Udo Kier

Udo Kier

Date of Birth: 14.10.1944
Country: Germany

Biography of Udo Kier

Udo Kier, a German actor known for his exceptional physical appearance, was born in Cologne, Germany. He possesses a masculine and captivating grace, despite predominantly playing grotesque and even satanic roles. His flawless facial features cannot hide the subtle irony that sparkles in his bottomless eyes. Have you ever seen him laugh in any of the nearly 70 films he has starred in? Yes, there have been eerie smiles, but never laughter. He is required to portray sensuous arrogance and haughtiness. The magic of his attractiveness lies in his unapproachability - his sceptically compressed lips blind and attract. Udo Kier, an unparalleled outsider who experiments in films with human blood and sperm while playing scientists, aliens, and vampires, can in some sense be described as a "hellish mixture" of Alain Delon and Marlon Brando with their own unique charm.

Udo Kier

Thanks to his unconventional appearance, Udo Kier became the target of harassment by classmates at an early age. He had no choice but to surrender. However, he preferred to see himself in female attire. Udo dressed up, wore makeup, and called himself "Dodo." One day, a young and unknown man named Rainer Werner Fassbinder came to Cologne on his father's business. In the evening, he decided to visit a bar where he met the beauty, or rather the belle, "Dodo" - fresh and beautiful like a newly bloomed rose. Kurt Raab recounted this meeting in his book "The Passion of Rainer Werner Fassbinder" (1982): "Here, a memorable encounter took place with a young man to whom he remained attached throughout his life and whom he subsequently cast in his films... He was an incredibly beautiful youth, and soon realized that it was better to earn money by offering his body not to individuals but to everyone - through cinema. Udo Kier heavily applied makeup and engaged in his "temporary business" in women's clothing. And so, they became an inseparable couple for a while... "Dodo" as the girl for entertainment and he as her pimp, "Notre-Dame-de-Fleur" and the one who rented her out as a "cavalier"... "Dodo" stuffed empty bra cups tightly and hid her penis between her legs. Rainer did not find it enough to wear tight-fitting trousers; he also put socks in his crotch to simulate the presence of a powerful penis, which was supposed to command respect for his male attributes and signal his readiness... "Dodo" and Rainer "hunted" in Cologne and its surroundings. They worked as "reverse escorts": they asked for invitations, showcased themselves, and mingled with society. They sought those who wanted to have fun: those who were financially capable, active, and passive."

Meanwhile, Udo Kier completed his studies. It cannot be said that the profession of a merchant interested him, but he believed that he needed to obtain some form of education. Fassbinder returned to Munich - it was time for him to become a genius film director. At the age of 19, Udo moved to London. Without makeup and cosmetics, he once again became an elegant young lad. Then, he accidentally heard about a director who was looking for a beautiful youth to play a French gigolo. Udo dressed up and arrived at the appointed time, immediately being accepted for the role. The director Michael Sarne became Udo Kier's first discoverer, and his debut film was "Road to Saint Tropez". This was followed by "Shamelessness" - an Austrian B-movie (1968). Though a small tasteless role, Kier successfully portrayed a pimp, which marked him as a talented actor.

Udo Kier then returned to Germany (FRG) and played the charming son of a count in "Cruel Torture of Witches". The producer of this film was Adrian Hoven, a former actor who had appeared in German "dirty" films and accurately predicted the moods and tastes of the German audience at that time. After this film, Udo Kier's attitude towards cinema changed. While he previously considered film shoots as just an additional opportunity to travel and meet new people, he now decided to become a professional. He went to study at Lee Strasberg's acting school in New York. From Italy, Greece, the USA, France, England, and Hungary - less frequently in Germany - he appeared in nearly 70 films starting from 1969. In the early, "innocent" years of his career, Udo Kier was given roles as enigmatically beautiful men: a young rebel, an angelic drug addict, a cold-blooded killer. He was primarily hired for his ability to create "masks" for mysterious personalities, rather than for his actual talent.

