Jürgen Prochnow

Jürgen Prochnow
MJK 60861 Verena Wengler und Jürgen Prochnow (Hessischer Film- und Kinopreis 2019) (cropped).jpg
Prochnow in 2019
Born (1941-06-10) June 10, 1941 (age 80)
Berlin, Germany
  • Germany
  • United States
Occupation Actor
Years active 1963–present
  • Isabel Goslar
    ( m. 1982; div. 1997)
  • Birgit Stein
    ( m. 2004; div. 2014)
  • Verena Wengler
    ( m. 2015)
Partner(s) Antonia Reininghaus (1978–1981)
Children 3

Jürgen Prochnow (German pronunciation: [ˈjʏʁɡn̩ ˈpʁɔxnoː] About this soundlisten ; born 10 June 1941) is a German actor. His best-known roles internationally have been as the good-hearted and sympathetic U-boat captain in Das Boot (1981), Duke Leto Atreides in Dune (1984), the minor but important role of Kazakh dictator General Ivan Radek in Air Force One (1997), and the antagonist Maxwell Dent in Beverly Hills Cop II (1987).

Early life

Prochnow was born in Berlin and brought up in Düsseldorf, the son of an engineer.[1] He studied acting at the Folkwang Academy in Essen.


Thanks to his on-screen intensity and his fluency in English, he has become one of the most successful German actors in Hollywood. He portrayed Arnold Schwarzenegger in a film about the actor's political career in California, entitled See Arnold Run (2005); coincidentally, Prochnow was one of the actors considered for the title role in The Terminator (1984). He was the main antagonist in the Broken Lizard film, Beerfest (2006), which contains a submarine scene that references his role in Das Boot. He also played Commander Paul Gerald in Wing Commander (1999).

In addition, he dubbed Sylvester Stallone's voice in the German version of Rocky (1976) and Rocky II (1979). After the retirement of Stallon's long-time voice actor Thomas Danneberg he resumed this task in 2018 (Creed II). He usually also dubs his own roles in English-language productions.[2]

In 1996, he was a member of the jury at the 46th Berlin International Film Festival.[3]

Personal life

In the early 1980s, Prochnow was in a relationship with Austrian actress Antonia Reininghaus [de], who fatally poisoned their 7-year-old daughter, Johanna, in 1987. In 1982, he married actor Jürgen Goslar's daughter, Isabel Goslar, with whom he has two children: a daughter, Mona, and a son, Roman. The couple divorced in 1997. From 2004 until the divorce in 2014, he was married to Birgit Stein [de], a German actress and screenwriter. Stein died in August 2018 in a motorcycle accident in Kanab, Utah.[4] Since 2015, he has been married to actress Verena Wengler.[5]

His elder brother, Dieter [de] (born May 22, 1939), is also an actor. Together, the brothers appeared in The Man Inside (1990), where Jürgen played the leading role and Dieter a small supporting role.

Prochnow used to divide his time between Los Angeles and Munich. He received U.S. citizenship in 2004.[6] In 2017, he announced that he had sold his house in California and would be moving to Berlin.[7]



Audiobooks (excerpt)

  • 2013: Andreas Eschbach: Quantenmüll, publisher: Lübbe Audio (Audible)
  • 2016: Frank Herbert: Dune: Der Wüstenplanet (together with Simon Jäger and Marianne Rosenberg), publisher: Lübbe Audio, ISBN 978-3785752159
  • 2017: Andreas Eschbach: Eine unberührte Welt (together with Simon Jäger, Yara Blümel and Nicole Engeln), publisher: Lübbe Audio, ISBN 978-3785754979


External links