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Klaus Kinski Biography

Birth Name:
Nikolaus Gunther Nakszynski
Birth Place:
Sopot, Poland

Fast Facts

  • Served in the German army during World War II and was captured by the British in 1944 and sent to a POW camp in England, from which he was released in 1946
  • Returned to Berlin after the war to find his father had died and his mother was killed during an Allied air raid
  • Unable to secure theater work in the late 1950s, he toured Austria, Switzerland and Germany as a monologist reciting selections from Shakespeare, Francois Villon and Oscar Wilde
  • From 1972 to 1987, he made five films with director Werner Herzog, whose book and documentary about the late actor is titled My Best Fiend
  • Turned down a role as a German officer in 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark because he thought the script wasn't very good
  • Kinski's 1988 autobiography All I Need Is Love was rereleased in 1993 with additional copy and retitled Kinski Uncut
  • His final film, 1989's Paganini, in which he played the legendary Italian violinist Nicolo Paganini, was also the only movie he directed
  • Made more than 180 movies in his 30-year career
  • David Schmoeller, who had an extremely difficult time directing him in 1986's Crawlspace, chronicled the experience in a 1999 short called Please Kill Mr
  • Kinski
  • Was fluent in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish