Christoph Waltz (German pronunciation: ; born October 4, 1956) is an Austrian actor. He is best known for his portrayal of SS Colonel Hans Landa in the 2009 film Inglourious Basterds, for which he won the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009 and the Best Supporting Actor at the 82nd Academy Awards in 2010. He is the second Austrian actor to receive an Oscar.
Waltz was born in Vienna, where he studied acting at the Max Reinhardt Seminar. He also attended the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York. He started as a stage actor, performing at venues such as Zurich's Schauspielhaus Zürich, Vienna's Burgtheater, or the Salzburg Festival. He became a prolific actor on television. In 2000, he directed his first film, the TV production Wenn man sich traut.
In Quentin Tarantino's 2009 film Inglourious Basterds, Waltz portrayed Standartenführer Hans Landa of the Schutzstaffel (SS) aka "The Jew Hunter." For this role, he received the Best Actor Award at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and has received acclaim for the performance from critics and the public. In 2009, he began sweeping critics' awards circuits, receiving awards for Best Supporting Actor role from the New York Film Critics Circle, Boston Society of Film Critics, Los Angeles Film Critics Association and for Best Supporting Actor at the 67th Golden Globe Awards and the 16th Screen Actors Guild Awards.