Michael Mendl
Michael Mendl


Michael Mendl (born Sandrock)


20 April 1944



Known for

Playing Gen Helmuth Weidling in Downfall


1.85 m
6' 0¾"

Michael Mendl (born as Michael Sandrock, 20 April 1944, Lünen) is a German actor. He is considered one of the most sought-after character actors of his generation.

Mendl was born as the illegitimate son of a Catholic priest in Duisburg and the Leipzig medical student Martha Sandrock. He spent his childhood in the orphanage and Brambauer Straelen, before he moved in 1949 with his mother and stepfather Ernst Mendl, an associate at BASF in Ludwigshafen. He later adopted the surname of his stepfather.

His began his acting career during his 14-year high school as an extra at the Mannheim National Theatre. It was followed by engagements at theaters in Germany. Only after 25 years of stage experience, he made his film debut in the first book by Sherry Hormann (awarded in 1992 with the Max-Ophüls-Preis) "Silent Shadow". Shortly before, he had quit the Residenz Theater in Munich. As an actor he played in the genre of drama, for example, psychopaths, criminals, prison inmates, but more often high officials, doctors and officers. In the Oscar-nominated movie Der Untergang he played the role of General of Artillery Helmuth Weidling. Other notable roles are Captain Johannsen Die Gustloff, in So weit die Füße tragen (2001) the camp doctor and smuggler Dr. Stauffer, in Amen (directed by Costa Gavras) the high church official Cardinal Monsignor Hudal, the former Chancellor Willy Brandt in Im Schatten der Macht, (2004) and recently in Karol Wojtyla – Geheimnisse eines Papstes (Karol Wojtyla - Secrets of a Pope) (TV, directed by Gero von Boehm, 2006) Pope John Paul II.

Michael Mendl has also participated in numerous radio plays, most recently in Krabat (produced by WDR in 2010), Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann and Karl May: The Orient cycle. As a voice actor, he borrowed including F. Murray Abraham in Forrester: Found, Rob Reiner in Sleepless in Seattle and Stellan Skarsgard in King Arthur's voice.

Since November 2008, Mendl is involved in the Association Against Noma, who fights against the Noma disease.


  • Michael shares Dolfy's birthday (20 April), and curiously he was born exactly a year before the events in the bunker.


Michael Mendl auf dem grünen Teppich, CTMA 2011

Michael Mendl auf dem grünen Teppich, CTMA 2011

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