Curd Jürgens

Intro Film, stage and TV actor (1915-1982)
A.K.A. Curt Jurgens, Curt Jürgens, Curd Jurgens
Was Film director Actor Stage actor Film actor Voice actor Television actor
From Germany Austria
Type Film, Television, Stage and Radio
Gender male
Birth 13 December 1915, Solln, Germany
Death 18 June 1982, Vienna, Austria (aged 66 years)
Star sign Sagittarius

Curd Gustav Andreas Gottlieb Franz Jürgens (13 December 1915 – 18 June 1982) was a German-Austrian stage and film actor. He was usually billed in English-speaking films as Curt Jurgens.

Early life

Jürgens was born on 13 December 1915 in the Munich borough of Solln, Kingdom of Bavaria, German Empire. His father, Kurt, was a trader from Hamburg, and his mother, Marie-Albertine, was a French teacher. He began his working career as a journalist before becoming an actor at the urging of his actress wife, Louise Basler. He spent much of his early acting career on the stage in Vienna. Jürgens was critical of National Socialism in his native Germany. In 1944, he was sent to an internment camp in Hungary as a "political unreliable". Jürgens became an Austrian citizen after the war.

Career

Jürgens went on to play soldiers in many war films. Notable performances in this vein include his breakthrough screen role in Des Teufels General (1955, The Devil's General), a fictional portrayal of World War I flying ace and World War II Luftwaffe general Ernst Udet, followed by Roger Vadim's film Et Dieu… créa la femme (And God Created Woman) starring Brigitte Bardot. Jürgens' first Hollywood film was The Enemy Below (1957), in which he portrayed a German U-boat commander. In 1962, he played the German general Günther Blumentritt in The Longest Day (1962). Later, in the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), he played the villain Karl Stromberg, a sociopathic industrialist seeking to transform the world into an ocean paradise. His last film appearance was as Maître Legraine, beside Alain Delon and Claude Jade in the spy-thriller Teheran 43 (1981). In English-language television, he played Chancellor Otto von Bismarck in several episodes of the BBC series Fall of Eagles (1974) and appeared as General Vladimir in the BBC's Smiley's People (1982). Jürgens' grave in the Vienna Central Cemetery Although he appeared in over 100 films, Jürgens was also a notable stage actor. He was member of several theatres in Vienna (Volkstheater 1938–1941, Burgtheater 1940–1953 and 1965–1968, and others). He played the title role of Hugo von Hofmannsthal's play Jedermann at the Salzburg Festival from 1973 until 1977 – arguably the most high-profile role for a German-speaking male actor. In 1966 he appeared in a short run on Broadway at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre opposite Geraldine Page, directed by George Schaefer. His last stage appearance was with the Vienna State Opera on 9 March 1981 as Bassa Selim in Mozart's opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail. He also directed a few films with limited success, e.g. Bankraub in der Rue Latour, and wrote screenplays, e.g. Bonus on Death. He titled his 1976 autobiography … und kein bißchen weise (And not a Bit Wise).

Personal life

Jürgens maintained a home in France, but frequently returned to Vienna to perform on stage. He died there from a heart attack on 18 June 1982. Jürgens had suffered a heart attack several years before. During this he had a near-death experience where he claimed he died and went to Hell. Jürgens was interred in the Vienna Central Cemetery. He was 1.92 metres (6 ft 4 in) tall. Brigitte Bardot nicknamed him "the Norman Wardrobe" during their work for Et Dieu… créa la femme. Jürgens was married to: Lulu Basler, actress (15 June 1937 – 8 October 1947) (divorced) Judith Holzmeister (16 October 1947 – 1955) (divorced) Eva Bartok (13 August 1955 – 1956) (divorced) Simone Bicheron (14 September 1958 – 1977) (divorced) Margie Schmitz (21 March 1978 – 18 June 1982) (his death)

