He was born in Berlin, the son of a shoemaker. During WW II he was evacuated to Silesia and at the end of the war found himself in a foster home in Czechoslovakia. He returned to Berlin as soon as he could, he barely finished his schooling before seeking theatre work, first appearing on stage in 1949. He soon left his childhood home in East Berlin to work in West Berlin. He established himself in the theatre, notably the Schiller Theatre, and also on radio. He expanded into film after dubbing work accepting small and uncredited parts from 1952. He had a marginally larger role in Marianne de Ma Jeunesse (1954) directed by Julien Duvivier. He won a Best Actor award at Cannes for his part as Mischa Bjelkin in Helmut Käutner's Himmel ohne Sterne. His youthful good looks next brought him a part in Die Halbstarken (1956). His breakthrough film was Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull (1957) in which he played the lead, it was directed by Kurt Hoffmann and based on the novel by Thomas Mann.
He began appearing in foreign films from 1959 when he was in the British production Tiger Bay. He followed that with The Magnificent Seven (1960) and the Berlin-set One, Two, Three (1961) directed by Billy Wilder. A versatile actor, he took the parts as they arose and appeared in comedies, horror films, wartime dramas and other genres. His best work was in the 1960s the critical quality of the films in which he took part diminished from the mid 1970s with poorly regarded television films making up the majority of his appearances. In certain films he was allowed to show his skills such as the bleak I skrzypce przestaly grac (1988).
He died in Berlin, a city to which his loyalty was constant and was buried there in the Waldfriedhof Dahlem.
He married Myriam Bru in December 1958 and they had two children. His son Christopher is also an actor.
Horst Buchholz Facts
|Birth Name||Horst Werner Buchholz|
|Birthday||December 4, 1933|
|Date of death||March 3, 2003 (age 69)|
|The Magnificent Seven|
|Berlin Tunnel 21|
|One Two Three|
|Life Is Beautiful|
|The Magnificent Seven / The Alamo|
|Raid on Entebbe|
|Magnificent Seven Collection|
|One, Two, Three|