German actor and artist Armin Mueller-Stahl will be awarded an Honorary Golden Bear at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival.

“Today Armin Mueller-Stahl is celebrating his 80th birthday. We wish him the very best and are delighted we’ll be awarding this extraordinary artist the Honorary Golden Bear for Lifetime Achievement in February,” says Festival Director Dieter Kosslick.

Armin Mueller-Stahl is one of Germany’s biggest stars of international renown. Winner of numerous awards, he has played a wide variety of characters over the course of his 50-year career, and worked with many famous directors including Costa-Gavras, Andrzej Wajda, Jim Jarmusch and Steven Soderbergh. He began his career in East Germany, performing under the direction of Frank Beyer in films like Nackt unter Wölfen (1963, Naked Among Wolves) and Jakob der Lügner (1974, Jacob the Liar). After moving to West Germany in 1980, he attracted international attention with films such as Lola (1981) by Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Music Box (1989) by Costa-Gavras. In 1996, he was nominated for an Oscar for his role in Shine (directed by: Scott Hicks). In 2003 he won the Adolf Grimme Award for his performance as Thomas Mann in Heinrich Breloer’s 3-part TV film Die Manns – ein Jahrhundertroman (The Manns – Novel of a Century). Most recently he appeared on the screen in Ron Howard’s adaptation of the bestseller Illuminati (2009).

Armin Mueller-Stahl has been a guest of the Berlin International Film Festival several times. In 1992 he was awarded the Silver Bear for his performance in Utz (directed by: George Sluizer); and in 1997, the Berlinale Camera. In 2006 he was a member of the International Jury; and in 2009, a guest of the Berlinale Competition as a member of the cast of the opening film The International by Tom Tykwer.

In the last years, Armin Mueller-Stahl has increasingly focused on painting and music. Since 2001 he has presented his works in many exhibitions. An accomplished musicologist and violinist, he recently released his debut CD “Es gibt Tage…” [There Are Days…] with songs composed over 45 years ago in East Germany.

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