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Udo Kier

Udo Kier

Possessing a pair of the most elegantly piercing steel blue eyes ever to be captured on celluloid, German cult actor Udo Kier has made a distinct mark for himself in the world of cinema with roles in everything from obscure European exploitation films to the most mainstream of Hollywood fare. Though as an actor Kier has made a name for himself by essaying frequently bizarre and sometimes sadistic film roles, the man himself is almost the complete opposite of the characters he portrays onscreen, exuding a flamboyant and personable earthy elegance that stands in stark contrast to his unforgettably cold, vampiric screen presence. Born in October of 1944 in Cologne, Germany, it may come as no surprise that Kier's incredibly dramatic birth would easily rival the intensity of any of the future actor's film roles. As war raged outside the serene confines of the hospital, Kier's mother requested a few moments alone with her newborn son immediately following his birth. Moments later the hospital was bombed and Kier's mother began the grueling task of digging herself and her son from out of the rubble. His father absent for much of his youth, Kier had a chance encounter with an aspiring young filmmaker named Rainer Werner Fassbinder before moving to Britain at the age of 18 to study English and acting. Shortly after Kier's arrival, director Mike Sarne offered him the role of a gigolo in The Road to St. Tropez (1966), and with that film the young actor made his screen debut. Though Kier would appear in a few films rounding out the 1960s, it was his part in the controversial 1970 film The Mark of the Devil that would truly set his career path in motion. His role as a witch hunter apprentice who meets a gruesome demise horrified audiences, and the film was subsequently banned in many areas of the world. Increasingly prolific in the following years, it was a pair of Paul Morrissey films from the mid-'70s that would leave an indelible impression on not only European audiences, but American audiences as well. It was while on a flight from Rome to Munich that Kier made the acquaintance of director Morrissey, and shortly thereafter Kier was cast in the role of Baron Frankenstein in Andy Warhol's Frankenstein (aka Flesh for Frankenstein). Filled to the brim with satirical gore and graphic violence, the notorious film immediately garnered an X-rating though it would become a hit with strong-stomached audiences who could appreciate its dark humor. Released that same year, Andy Warhol's Dracula (aka Blood for Dracula) once again found Kier relishing in gore-drenched satire. In 1977 Kier would appear before old friend Fassbinder's lens in the television drama The Stationmaster's Wife and play a small role in Italian horror director Dario Argento's Suspiria. The remainder of the 1970s as well as the majority of the 1980s, found Kier appearing frequently in European exploitation films with such lurid titles as G.I. Bro (1977) and Prison Camp Girls, Jailed for Love (1982). Though sharp-eyed American audiences could catch glimpses of Kier in such films as Moscow on the Hudson (1984) (in which he appeared uncredited), it was during this period that Kier would work almost exclusively in Europe. Though American audiences didn't necessarily bear witness to most of Kier's work in the 1980s, his career continued to flourish overseas and the actor began to develop a strong personal and professional relationship with director Lars von Trier. Following his appearance in von Trier's Medea (1987), Kier would not only appear in all of the director future films, but also become the godfather of von Trier's daughter Agnes as well. It was Kier's role in director Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho (1991) that brought the actor back to stateside audiences, and following his memorable appearance in the film, Kier would appear in such big-budget American films as Johnny Mnemonic (1995), Armageddon (1998), and Blade (also 1998). Despite appearances in such mainstream comedies as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994), Kier would remain true to his European roots by simultaneously appearing in numerous foreign films such as von Trier's Europa (1991) and the gleefully amoral Terror 2000 (1992). With the millennial turnover bringing Kier more stateside exposure than ever, following a memorable turn in Shadow of the Vampire (2000), the tireless actor would appear in no less than eight films in 2001 alone, including Werner Herzog's Invincible and the apocalyptic thriller Meggido: The Omega Code 2. His feature career continuing to flourish, Kier could now be considered a full-fledged star, as appearances in numerous commercials and music videos by such popular acts as Korn virtually guaranteed that while he might not necessarily be a household name, his face would be instantly recognizable by virtually anyone. Though he continued to appear in numerous mainstream films, his experimental side could be evidenced with his participation in director von Trier's film Dimension. The production of the film would span 30 years, following the actors (without makeup) as they aged. The actors and director got together once a year to shoot a scene. Spending much of his free time in nature, Kier enjoys gardening, enjoying the company of his dog, and working on his home in California. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

Filmography of Udo Kier:

Udo Kier Trivia

When was Udo Kier born?
Udo Kier was born on October 14, 1944

Who did Udo Kier play in Mother of Tears?
Udo Kier was Father Joannes in Mother of Tears

