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Sebastian Koch stars in "Unknown," starring Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger and January Jones, as Professor Bressler.

Sebastian Koch is one of Germany's most multi-faceted and successful actors. Born in Karlsruhe, Germany, Koch spent his childhood and youth in Stuttgart, southwestern Germany. Koch planned to become a musician, but in the late 1970s a Stuttgart theater production by director Claus Peymann inspired him to become an actor.

Koch graduated in 1985 from the renowned Otto Falckenberg School of Acting in Munich. Initial career performances at Munich Theater der Jugend were followed by roles including Schiller s "Die Raeuber," Goethe's "Iphigenie," and "Dirty Dishes" from Nick Whitby. In 1986 Koch began his television career, debuting on the side of Commissioner Helmut Fischer in the famous long-running German television Sunday night crime series "Tatort—Die Macht des Schicksals."

Numerous crime stories and thrillers followed but it was in 1997 when director Heinrich Breloer cast Koch as Andreas Baader in the highly-acclaimed movie-of-the week two-parter "Todesspiel" that made Koch a German household name. Five years later in 2002 Koch achieved a feat not achieved in over 30 years of German television. He was awarded the coveted Grimme Prize for the leading roles in two television films, "Der Tanz mit dem Teufel—Die Entfuehrung des Richard Oetker," the story of the abduction of the heir to the Oetker fortune, as well as for his role in the three-part historical family drama "The Manns." "The Manns" was awarded Germany's esteemed honor as the "Television Event of the Year 2002. " Koch received additional accolades for his role as Klaus Mann, including the Bavarian Television Prize.

His international breakthrough came with the historical miniseries "Napoleon," alongside prominent colleagues including Gerard Depardieu, John Malkovich and Isabella Rossellini, and his role as Cathereine Deneuve's young lover, Rodolphe Loewenstein in "Marie and Freud." Koch's continued choice of roles in his career have provided an extremely intense examination of many personalities and themes pertaining to German history. This began theatrically in Constantin Costa-Gavras's adaptation of Rolf Hochhuth's "Amen," released in 2002, and then in successive German television events including the 2001 production of "The Tunnel," a two-part movie-of-the-week from Roland Suso Richter about the underground tunnel built from west to east Berlin which succeeded in enabling 100 people to flee the GDR.

Those roles were followed in 2003 with director Peter Keglevic's historical drama "Zwei Tage Hoffnung," about the infamous strike in the former GDR on June 17, 1953; and, the next year, in "Operation Valkryrie," the spectacular docu-drama from Jo Baier, awarded the German Television Prize, about the aristocratic soldier Clemens von Stauffenberg's perfect plot in 1944 to murder Hitler by smuggling a bomb into Hitler's bunker.

In 2005 Koch collaborated for the third time with director Heinrich Breloer in "Speer and Hitler,," the story of Hitler and his architect Albert Speer, garnering Koch both the German Television Prize and Bavarian Television Prize for Best Actor. Koch was then awarded the Bambi Award for Best Male German Actor 2006.

In 2006 his stunning performance as GDR dramatist/playwright Georg Dreymann in Florian Henkel von Donnermarck's Oscar-winning theatrical success, the Stasi-drama, "The Lives of Others," earned him the 2007 Italian Foreign Press Award, the Globo d'Oro for Best European Actor. In Paul Verhoeven's film "Black Book," which celebrated in 2006 premieres in Venice and Toronto and was nominated from the Netherlands for the 2007 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Koch played the lead role as a Nazi officer in German-occupied Holland who falls in love with a Jewish Resistance Fighter (Carice van Houten).

Under the direction of Hermine Huntgeburth ("The White Massai") alongside Julia Jentsch, Koch played the role of Geert von Instetten in the novel adaptation of "Effi Briest" by Theodor Fontane. Following the in 2007-2008 winter productions of "Gegen den Strom" ("Against the Current") and "The Interrogation of Harry Wind," Koch travelled to Canada for the lead role in the international co-production of Jack London's classic "The Sea Wolf." The English language TV production, written by Nigel Williams ("Elizabeth I.") was directed by Brit Mike Barker.

Koch's German and international theatrical successes include the 2003 remake of Erich Kaestner's children's classic "Das Fliegende Klassenzimmer," from director Tomy Wiegand and "Gloomy Sunday," from Rolf Schuebel (1999). In 2007, Warner Brothers Germany released the family comedy sequel "Rennschwein Rudi Ruessel 2" from Peter Timm.

In addition to acting, Sebastian Koch is a highly sought after reader for literary and musical audio books as well as the live performances of these productions. He returned to the theater stage in 2006 after a long absence, performing the role of Lord Goring in Oscar Wilde's "An Ideal Husband," under the direction of Armin Holz.

He currently resides in Berlin with his daughter.


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Age: 54 years old
Birthday: May 31, 1962
Height: 5' 11 ½"
Birthplace: Karlsruhe, Germany
Current Residence: Berlin, Germany

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