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Christoph Waltz is an Austrian-German actor. He is known for his works with American filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, receiving acclaim for portraying SS-Standartenführer Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds (2009) and bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained (2012). For each performance, he won an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. Additionally, he received the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his portrayal of Landa.
Christoph Waltz was born in Vienna, Austria, to Elisabeth Urbancic, an Austrian-born costume designer, and Johannes Waltz, a German-born stage builder. He has three siblings. He was born into a theatre family, as his maternal grandmother was Viennese Burgtheater actress Maria Mayen, and his step-grandfather was fellow Burgtheater actor Emmerich Reimers. His maternal grandfather, Rudolf von Urban, was a psychologist and psychiatrist who wrote the 1949 book "Sex Perfection and Marital Happiness".
Waltz attended the Theresianium and Billrothstrasse in Vienna. Upon graduation, he attended the Max-Reinhardt-Seminar before going to New York to the Lee Strasberg Institute. While in New York, Christoph met his first wife, and moved back to Vienna, then to London.
During the 80s, Christoph worked primarily in theatre, commuting from his home in London to Germany. Slowly he began to work in TV, taking one-off roles on series, and TV movies. Film roles soon followed, however, attempts to break into English-speaking film and TV were unsuccessful. Christoph has stated he is grateful to have made a living and supported his family through acting. For thirty years he worked steadily, tirelessly, in this manner.
It was not until he met Quentin Tarantino that his career in Hollywood took off. The role of Colonel Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds (2009) catapulted Christoph from a lifetime working in German TV/film to the new life of an international superstar and Academy Award-winning actor.