Austrian-German actor Christoph Waltz is perhaps best known to American audiences for winning two Best Supporting Actor Academy Awards. Not to mention two BAFTA awards and two Golden Globe awards, in two Quentin Tarantino movies. His Oscar-winning roles as Nazi commander Col. Hans Landa in 2009’s Inglorious Basterds and bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz in 2012’s Django Unchained are what brought him Hollywood fame.
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But he’s been working in Austria, Germany, and England since the 1970s. Waltz has a relatively private personal life, but we do know he is married to his longtime partner, costume designer Judith Holste. Who is Ms. Holste and what is the story of her relationship with Waltz?
Waltz Was “Trying For Years” Before His “Overnight Success”
Per The Guardian, Christoph Waltz was born in 1956 and raised in Vienna, Austria. His parents, like his future wife, were costume designers. He attended the Theresianium and Billrothstrasse in Vienna as well as the Max-Reinhardt-Seminar before going to New York to study at the Lee Strasberg Institute. While in New York, he met his first wife, a psychotherapist named Jackie. They had three children together, Miriam, Leon, and Rachel, and lived primarily in London for the majority of their marriage. During Waltz’s roles included Dr Hans-Joachim Dorfman in the British miniseries The Gravy Train and a goofy German spy on The All New Alexei Sayle Show.
His breakthrough role in Inglorious Basterds changed his life. It made him another actor, along with John Travolta in Pulp Fiction and Pam Grier in Jackie Brown, whose career was transformed by a part in a Tarantino film. Waltz told the Daily Actor in 2012 that before Inglorious Basterds “I had been trying for years. I was already giving up. I lived here in New York when I was very young,” he noted. “I went to Lee Strasberg’s theater hoping that I could break in. Well, that turned out to be impossible, and Inglourious Basterds kind of brought me back.”
Christoph Waltz and Judith Holste Worked Together on Fidelio
Other English-speaking roles have included Chudnofsky in the film adaptation of The Green Hornet. As well as a cruel ringmaster August in Water For Elephants, attorney Alan Cowan in Roman Polanski’s Carnage, Richelieu in The Three Musketeers, and plagiarist artist Walter Keane in Tim Burton’s Big Eyes. In 2015 he starred opposite Daniel Craig as the classic James Bond villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld in Spectre. He is reprising the role in No Time To Die in 2021. Other recent appearances include Leon Rom in The Legend of Tarzan, Cornelis Sandvoort in Tulip Fever, Dusan Mirkovic in Downsizing, Ulrich Mott in Georgetown, and Dr. Dyson Ado in Alita: Battle Angel.
As Waltz and his wife Judith Holste are notoriously private, not much is known about their relationship. Per GQ, despite the fact that they are thought to have been married since the 1990s, Waltz didn’t even confirm the relationship until 2013. They have one daughter together who was born in 2005. The family relocated from Berlin, Germany to Los Angeles in 2015. Holste’s credits, as reported by the IMDB, primarily include German TV movies. Her lastest job was designing costumes for the TV adaptation of the opera Fidelio, as directed by her husband.
Editors Note: This article was originally published on May 15, 2021.