Christiane Hörbiger

Weitere Namen
Christiane Bigler (Weiterer Name) Christiane Hörbiger-Wessely (Weiterer Name) Christel Wessely-Hörbiger (Weiterer Name)
Cast
Wien, Österreich

Biography

Christiane Hörbiger was born in Vienna on 13th of October 1938 as the second daughter to actors Attila Hörbiger and Paula Wessely. The actresses Elisabeth Orth (born 1936) and Maresa Hörbiger (born 1945) are her sisters; Paul Hörbiger is her uncle. At the age of 14, she transferred from high school to business school from which she graduated with a diploma. Against her parents' wish, she studied acting at the Max-Reinhardt-Seminar and took singing and dance classes.

She starred in her first film, "Der Major und die Stiere" ("The Major and the Steers") directed by Eduard von Borsody, as early as in 1955 and then made appearances in Rudolf Jugert's "Kronprinz Rudolfs letzte Liebe" ("Mayerling", AT 1956) and "Der Meineidbauer" ("The Perjured Farmer", 1956) among others. She gave her stage debut in 1959 at Vienna's Burgtheater where she portrayed Recha in Lessing's "Nathan the Wise" and initially didn't receive good reviews. More successful were her performances at the Städtische Bühnen Heidelberg in 1960 and 1961 and then until 1966 again at the Burgtheater. Hörbiger also made guest appearances at the Munich Kammerspiele and the Salzburger Festspiele (Salzburg Festival) in those years and was a member of the ensemble at the Schauspielhaus in Zurich (Zurich playhouse) from 1967 through 1985. The paramour in von Hoffmannsthal's "Jedermann", Alice in Strindberg's "The Dance of Death", the old woman in Ionesco's "The Chairs" and Genia Hofreiter in Schnitzler's "The Distant Land", count among her most notable stage performances.

Since the 1960s, Hörbiger's work in front of the camera has been mainly for TV productions, such as John Olden's "Leutnant Gustl" (1963) and "An der schönen blauen Donau" (1965) as well as the TV series "Donaug'schichten" (1965-66), where she played alongside Willy Millowitsch and Theo Lingen. In the 1970s, she appeared on the big screen in Peter Weck's "Hauptsache Ferien" ("Main Thing Holidays", 1972) und Bo Widerberg's "Victoria" (1979) to name but a few.

In 1984, she starred in Xaver Schwarzenberger's multi-award-winning TV drama "Donauwalzer" ("Waltzes of the Danube") as a teacher who fled from Hungary to Austria in 1956 and decades later still struggles with feelings of repressed guilt and lost love. She gained great popularity in 1987 with her role as Countess Christine von Guldenburg whom she portrayed with cynical noblesse in the immensely successful TV series "Das Erbe der Guldenburgs" ("The Legacy of Guldenburgs"). Following that, she appeared in many other TV series, most notably in "Julia – Eine ungewöhnliche Frau" (1999-2003), where she starred in the lead role as Judge Julia Laubach. The fact that she established herself as the "Grande Dame" of German television did not stop her from accepting a wide variety of other roles.

Following the success of "Das Erbe der Guldenburgs", she also returned to the big screen more frequently again: In Gerhard Polt's "Herr Ober!" she played the main character's posh wife, in Helmut Dietl's satirical film about the forged Hitler diaries, "Schtonk!" (1992), which was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Language Film category, she starred as Göring's headstrong niece Freya von Hepp. In the mid-1990s, Hörbiger made appearances in Xaver Schwarzenberger's "Tafelspitz" (1994), in Reinhard Münster's "Alles auf Anfang" ("Back to Square One", 1994) and alongside Lena Stolze and Jennifer Nitsch in Peter Weck's "Diebinnen" ("Women Robbers", 1995). In Paul Harather's black comedy "Die Gottesanbeterin" ("Black Widow", AT 2001), she played the lead role as a poison-mixing housewife, in Hajo Gies' romantic comedy "Alpenglühen" and its sequel "Alpenglühen zwei - Liebe versetzt Berge" she starred as a slightly naive alp farmer and in Gernot Roll's "Räuber Hotzenplotz" ("The Robber Hotzenplotz", 2006) as a good-natured grandmother.

Throughout her career Hörbiger has been giving highly convincing performances in all kinds of different genres ranging from comedies, romantic films and drama to crime films. In "Wie ein Licht in der Nacht" (2010), she portrayed a former business woman who gradually becomes an alcoholic, and in "Stiller Abschied" she played a woman with Alzheimer's. Both films were directed by Florian Baxmeyer.

Over the years, Christiane Hörbiger has been receiving numerous German and Austrian film and theatre awards, lifetime achievement awards as well as the Federal Cross of Merit in 2001 and the Bavarian Cross of Merit in 2014. Since 2003, Hörbiger has been the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador to Austria. In 2008, she published her memoirs titled "Ich bin der Weiße Clown".

Hörbiger remained present on TV and stage also after winning these lifetime achievement awards. In "Bis zum Ende der Welt" (2014, Regie: Matthias Tiefenbacher), she played a lonely, bitter ex-musician, who overcomes her prejudices against Sinti and Romanies. She then collaborated again with Florian Baxmeyer for his much-acclaimed drama "Auf der Straße" ("Secret Hope", 2015) about poverty and homelessness among the elderly and for his drama "Die letzte Reise" (2016), a film about assisted suicide. A less serious topic was tackled in the family comedy "Einmal Sohn, immer Sohn" (2018), in which Hörbiger starred as a strong-minded feminist who after an operation has to move in with her son and his family. Alongside her second-degree niece Mavie Hörbiger and her nephews Cornelius Obonya and Manuel Witting, she played a lead role in "Tatort Staatsarchiv" (2018) about two female historians doing research on the post-war era and uncovering a long kept family secret. 

 

 

FILMOGRAFIE

2015/2016
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2014/2015
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2005
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2003
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1997/1998
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1996
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1995
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1994/1995
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1993/1994
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1992/1993
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1991/1992
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1991/1992
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1983/1984
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1980
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1978/1979
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