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THOMAS KRETSCHMANN (Mr. Smith) was born in East Germany and before becoming an actor trained as an Olympic swimmer. At age 19, he began a month-long trek from East to West Germany to escape Communism, during which he lost part of his finger to frostbite. He crossed four borders with nothing other than a passport and the equivalent to $100 in his possession.

His other films include "Grimm Love,” "King Kong,” "Celestine Prophecy,” "U-Boat” and "Blade 2.” He has played a Nazi in six films: "Stalingrad,” "U- 571,” "The Pianist,” "In Enemy Hands,” "Untergang, Der” ("The Downfall”) and "Head in the Clouds.”

For television, he played the title character in "Have No Fear: The Life of Pope John Paul II.”


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