* 17 December 1930 in Tilsit (East Prussia)
German actor, painter, graphic artist, musician and author
Armin Mueller-Stahl grows up in a family of art lovers, who in 1938 moves from East Prussia to Prenzlau. Having successfully finished his studies of music in Berlin in 1949, he turns to acting and is given his first permanent engagement with the Berliner Ensemble. His career as a screen actor starts eight years later. Soon, Armin Mueller-Stahl is the most popular and the busiest film und television actor in the GDR. In 1976, together with other prominent artists, he signs the open letter in protest against the expatriation from the GDR of the lyric poet and singer-songwriter Wolf Biermann. When he, as a result of this, is hardly ever offered any roles, he writes his autobiography. His application for an exit permit to West Berlin is granted in 1980.
In the Federal Republic, the actor soon is able to continue his success. Renowned directors like Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Alexander Kluge, Andrzej Wajda, or Patrice Chéreau engage him for their films. In the late 1980s he is also engaged in Hollywood. For all his success in the United States, where he soon becomes the most popular German actor, he continues to accept roles in Germany. In 1990 and 1997, Mueller-Stahl is nominated for an Oscar. In 2008, Armin Mueller-Stahl is awarded the Federal Republic’s Order of Merit with Star. The fact that he has been painting and drawing for sixty years becomes first known to the public in 2001, by means of an exhibition at the film museum in Potsdam, the first of numerous presentations in German cities. The multitalented artist about his pictorial work: when you paint you are your own director. There are no bans, you have all liberties. Among his works of 2017 there is the series of paintings “Shakespeare’s girls and women”, paintings going back to Heinrich Heine’s text of the same name. Some originals of that series are shown at the Salongalerie “Die Möwe” for the first time.