During a flight from Rome, Udo Kier had a "chance" encounter with the cult figure of that time - Paul Morrissey. The director of "Flesh" from Andy Warhol's Factory, Morrissey could not resist the charm of the young German. Kier did not resemble Joe Dallesandro, the former star favorite. The charm of the "blue" seducer - little Joe - paled in comparison to Kier's aristocratic nobility. Kier played Warhol's "Frankenstein" and "Dracula" (1973) with devilish elegance. The cinema had never seen such a vampire. He was not just a Transylvanian bloodsucker - like many before and after him - he portrayed his attraction to blood in a frighteningly natural and brilliant manner. Gay director Robert van Ackeren attempted to use Kier's talent differently, casting him in 1974 in the horror film "The Last Cry". Kier was supposed to play a musician completely immersed in his work, only interested in his music, while his family faced ruin. "Spermula," directed by Charles Matton in 1976 in France, further enhanced Kier's image as an unrestrained man.

In 1977, "Dodo" and her former "pimp" Fassbinder finally met again. Fassbinder began to direct Kier, who had become a star without his help, in films such as "Bolwieser," "The Third Generation," "Berlin Alexanderplatz," "Lili Marleen," and "Lola." After these films, Kier, who had already gained wide recognition abroad, was admitted to the Guild of German Actors. At the time, no one could have known that Fassbinder and Kier were showing in their films everything they had already experienced in their own lives. Fassbinder demanded unquestioning obedience from his boys on set, but this rule did not apply to Kier - he was allowed to do anything. Another code applied to him. When Fassbinder and Kier met, a flow of memories would begin: they would switch to teenage slang, start "messing around," and tell each other about their "gay" adventures. Despite their warm relationship, "Dodo" did not go with Fassbinder to Munich but stayed in Cologne. Here, Walter Bockmayer and Rolf Bührmann gathered a team of outsiders and colorful personalities from the acting community. Their signature "goods" were not the subtle philosophical and socio-psychological explorations of Fassbinder, but rather strong bourgeois-Rhenish humor. In 1979, Bockmayer & Bührmann (who owned the television and film company "Entenproduktion" at the time) hired the excellent Udo Kier for their television series. In a studio decorated like a circus with a matte finish, Udo passionately demonstrated himself as an object of numerous camera lenses.

"Narcissus and Psyche" by director Gábor Bódy, filmed in Hungary in 1980, became, according to Kier's own admission, his "most important and exciting film." In an interview with Rolf Tyson, he described the climax of the film as follows: "The most erotic moment in the film is my death. In a feverish delirium caused by syphilis, I wait for my lover in Vienna. Syphilis in its final stage is not contagious. I explain this to her and also tell her that I slept with the maid. After that, she leaves the room to verify if what I said is true. Then she returns and prepares to lie down in bed with me. But I am already dead."

In the film "Punk's 95" (directed by Gábor Altorjay, 1983), Kier played the musicologist J.V.A. Zarta (the surname "Zarta" translates to "Tender" in Russian), who, obsessed with the theory of a secret conspiracy among young people, ends up in a city psychiatric hospital. Alongside other patients, he plans an escape and takes the chief doctor (Dieter Thomas Heck) hostage.

Kier's appearance as Argo, an evil ruler of the planet Mars, in the TV video film "Invincible" ("Kino kills the video star?") is equally scandalous. With a laser cannon, he attacks Earth and sets off a chain reaction of disasters. Portraying both a Martian punk and a space prostitute at the same time, Kier gives this science fiction work its unique charm.

In 1984, Udo Kier decided to make a film himself. Intrigued by the plot of a possible disaster at an American power plant in Harrisburg, he created "The Last Trip to Harrisburg". According to the plot, a man and a woman meet in a train compartment and philosophize about the end of humanity. Kier plays both roles - the man and the woman. The German dialogue for both "Dodos" is read by Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

Moving forward in his career, Udo Kier has appeared in numerous films, including "Story of O" (1975), "Lili Marleen" (1980), "Europa" (1991), "ID4: Independence Day" (1996), "Blade" (1998), "Armageddon" (1998), "Dancer in the Dark" (2000), and many more.