Weitere Namen
Udo Kierspe (Geburtsname)
Cast, Director, Assistant director, Screenplay, Production design
Köln

Biography

Udo Kier was born in Cologne on October 14th 1944. After completing an apprenticeship as a mechanic, he began working in the assembly line at Ford. After a short while, Kier relocated to London, where he took language classes and was offered his first film role. While "The Road to St. Tropez" marked his screen debut, Kier was also in demand as a male model and was featured in numerous magazine spreads.

Also among his earliest film appearances was a role in the European exploitation flick "Hexen bis aufs Blut gequält" – also known as "Mark of the Devil" –, which at that time shocked audiences with explicit depictions of violence. Kier himself soon became a true cosmopolitan, living wherever his talents were wanted. After making the acquaintance of Factory filmmaker Paul Morrisey, he was cast in the titular roles of "Frankenstein" and Dracula", and the two Warhol productions gained him prominence in the underground and arthouse cinema.

Other Euro-productions followed, among them "L'histoire d'O" (1975) and Dario Argento's gory thriller "Suspiria" (1977). But In 1977, Kier shot a film in Germany: "Bolwieser" was his first collaboration with Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and Kier not only acted in the film, but also served as assistant director. He later returned to work on several other Fassbinder films, notably "Lola" and "Lili Marleen".

 

By then, Kier was already an industrious actor, shifting effortlessly – and at times with visible joy – between highbrow auteur films and trashy genre fare. 1986 "Egomania" saw him working for the first time with director-provocateur Christoph Schlingensief, and Kier would become a steady presence in the artist's subsequent films.

He forged an even more important creative partnership with Danish director Lars von Trier: Starting with "Epidemic", Kier appeared in nearly all of von Trier's films, leaving indelible impressions with his turns in "Europa", the acclaimed TV-series "Kingdom", and the musical / melodrama "Dancer in the Dark".

In the early 1990s, mainly thanks to his performance in Gus van Sant's "My Own Private Idaho", Kier also had his breakthrough in the US. From then on, the charismatic actor was in high demand in Hollywood, taking supporting roles in blockbusters like "Armageddon" and "Blade" Kier while also keeping himself busy with juicy parts in numerous B- and C-productions of the horror and science-fiction variety.

Despite his successful movie career, Udo Kier always remained a true renaissance man: He worked on books, gave lectures and generally has shown interest in all forms of art. Among his latest acting endeavours in the German-speaking areas are the children TV-programme "4 gegen z" and the history spoof "Tell".

Kier continued to switch between straight B movies, ambitious arthous films and popular entertainment: He played the villain in Uwe Boll's speculative Video Game adaptation "Far Cry", had a self-effacing cameo in Til Schweiger's "1 1/2 Ritter - Auf der Suche nach der hinreißenden Herzelinde", embodied a mean chauffeur in Oskar Roehler's "Lulu & Jimi" and also appeared in Fatih Akin's comedy "Soul Kitchen" and Dani Levy's "Das Leben ist zu lang".

2011 saw the release of seven films featuring Kier, including "Pariser Platz – Berlin", "Der Himmel hat vier Ecken", Lars von Trier's acclaimed doomsday epic "Melancholia" and the drama  "UFO in Her Eyes". Moreover, he played the role of Pope Innozenz VIII in the TV series "Borgia".

One of his more bizarre screen characters appeared in the science-fiction spoof "Iron Sky", which premiered at the 2012 Berlin IFF. Kier plays a Nazi who fled to the Moon in 1945 and now plans to invade Earth with his minions. Also in 2012, he had an uncredited cameo as a witch hunter in Rob Zombie's horror film "Lords of Salem" (US/UK/CND). Following his small but memorable turn as a waiter in Lars von Trier's  "Nymphomaniac" (DK/D/F/B/S 2013), he played the head of a psychiatric ward in the horror comedy "The Editor" (CND 2014). Also he voiced the villain Mr. Toad in the animated TV series "Beware the Batman" (2013/14).

Kier himself became the subject of the documentary "Arteholic", in which director Hermann Vaske portrays the eccentric cult actor and art lover.

Udo Kier lives in the USA and Europe.

FILMOGRAFIE

2019
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2015
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2014/2015
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2013/2014
  • Participation
2012/2013
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2012/2013
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2010/2011
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2010/2011
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2010-2012
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2008/2009
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2008/2009
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2008-2010
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2007/2008
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2007-2009
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2006/2007
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2005/2006
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2004/2005
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2004/2005
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2004
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2003/2004
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2001/2002
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2000/2001
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2000-2002
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1999/2000
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1998/1999
  • Participation
1997/1998
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1996/1997
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1996/1997
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1995/1996
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1995
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1994/1995
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1994/1995
  • Participation
1994/1995
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1990
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1990
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  • Assistant director
1987/1988
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1984/1985
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1983/1984
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1983
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1981
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  • Set design
1980
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1979/1980
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1978/1979
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1976/1983
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1976/1977
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1976-1984
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1975/1976
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1974/1975
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1973
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1972/1973
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1968
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