Christoph Waltz was born to Elisabeth Urbancic, a costume designer, and Johannes Waltz, a stage builder. He has 3 siblings. He was born into a theater family. His grandmother was the Viennese Burgtheater actress Maria Mayen, and his step-grandfather was fellow Burgtheater actor Emmerich Reimers.
Christoph 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 theater, 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 catapulted Christoph from a lifetime working in German TV/film to the new life of an international superstar, Academy Award winning actor. He won 27 awards for his performance as Hans Landa, including the Cannes prix d'interpretation Masculin for 2009, the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor and the BAFTA Best Supporting Actor award.
Christoph resides in Berlin and Los Angeles. His partner is the costume builder Judith Holste.
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