Apr. 3rd, 1941
Eric Braeden's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2008 - The Man Who Came Back
1998 - Meet the Deedles
1997 - Titanic
1983 - Mr. Mom
1978 - Piranha
1977 - Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo
1973 - Battle for the Planet of the Apes
1971 - Escape from the Planet of the Apes
1970 - Colossus: The Forbin Project
1969 - 100 Rifles
1965 - Morituri
Guest TV Roles
Col. Markus von Frank
German actor in America who began his career playing Nazis and eventually became a star of daytime soap operas. Born Hans Gudegast in Kiel, Germany, during the Second World War, he was a superb athlete who excelled in track-and-field events. As a teenager he immigrated to the USA and worked in Texas and Montana as a translator, a cowhand, and a lumber millhand. His athleticism won him a scholarship to Montana State University. While attending college, he and friend Bob McKinnon made a film, The Riverbusters, about their successful attempt to be the first men to take a boat from the source to the mouth of the Salmon river and back again. He traveled to Los Angeles in hopes of finding a distributor for the documentary, but instead found that his handsome visage and accented English made him a valuable commodity as an actor. He appeared in small parts under his real name before landing the leading role of the antagonist, Captain Hans Dietrich, on the World War II TV series "The Rat Patrol" (1966). The series was a hit, and Gudegast's sympathetic German officer was very popular. He appeared in a few movies and television films thereafter in supporting roles, then was given the lead in Universal's science-fiction computer thriller Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970). His delight at this huge career boost was muted by the studio's insistence that he change his name. With extreme reluctance, he agreed and became known subsequently as Eric Braeden. Braeden worked continuously in television movies for the next decade. He also worked on Broadway and in Los Angeles area theatre. In 1980 he reluctantly accepted a role in a daytime drama, "The Young and the Restless", and gained a stardom in this medium that had just eluded him in film and primetime TV. As lead Victor Newman, Braeden brought a gravity and a strong center to the program. Amazingly handsome and athletic into his sixties, Braeden maintained the charisma that first brought him notice in "The Rat Patrol." His infrequent film work during his nearly quarter century on "The Young and the Restless" included a prominent role as John Jacob Astor in Titanic (1997). A five-time Emmy nominee for his "Y&R" role (he won in 1998), he was also nominated eleven times for the Soap Opera Digest Outstanding Leading Actor Award, winning three times. He was appointed, in 1987, along with Henry Kissinger, Paul Volker, Steffi Graf, Alexander Haig, and Katherine Graham, to the German-American Advisory Board, and in 1991 received the Federal Medal of Honor from the president of his native land, Germany. He married his college sweetheart Dale Russell in 1966. Their son, Christian Gudegast is a screenwriter.
- His Victor character from "Y&R", over the years, has been known as the Black Knight by soap opera fans.
- Was awarded the Federal Medal of Honor by the president of Germany for promoting a "positive, realistic image of Germans in America."
- Interviewed in Tom Weaver's book "I Talked with a Zombie" (McFarland & Co., 2008).
- In addition to _"The Rat Patrol" (1966)_ (qv) created by 'Tom Gries (I)' (qv) Braeden also had roles in the movie _100 Rifles (1969)_ (qv), written and directed by 'Tom Gries (I)' (qv) and in the movie _Lady Ice (1973)_ (qv), produced and directed by 'Tom Gries (I)' (qv).
- Brother-in-law of Sigrid Valdis.
- Father of 'Christian Gudegast' (qv).
- He became a naturalized citizen while in college.
- Brother-in-law of Bob Crane.