Ulrich Matthes was born in Berlin, where he took private acting lessons while pursuing a degree in German and English literature. His first theatrical engagements were at the United City Stages of Krefeld and Mönchengladbach, Düsseldorf’s Playhouse and the Bavarian State Theatre. In 1988 Matthes joined Munich’s Kammerspiele and from 1992 onwards he was a leading actor at the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz in Berlin. Since the 2004/2005 season Matthes has been a member of the Deutsches Theater ensemble. Here his many roles have included George in Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Hamm in Beckett’s Endgame and the title character in Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. Matthes has also staged Frank Wedekind’s Spring’s Awakening in the DT Kammerspiele. His portrayal of George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? brought Matthes numerous accolades, including the Gertrud Eysoldt Ring for outstanding acting performance and the title of »Actor of the Year 2005« from a jury of independent theatre critics. Jürgen Gosch’s staging of Uncle Vanya was voted »Production of the Year 2008« by a critics’ poll in the trade journal Theater Heute and Matthes was voted »Actor of the Year 2008« for his performance in the title role. Both Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Uncle Vanya were invited to Berlin’s Theatertreffen festival, which honours the year’s best German language productions, in 2005 and 2008 respectively. Matthes also won the Berlin Theatre Award 2007, presented by the Preussische Seehandlung Foundation in recognition of his “outstanding contribution to German-language theatre”.
Ulrich Matthes has also appeared in numerous films, including Tom Tykwer’s Winter Sleepers and Volker Schlöndorff’s The Ninth Day. He portrayed Joseph Goebbels in Oliver Hirschbiegel’s Downfall – nominated for an Oscar as Best Foreign Language Film in 2005.
Ulrich Matthes - Ole Lagerpusch
Jürgen Huth - Ulrich Matthes