are similar to methods used in legacy versions of Wi-Fi. Recognition of the value of their work resulted in the pair being posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014.
With an HPI of 75.00, Maximilian Schell is the 4th most famous Austrian Actor. His biography has been translated into 70 different languages.
Maximilian Schell (8 December 1930 – 1 February 2014) was an Austrian-born Swiss film and stage actor, who also wrote, directed and produced some of his own films. 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 acting and literature. While he was a child, his family fled to Switzerland in 1938 when Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany, and they settled in Zurich. After World War II ended, Schell took up acting or directing full-time. He appeared in numerous German films, often anti-war, before moving on to Hollywood. Schell was top billed in a number of Nazi-era themed films, as he could speak both English and German. Among those were two films for which he received Oscar nominations: The Man in the Glass Booth (1975; best actor), where he played a character with two identities, and Julia (1977; best supporting actor), where he helps the underground in Nazi Germany. His range of acting went beyond German characters, however; and during his career, he also played 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. On stage, Schell acted in a number of plays, and his was considered "one of the greatest Hamlets ever."Schell was an accomplished pianist and conductor, performing with Claudio Abbado and Leonard Bernstein, and with orchestras in Berlin and Vienna. His elder sister, Maria Schell, was also a noted Hollywood actress, about whom he produced the documentary My Sister Maria, in 2002.
With an HPI of 74.57, Christoph Waltz is the 5th most famous Austrian Actor. His biography has been translated into 61 different languages.
Christoph Waltz (German: [ˈkrɪstɔf ˈvalts]; born 4 October 1956) is an Austrian-German actor and director. Since 2009 he has mainly been active in the United States. His accolades include two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, two British Academy Film Awards and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. His breakout American role came in Quentin Tarantino's 2009 film Inglourious Basterds, where he played SS officer Hans Landa. He would later collaborate with Tarantino once again in 2012, where he played bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained. For each performance, he earned an Academy Award, BAFTA Award, and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. Waltz also received the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his portrayal of Landa.Waltz has also starred in Roman Polanski's dark comedy Carnage (2011), Terry Gilliam's science fiction film The Zero Theorem (2013), Tim Burton's biographical film Big Eyes (2014), Alexander Payne's satire Downsizing (2017), and Woody Allen's comedy Rifkin's Festival (2020). Waltz also gained acclaim for his performance as James Bond's nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld in Sam Mendes' Spectre (2015), a role which he will reprise in Cary Joji Fukunaga's No Time to Die (2021). For his role as Walter Keane in Big Eyes he was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor. In 2020, he starred in the web series Most Dangerous Game and garnered his first Primetime Emmy nomination, for Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series. He also provided the voice of Mandrake in Epic (2013) and is set to voice the Fox and the Cat in Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio adaptation (2021). Waltz is also set to appear in the upcoming Wes Anderson film The French Dispatch.
With an HPI of 72.11, Helmut Berger is the 6th most famous Austrian Actor. His biography has been translated into 29 different languages.
Helmut Berger (German pronunciation: [ˈhɛlmuːt ˈbɛʁɡɐ] (listen); born Helmut Steinberger; 29 May 1944) is an Austrian film and television actor. Berger, who often portrayed narcissistic and sexually ambiguous characters, was one of the stars of the European cinema in the late 1960s and 1970s. Berger 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. He appears primarily in European cinema, but has also acted in American productions such as The Godfather Part III and the soap opera, Dynasty.
With an HPI of 71.52, Maria Schell is the 7th most famous Austrian Actor. Her biography has been translated into 33 different languages.
Maria Margarethe Anna Schell (15 January 1926 – 26 April 2005) was an Austrian-Swiss actress. She ranged among the 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.
With an HPI of 71.46, Klaus Maria Brandauer is the 8th most famous Austrian Actor. His biography has been translated into 35 different languages.
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), and Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999). 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 at least a working knowledge of five languages: German, Italian, Hungarian, English and French and has acted in each.
With an HPI of 68.63, Oskar Werner is the 9th most famous Austrian Actor. His biography has been translated into 32 different languages.
Oskar Werner (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 had been nominated several times for the Golden Globe, the Academy Award as well as the BAFTA Award.
With an HPI of 68.31, Katharina Schratt is the 10th most famous Austrian Actor. Her biography has been translated into 15 different languages.
Katharina Schratt (11 September 1853 – 17 April 1940) was an Austrian actress who became "the uncrowned Empress of Austria" as a confidante of Emperor Franz Joseph.
Pantheon has 53 people classified as actors born between 1790 and 1981. Of these 53, 17 (32.08%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living actors include Arnold Schwarzenegger, Christoph Waltz, and Helmut Berger. The most famous deceased actors include Romy Schneider, Hedy Lamarr, and Maximilian Schell. As of October 2020, 9 new actors have been added to Pantheon including Nadja Tiller, Fritz Kortner, and Anton Walbrook.
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Which Actors were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Actors since 1700.