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KING KONG

THOMAS KRETSCHMANN (Captain Englehorn) also starred opposite Adrien Brody in the OscarĀ®-winning film The Pianist. He can also be seen in Butterfly: A Grimm Love Story in the lead role based on a true character so deeply disturbed his only hope for love is to eat another human being; and in Have No Fear: The Life of Pope John Paul II, in which he played the Pope from his early years in the theatre to his quick ascent within the European clergy to become the most influential pope of the 20th century. The versatile actor can also be seen in the upcoming film version of the best-selling book The Celestine Prophecy.

Born in East Germany, Kretschmann trained to be an Olympic swimmer, but the rigid confines of his country's communist system soon had him planning his escape. At the age of 20, and with nothing more than a passport and the equivalent of a few dollars in cash, he made a daring and life-threatening trek alone on foot through four countries to reach West Berlin and freedom. The harrowing journey would cost Kretschmann part of a finger due to frostbite.

Receiving political asylum from his new country, Kretschmann worked odd jobs for three years before joining the renowned Schiller Theater, Germany's version of the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 1991, he made his film debut in Der Mitwisser, earning the prestigious Max-Ophuls Prize as Best Up & Coming Actor. He next earned the notice of the international film community with his performance in Stalingrad from the producers of Das Boot. He would go on to star in such critically acclaimed films as U- 571, Blade, Queen Margot, Marching in Darkness, The Stendhal Syndrome and Prince Valiant.

Still competitive in a variety of sports, as well as an accomplished painter, Kretschmann now makes his home in Los Angeles where he resides with his wife and three children.

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