Klaus Kinski

1926 - 1991

Klaus Kinski was born Nikolaus Günther Nakszynski in Zoppot, Free City of Danzig (now Sopot, Poland), to Susanne (Lutze), a nurse, and Bruno Nakszynski, a pharmacist. He grew up in Berlin, was drafted into the German army in 1944 and captured by British forces in Holland. After the war he began acting on the stage, quickly gaining a reputation for his ferocious talent and equally ferocious temper. He started acting in films shortly afterwards, showing an utter disregard for the quality of the productions he appeared in and churning out so many that a complete filmography is almost impossible to assemble. However, he did turn out memorable work for director Werner Herzog, a similarly driven and obsessive character. Herzog and Kinski pushed each other to extremes over a 15-year working relationship, which finally ended after filming Cobra Verde (1987), a production plagued by volcanic clashes between the star and director, involving--among other things--violent physical altercations and

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