Thanks to his performance as a submarine commander in Wolfgang Petersen's "Das Boot" (The Boat), he came to be known as "the German face" in Hollywood. He can look back on a long career on both sides of the Atlantic.
Berlin native Jürgen Prochnow may owe his fame mostly to his work with German director Wolfgang Petersen, but he also performed for directors David Lynch, Anthony Minghella, John Frankenheimer and Michael Mann. And in between his Hollywood productions, he also worked in television films and movies in his home country. His overwhelming success in "Das Boot" and his subsequent career in Hollywood largely overshadowed earlier accomplishments.
Scandal and success: "Die Konsequenz"
The actor with the distinctively angular and pockmarked face came to be seen as an exciting representative of the "New German Cinema," working with outstanding directors like Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Reinhard Hauff and Volker Schlöndorff. His performance in "Die Konsequenz" (The Consequence), an early film by Wolfgang Petersen, stimulated a public debate in Germany on homosexuality.
Prochnow also has comedic talent - here with Evelyn Hamann in "Geschichten aus dem Leben" (Stories of Life)
Watching one of Prochnow's early films is an interesting experience, as he exudes an amazing mixture of masculinity and rigor, sensitivity and vulnerability.
A successful German star in Hollywood
As Prochnow celebrates his 75th birthday (June 10), he can look back on a career with many ups and downs, as one of only a handful of post-war German actors to have become a Hollywood star.