Madonna once called him a meanman. He plays his characters without any inhibition and a lot of passion. He is completely absorbed in his roles. Udo Kier, who never visited a classic drama school and is living in Palm Springs today, can look back on a 50 years career. We honor the man who phones his dogs, when he is travellling, with this year’s Special TEDDY AWARD.
Breakthrough and rise to avant-garde world star
The man, who played in over 200 films, was born on October 14, 1944 in Cologne. Until today, he is deeply ingrained with his hometown. Although, he had already as achild only one goal: America! Udo Kier was discovered in 1960s. He achieved his breaktrough in the 70s and the 80s. The ‘beautiful Udo’ met, the at that time unknown, Rainer Werner Fassbinder in Cologne. They filmed together ‘Lili Marleen’ (1980) and ‘Berlin Alexanderplatz’ (1980). He played a count Dracula who obviously disliked blood in Warhol’s Dracula (1974). Finally he went to the USA in early 90s. In order to stay afloat he played in commercials at the beginning. The role of the suitor Hans in Gus van Sant’s ‘My Private Idaho’ (1991) let Udo Kier being established on the stage of the international film.
At home between art house, trash and blockbusters
Many people think Udo Kier is the reincarnation of the evil, a narcissist, the king of trash. He made films with Christoph Schlingensief and Lars von Trier. He plays sadists,Nazis and other dark figures with pleasure. Kier changes between the gengres like nobody else. From Armageddon (1998) over Warhol’s ‘Frankenstein’ (1973) up to Lars von Trier’s ‘Melancholia’ (2011) you will find the most diverse genres in his filmography.
Last year, Udo Kier got 70 years old and he presented himself with the documentary ‘Arteholic’. There he take us on a insane and weird art trip htrough Europe.
We honor Udo Kier with the this years’s TEDDY AWARD for Artistic Life Achievement. Until now he sets new standards with his roles, is never boring and remains true to himself.