Thomas Kretschmann

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Thomas Kretschmann
Thomas Kretschmann (Berlinale 2012).jpg
with Brittany Rice, at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival, 9 February 2012
Born(1962-09-08) 8 September 1962 (age 52)
Dessau, East Germany
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Malibu, California, U.S.
Years active1988–present
Partner(s)Lena Roklin (1997–2009)
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Thomas Kretschmann
Thomas Kretschmann (Berlinale 2012).jpg
with Brittany Rice, at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival, 9 February 2012
Born(1962-09-08) 8 September 1962 (age 52)
Dessau, East Germany
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Malibu, California, U.S.
Years active1988–present
Partner(s)Lena Roklin (1997–2009)

Thomas Kretschmann (German pronunciation: [ˈtoːmas ˈkrɛʧman]; born 8 September 1962) is a German actor best known for playing Leutnant Hans von Witzland in the 1993 film Stalingrad, Hauptmann Peter Kahn in the 2013 film Stalingrad, Hauptmann Wilm Hosenfeld in The Pianist, Hermann Fegelein in Downfall, Major Otto Remer in the 2008 film Valkyrie, and Captain Engelhorn in the 2005 remake of King Kong, and for voicing Professor Z in Cars 2. He appeared briefly as Baron Strucker in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and is subsequently set to portray the character in Marvel Studios' Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Early life and education[edit]

Kretschmann was born in Dessau, East Germany, on 8 September 1962. Before he became an actor, Kretschmann trained to become an Olympic swimmer. At the age of 19, he fled East Germany and began a month-long trek to West Germany to escape the East German state. During this trek, part of his finger was lost but surgically reattached. Kretschmann crossed four borders (Hungary, Yugoslavia, Austria) with nothing other than his passport and the equivalent of $100 in his possession.[1]


At the age of 25, he began acting, starring in numerous European films and television series. In 1991, Kretschmann was awarded the Max Ophüls Prize for best young actor for his role in Der Mitwisser. He went on to star in his first full length feature, the 1993 film Stalingrad. He achieved international recognition for his role as a rapist/murderer in Dario Argento's The Stendhal Syndrome.

Although quite popular in his homeland, Kretschmann did not achieve notice in Hollywood until his role as Hauptmann Wilm Hosenfeld in Roman Polanski's 2002 film The Pianist. In the years since, Kretschmann has often portrayed military officers in films about the Third Reich. In the 2004 film Downfall, Kretschmann played Hermann Fegelein, a Waffen-SS General and brother-in-law to Eva Braun. In the 2008 thriller Valkyrie, Kretschmann played Major Otto Ernst Remer, a Wehrmacht officer who had a key role in stopping the 20 July Plot. Prior to the casting of Tom Cruise, Kretschmann had been attached to play Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg.

Kretschmann also played Adolf Eichmann in a 2007 biographical film.

Kretschmann made his first appearance on American television in 2003 when he guest starred in 2 episodes of 24. He later also appeared in Relic Hunter. In 2004, Kretschmann played Timothy Cain, a ruthless Umbrella Major, in Resident Evil: Apocalypse. In the same year, he appeared in the French film Immortal with Linda Hardy. The film was notable for its use of a digital backlot and interaction between Computer-generated characters and real actors.

In 2005, Kretschmann won a role in Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong, where he worked again with Adrien Brody, with whom he costarred in The Pianist.

The following year, Kretschmann began to win acclaim for his role in Butterfly: A Grimm Love Story (Rohtenburg in Germany). A psychological thriller, the movie co-stars Keri Russell and was inspired by the Armin Meiwes cannibalism case. It was scheduled for a March 2006 release in Germany, but its showing is under injunction after Meiwes successfully sued to have it banned on grounds of infringement of his Persönlichkeitsrecht (personality rights). At the 2006 Festival de Cine de Sitges, Kretschmann shared the Best Actor award for his performance in this film with his co-star Thomas Huber. Kretschmann also shared Best Actor with Huber at the 2007 Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival.

In 2008 Kretschmann was hired for the role of Johann Krauss in Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy II: The Golden Army. However, after several trials del Toro decided that Kretschmann's voice and the mechanical sound FX to Johann's suit did not mesh well, so the part went to Seth MacFarlane. That same year he appeared in the action thriller Wanted, alongside Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman and James McAvoy.

Thomas Kretschmann (far left) at a press conference for the Film Transsiberian (film), 2008

2009 saw Kretschmann guest star in the American science-fiction TV drama series FlashForward, as well as a major secondary part in the British biopic The Young Victoria as King Leopold I of Belgium. This film also received three Academy Awards nominations in 2010 for Best Art Direction, Makeup, and won for Costume Design.[2]

The next year he returned to Germany, guest starring as himself in the romantic comedy Rabbit without Ears 2. Kretschmann then moved to Malaysia in the summer to shot his scenes for the German biopic Dschungelkind based on the eponymous bestseller by Sabine Kuegler. The film was released in early 2011. Walt Disney Pictures confirmed in November 2010, that Kretschmann would star as one of the voice talents in the Pixar Production Cars 2. The film was released in the United States on 24 June 2011, in the United Kingdom on 22 July and in Germany on 28 July.[3][4][5]

Kretschmann starred as Captain Kurt Brynildson in the 2011-2012 ABC original paranormal/adventure/horror television series The River about a group of people on a mission to find a missing TV explorer in the Amazon.

