Mueller-Stahl, Armin


Armin Mueller-Stahl is well known to international audiences for his performance in such films as Frank Beyer’s Jakob der Lügner, Costa-Gavras' highly acclaimed Music Box, Barry Levinson's Avalon, George Sluizer's Utz and Jim Jarmusch's Night on Earth. He is also an accomplished violinist, pianist, writer and painter.


Mueller-Stahl was born in Tilsit (formerly East Prussia, now Russia) on December 17, 1930. He studied violin and music theory and switched to acting in 1951. This step did not seem very promising at first, but in 1952, he got his first supporting roles at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm, followed by roles at the Volksbühne, also in Berlin.


He worked at the East German DEFA Film Studio starting in the mid-1950s. Frank Beyer discovered him and cast him for the role of the Spanish resistance soldier in Fünf Patronenhülsen. Maintaining an artistic friendship with Beyer over many years, Mueller-Stahl performed in Königskinder, Nackt unter Wölfen, Jakob der Lügner, and Geschlossene Gesellschaft. In 1977, he appeared in Roland Gräf’s Die Flucht, a contemporary drama that addressed the taboo topic of escaping from the GDR. His career came to an abrupt halt in the late 1970s, however, when he joined many other leading East German artists in signing a letter protesting the treatment of author and songwriter Wolf Biermann. Mueller-Stahl was blacklisted and no longer allowed to work in East Germany.


After leaving for West Germany in 1980, Mueller-Stahl resumed his acting career under the aegis of the late Rainer Werner Fassbinder. He also acted in Istvan Szabo's Academy Award-winning Oberst Redl and Agnieszka Holland's Bittere Ernte. In 1987, he played a Russian general in the television series America—this was the start of his Hollywood career. In 1997, he was nominated for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Shine.


Mueller-Stahl has established himself as one of Germany's most internationally prominent, acclaimed and sought-after screen actors.


Festivals & Awards:

2016 Visionary Award, Washington Jewish Film Festival
2011 Golden Bear for Lifetime Achievement, Berlin International Film Festival
1997 Oscar nominee for Best Supporting Actor for Shine



2013 Virtuoso
2009 Angels & Demons
2008 Buddenbrooks
2007 Eastern Promises
2006 Local Color
2001 Die Manns – Ein Jahrhundertroman (The Manns – Novel of a Century, TV mini-series)
1998 The X Files
1996 Shine
1996 Der Unhold (The Ogre)
1992 Utz
1991 Bronsteins Kinder 
(Bronstein’s Children)
1991 Night on Earth
1990 Avalon
1989 Das Spinnennetz (The Spiderweb)
1989 Music Box
1987 America (TV mini-series)
1985 Bittere Ernte (Angry Harvest)
1985 Oberst Redl (Colonel Redl)
1982 Die Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss (Veronika Voss)
1981 Lola
1978 Die geschlossene Gesellschaft (trans. Private Party, TV)
1977 Die Flucht (The Flight)
1976 Nelken in Aspik (Carnations in Aspic)
1974 Kit & Co.
1974 Jakob der Lügner (Jacob the Liar)
1972 Januskopf (Janus Face)
1971 Der Dritte (Her Third)
1969 Tödlicher Irrtum (Fatal Error)
1967 Ein Lord am Alexanderplatz (Lord of Alexander Square)

Alaskafüchse (Alaska Foxes)

1963 Christine
1963 Preludio 11 (Prelude 11)
1962 Königskinder (Star-Crossed Lovers)
1962 Monolog für einen Taxifahrer (Monologue for a Taxi Driver, TV short, narrator)
1962 ...und deine Liebe auch (And Your Love Too)
1962 Nackt unter Wölfen (Naked Among Wolves)
1960 Fünf Patronenhülsen (Five Cartridges)

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