Armin Mueller-Stahl (born December 17, 1930) is a German film actor. He was born in Tilsit, Prussia, which was then part of Germany but is now in Russia.
Mueller-Stahl was a noted concert violinist while he was a teenager. He turned to film acting in East Berlin in 1950. He was a successful film and stage actor in East Germany, but being blacklisted by the government, he emigrated to West Germany in 1980.
His talent found ample work in the West German film industry. He appeared in such films as Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Lola (1981), Veronika Voss (1982), Andrzej Wajda's A Love in Germany (1984), Angry Harvest and Colonel Redl (both 1985), the latter about Alfred Redl.
Mueller-Stahl broadened his film career with his US film debut as Jessica Lange's father in Music Box (1989). He subsequently took strong character roles in Kafka and Night on Earth (both 1991) from Jim Jarmusch. He is also remembered for his role as the Soviet general in charge of the occupied United States in the ABC television miniseries Amerika (1987). Mueller-Stahl's leading role in Avalon (1990) is also memorable.
Armin Mueller-Stahl won the Silver Bear for Best Actor in the 1992 Berlinale for his performance in Utz. He received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Shine (1996).
In the new millennium, Mueller-Stahl gained applause for his acting of Thomas Mann in a German historic film production about the Mann family (Thomas Mann, his brother Heinrich Mann, and others) called Die Manns.
In 2004, he made another rare foray onto American television, guest-starring in four episodes on the television drama series The West Wing as the Prime Minister of Israel.