In January 2014, he was cast in the role of Baron Wolfgang von Strucker in the upcoming 2015 movie Avengers: Age of Ultron.[6] Kretschmann signed a multi-film contract with Marvel Studios to play Strucker,[7] and first appeared as the character in a post-credits scene of the 2014 film Captain America: The Winter Soldier.[8]

For the German dubs of movies and television shows he stars in, Kretschmann often dubs his parts himself.[9]

Aside from acting Kretschmann has also worked as a fashion model, including a stint as the face for a scent by Hugo Boss.

Personal life[edit]

In early 2009 Kretschmann confirmed that he had separated from his girlfriend of 12 years Lena Roklin. Kretschmann has three children with Lena: Stella (born 1999), Nicolas (born 1998), and Sascha (born 2002).[citation needed] From March 2009 to June 2010, he was in a relationship with Iranian model Shermine Shahrivar. Since 2011, he has been in a relationship with Brittany Rice. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.


YearFilmRoleOther notes
1989Der Mitwisser television film
Max Ophüls Prize for Best Young Actor
1992Shining ThroughMan at Zurich Station 
1993StalingradLeutnant Hans von Witzland 
Die RatteSven 
1994La Reine MargotNançay 
1995Derrick Season 22 Episode 4 Teestunde mit einer Mörderinthe husband of the murderess 
1996The Stendhal SyndromeAlfredo Grossi 
Marching in Darkness (Marciando nel buio)Gianni Tricarico 
1997Prince ValiantThagnar 
1999Esther: The BibleKing Ahasuerus of Persiatelevision film
2000U-571Kapitänleutnant Günther Wassner 
2001Feindliche Übernahme – althan.comRobert Fernau 
2002Blade IIEli Damaskinos 
The PianistHauptmann Wilm Hosenfeld 
200324MaxEpisodes: "Day 2: 6:00 a.m.–7:00 a.m." & "Day 2: 7:00 a.m.–8:00 a.m."
2004In Enemy HandsFirst Watch Officer Ludwig Cremer 
Immortel (Ad Vitam)Nikopol 
DownfallSS-Obergruppenführer Hermann FegeleinClips from this film have been made into numerous parodies where Kretschmann's character, Fegelein, is shown to commit comical antics against Hitler (played by Bruno Ganz)
Resident Evil: ApocalypseMajor Timothy Cain 
The Karate DogGerbertelevision film
Head in the CloudsMajor Franz Bietrich 
FrankensteinVictor Heliostelevision film
Have No Fear: The Life of Pope John Paul IIPope John Paul IIminiseries
King KongCaptain Englehorn 
2006RohtenburgOliver HartwinBest Actor, Sitges 2006
(shared with co-star Thomas Huber)  
Best Actor, PiFan 2007
(shared with co-star Thomas Huber)  
The Celestine ProphecyWil 
24: The GameMaxvideo game
2007NextMr. Smith
In TransitMax
EichmannAdolf Eichmann
Bionic WomanThe Mantelevision series (episode one)
Warum Männer nicht zuhören und Frauen schlecht einparkenPaul
MogadischuKapitän Jürgen Schumanntelevision film
Der SeewolfKapitän Wolf Larsentelevision film
ValkyrieOtto Ernst Remer
2009The Young VictoriaKing Leopold I of Belgium[10]
King ConquerorArchbishop of Tarragona
Wanted: Weapons of FateCross[11]video game
FlashForwardStefan Kriegertelevision series
2010The Nazi Officer's WifeKapitänleutnant Günther Wassner[citation needed] 
Dare to Love MeMariano
2011Cars 2Professor Zündappvoice
The Sinking of the LaconiaAdmiral Dönitztelevision film – BBC Productions
Jungle ChildKlaus Kuegler
The CapeGregor the Greattelevision series
Hostel: Part IIIFlemmingDirect-to-DVD
What a ManJens
2012Dracula 3DDracula
The RiverCaptain Kurt Brynildsontelevision series
2013DraculaAbraham Van Helsingtelevision series
StalingradPeter Kahn
Open GraveLukas
The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to EdenFriedrich RitterNarration/voice
2014Captain America: The Winter SoldierBaron Wolfgang von Struckercameo
2015Avengers: Age of UltronBaron Wolfgang von Struckerpost-production
Hitman: Agent 47Le Clerqfilming



  1. ^ "German wiki". Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  2. ^ " Nominations". Academy Awards. Retrieved 2 February 2010. 
  3. ^ "Pixar says Cars 2 is still due in cinemas in June 2011". BBC News. 10 February 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2010. ]
  4. ^ Sciretta, Peter (7 March 2011). "Cars 2 Trailer". SlashFilm. Retrieved 18 May 2011. ]
  5. ^ Cars 2 at FilmStarts
  6. ^ Kit, Borys (15 January 2014). "'Dracula' Actor to Play Villain in 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 15 January 2014. Retrieved 15 January 15, 2014.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  7. ^ Couto, Anthony (3 March 3014). "Baron von Strucker Actor Discusses His Avengers 2 Role, Multi-Picture Deal". IGN. Archived from the original on 4 March 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ McWeeny, Drew (21 March 2014). "Review: Captain America meets his match in the smart and stylish 'Winter Soldier'". HitFix. Archived from the original on 22 March 2014. Retrieved 22 March 2014. 
  9. ^ "Thomas Kretschmann". Deutsche Synchronkartei. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  10. ^ BBC – Lincolnshire – Features – Filming At Lincoln Cathedral: Young Victoria
  11. ^ Orry, James (6 February 2009). "Wanted gets Hollywood voice cast". VideoGamer. Retrieved 7 February 2009. 

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