Who did Udo Kier play in Doomsdayer?
Udo Kier was Max Gast in Doomsdayer

What role did Udo Kier play in Betty?
Udo Kier played Vincent Lord in Betty

Who did Udo Kier portray in Flesh for Frankenstein?
Udo Kier was Frankenstein in Flesh for Frankenstein

What role did Udo Kier play in Blood for Dracula?
Udo Kier played Dracula in Blood for Dracula

Who did Udo Kier portray in Epidemic?
Udo Kier was Udo Kier in Epidemic

What role did Udo Kier play in Zentropa?
Udo Kier played Lawrence Hartmann in Zentropa

What role did Udo Kier play in Mark of the Devil?
Udo Kier played Christian in Mark of the Devil

Who did Udo Kier portray in Holly?
Udo Kier was Klaus in Holly

Who did Udo Kier play in fear dot com?
Udo Kier was Polidori in fear dot com

Who did Udo Kier play in All The Queen's Men?
Udo Kier was Gen. Landsdorf in All The Queen's Men

Who did Udo Kier portray in Megiddo: The Omega Code 2?
Udo Kier was The Guardian in Megiddo: The Omega Code 2

What role did Udo Kier portray in Spy Games?
Udo Kier played Bliniak in Spy Games

What role did Udo Kier play in The Kingdom?
Udo Kier played Aage Krüger in The Kingdom

Who did Udo Kier portray in Shadow of the Vampire?
Udo Kier was Albin Grau in Shadow of the Vampire

Who did Udo Kier portray in Blade?
Udo Kier was Dragonetti in Blade

Who did Udo Kier portray in Barb Wire?
Udo Kier was Curly in Barb Wire

What role did Udo Kier portray in Johnny Mnemonic?
Udo Kier played Ralphy in Johnny Mnemonic

Who did Udo Kier portray in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective?
Udo Kier was Ronald Camp in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

Who did Udo Kier portray in For Love or Money?
Udo Kier was Mr. Himmerman in For Love or Money

What role did Udo Kier play in One Point O?
Udo Kier played Derrick in One Point O

What role did Udo Kier play in Invincible?
Udo Kier played Count Helldorf in Invincible

What role did Udo Kier portray in Die Dritte Generation?
Udo Kier played Edgar in Die Dritte Generation

Who did Udo Kier portray in BloodRayne?
Udo Kier was Regal Monk in BloodRayne

What role did Udo Kier portray in Surviving Christmas?
Udo Kier played Heinrich in Surviving Christmas

Who did Udo Kier play in Life in the Fast Lane?
Udo Kier was Tennant in Life in the Fast Lane

Who did Udo Kier play in Pray for Morning?
Udo Kier was Edouard Leopold Edu in Pray for Morning

Who did Udo Kier portray in Dancer in the Dark?
Udo Kier was Doctor in Dancer in the Dark

Who did Udo Kier play in End of Days?
Udo Kier was Head Priest in End of Days

Who did Udo Kier play in The Last Minute?
Udo Kier was Nazi Photographer in The Last Minute

What role did Udo Kier portray in Halloween?
Udo Kier played Morgan Walker in Halloween

Who did Udo Kier portray in Dogville?
Udo Kier was The Man in the Coat in Dogville

Who did Udo Kier portray in Manderlay?
Udo Kier was Mr. Kirspe in Manderlay

What role did Udo Kier play in Armageddon?
Udo Kier played Psychologist in Armageddon

What role did Udo Kier play in Stingers?
Udo Kier played Mr. Scholnick in Stingers

Who did Udo Kier play in The End of Violence?
Udo Kier was Zoltan Kovacs in The End of Violence

Who did Udo Kier portray in The Adventures of Pinocchio?
Udo Kier was Lorenzini in The Adventures of Pinocchio

Who did Udo Kier portray in Lea?
Udo Kier was Block in Lea

What role did Udo Kier portray in Breaking the Waves?
Udo Kier played Sadistic Sailor in Breaking the Waves

Who did Udo Kier play in Even Cowgirls Get the Blues?
Udo Kier was Commercial Director in Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

Who did Udo Kier portray in Suspiria?
Udo Kier was Frank Mandel in Suspiria

Who did Udo Kier portray in My Own Private Idaho?
Udo Kier was Hans in My Own Private Idaho

What role did Udo Kier play in Berlin Alexanderplatz?
Udo Kier played Man in Nightclub in Berlin Alexanderplatz

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