Partial filmography

Königswalzer (1935) as Kaiser Franz Joseph of Austria (Jürgens' first film) Family Parade (1936) as Graf Erik Stjernenhö The Unknown (1936) as Hans Wellenkamp Love Can Lie (1937) as Student Holger Engström To New Shores (1937) as Bobby Wells' Friend Tango Notturno (1937) as Friend of Jac, Musician (uncredited) Das Mädchen von gestern Nacht (1938) as Die drei Attachés (uncredited) Salonwagen E 417 [de] (1939) as Prinz Heinrich Karl Weltrekord im Seitensprung (1940) as Peter Enderlein, Kapellmeister Herz ohne Heimat (1940) as Bob (uncredited) Operetta (1940) as Karl Millöcker Stimme des Herzens (1942) as Volontär Drews Whom the Gods Love (1942) as Emperor Joseph II Women Are No Angels (1943) as Bandini Ein glücklicher Mensch (1943) as Petersen Ein Blick zurück (1944) as Dr. Erich Thienwiebel Eine kleine Sommermelodie (1944) as Wolfgang Schwab Das singende Haus [de] (1948) as Bandleader Hans Storch Hin und her (1948) as Prinz Bernardo The Angel with the Trumpet (1948) as Graf Leopold Thraun An klingenden Ufern [de] (1948) as Stefan Keller Der himmlische Walzer (1948) as Clemens M. Weidenauer Verlorenes Rennen (1948) as George Miller Das Kuckucksei (1949) as Dr. Kurt Walla Lambert fühlt sich bedroht (1949) as Roland Hexen (1949) as Heinz Wagner Viennese Girls (1949) as Graf Lechenberg Bonus on Death (1950) as Gunarson, Opera Tenor Der Schuß durchs Fenster (1950) Kissing Is No Sin (1950) as Kammersänger Felix Alberti The Disturbed Wedding Night (1950) as Lawrence Vinning A Rare Lover (1950) as Sascha Borotraz Ein Lächeln im Sturm (1951) as Jean Langrand Geheimnis einer Ehe (1951) as Conductor Felix Adrian Der schweigende Mund [de] (1951) as Architect Reinhold Gangsterpremiere (1951) as Kommissar House of Life (1952) as Axel Jolander Knall and Fall as Imposters (1952) as John Vandergold 1. April 2000 (1952) as Capitano Herakles Rose of the Mountain (1952) as Composer Jack Long Praterherzen (1953) as Toni Brandstetter They Call It Love (1953) as Peter Malmö Music by Night (1953) as Hans Kersten The Last Waltz (1953) as Rittmeister Graf Sarassow Everything for Father (1953) as Clemens Haberland Meines Vaters Pferde I. Teil Lena und Nicoline [de] (1954) as Pat A Woman of Today (1954) as Heinz Bender Circus of Love (1954) as Toni Prisoners of Love (1954) as Willi Kluge Orient Express (1954) as Bate The Confession of Ina Kahr (1954) as Paul Kahr Du bist die Richtige [de] (1955) as Stefan Selby Des Teufels General (1955) as Gen. Harry Harras Love Without Illusions (1955) as Walter Die Ratten (1955) as Bruno Mechelke Heroes and Sinners (1955) as Wolf Gerke Du mein stilles Tal [de] (1955) as Gerd Devil in Silk (1956) as Thomas Ritter The Golden Bridge (1956) as Balder Without You All Is Darkness (1956) as Dr. Robert Kessler And God Created Woman (1956) as Eric Carradine The House of Intrigue (Italian: Londra chiama polo Nord) (1956) as Colonel Bernes Michael Strogoff (1956) as Michel Strogoff Bitter Victory (1957) as Major Brand An Eye for an Eye [fr] (1957) as Dr. Walter Les Espions (1957) as Alex The Enemy Below (1957) as Von Stolberg Tamango (1958) as Captain John Reinker This Happy Feeling (1958) as Preston Mitchell Me and the Colonel (1958) as Colonel Prokoszny The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958) as Captain Lin Nan Der Schinderhannes (1958) as Johann 'Schinderhannes' Bückler Le vent se lève [fr] (1959) as Eric Muller Ferry to Hong Kong (1959) as Mark Bertram Conrad The Blue Angel (1959) as Professor Immanuel Rath Magnificent Sinner (1959) as Czar Alexander II I Aim at the Stars (1960) as Wernher von Braun Brainwashed (1960) as Werner von Basil Gustav Adolf's Page (1960) as King Gustav Adolf Bankraub in der Rue Latour (1961) as Cliff MacHardy Girl in a Suitcase (1961) Rich Guy in Boat. Uncredited Le Triomphe de Michel Strogoff [fr] (1961) as Michel Strogoff Disorder (1962) as Carlo's Father The Longest Day (1962) as General Günther Blumentritt I Don Giovanni della Costa Azzurra (1962) as Mr. Edmond Die Dreigroschenoper [de] (1963) as Captain Macheath Miracle of the White Stallions (1963) as Gen. Tellheim Of Love and Desire (1963) as Paul Beckmann Nutty, Naughty Chateau (1963) as Hugo Falsen Hide and Seek (1964) as Hubert Marek Encounter in Salzburg (1964) as Hans Wilke, General Director Les Parias de la gloire (1964) as Ludwig Goetz Psyche 59 (1964) as Eric Crawford DM-Killer [de] (1965) as Kurt Lehnert Lord Jim (1965) as Cornelius Who Wants to Sleep? (1965) as Stefan von Cramer Zwei Girls vom Roten Stern [de] (1966) as Dave O'Connor Congress of Love [de] (1966) as Czar Alexander I Target for Killing (1966) as Gérard van Looch / Giant The Gardener of Argenteuil (1966) as The Baron Dirty Heroes (1967) as General Edwin von Keist The Karate Killers (1967) as Carl von Kessen Der Lügner und die Nonne [de] (1967) as The Cardinal OSS 117 – Double Agent (1968) as Il Maggiore The Doctor of St. Pauli (1968) as Dr. Jan Diffring Babeck [de] (1968, TV miniseries) as Babeck The Assassination Bureau (1969) as Gen. von Pinck Battle of the Commandos (1969) as Gen. von Reilow On the Reeperbahn at Half Past Midnight (1969) as Hannes Teversen Battle of Britain (1969) as Baron von Richter Battle of Neretva (1969) as Lohring Slap in the Face (1970) as Thomas Nathan Terbanks Hotel by the Hour (1970) as Kommissar Canisius The Invincible Six (1970) as Baron Hello-Goodbye (1970) as Baron De Choisis The Priest of St. Pauli (1970) as Konrad Johannsen Cannabis (1970) as Henri Emery The Mephisto Waltz (1971) as Duncan Mowbray Ely Käpt’n Rauhbein aus St. Pauli [de] (1971) as Captain Markus Jolly Nicholas and Alexandra (1971) as the German Consul to Switzerland Fieras sin jaula (1971) as Ronald Marvelling Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill! (1971) as Grueningen À la guerre comme à la guerre [fr] (1972) as Russian general Der Kommissar (TV) (1972-1973) as Harald Bergmann / Dr. Hochstätter The Vault of Horror (1973) as Sebastian (segment 3 "This Trick'll Kill You") Profession: Adventurers (1973) as Alvarez Soft Beds, Hard Battles (1974) as General Von Grotjahn Fall of Eagles (TV, 1974) as Otto von Bismarck Radiografia di una Svastika (1974) Cagliostro (1975) as Cardinal Braschi Derrick – Season 2, episode 4: "Madeira" (1975) as Paul Bubach Der zweite Frühling [de] (1975) as Fox Povero Cristo (1976) as Man Engaging Giorgio The Mimosa Wants to Blossom Too (1976) as Josef Popov Ab morgen sind wir reich und ehrlich [de] (1976) as Senator Shelton The Twist (1976) as Le bijoutier / Jeweller The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) as Karl Stromberg Schöner Gigolo, armer Gigolo (1978) as Prince Breakthrough (1979) as Gen. Hofmann Missile X: The Neutron Bomb Incident (1979) (also known as Teheran Incident and Cruise Missile) as Baron Marchant Goldengirl (1979) as Dr. Serafin La lunga strada senza polvere (1979) as Cameo (uncredited) La Gueule de l'autre (1979) as Wilfrid Warum die UFOs unseren Salat klauen [de] (1979) as UFO Commander The Sleep of Death (1980) as Count St. Alyre Teheran 43 (1981) as Maître Legraine Collin (TV film, 1981) as Hans Collin Smiley's People (BBC TV, 1982) as General Vladimir (final film role)

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