Thomas Kretschmann is an award-winning German actor. He was born on 8 September, 1962 in Dessau, in what was then East Germany. Before becoming an actor he was a swimmer with serious Olympic potential. Kretschmann defected to West Germany in 1981 when he was 19. His films include Der Mitwisser, Stalingrad, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, U-571, The Sea Wolf, In Enemy Hands, and What A Man. He starred with Adrian Brody in both The Pianist and King Kong, and has played a Nazi officer in nine separate films. Kretschmann works in both Hollywood and Germany. He won the Max Oph√ºls Prize for best young actor for his role in Der Mitwisser in 1991. He won the best actor award at both the Catalonian and Bucheon International Film Festivals for his portrayal of Oliver Hartwin in Rothenburg. Kretschmann has appeared in Katharina Thalbach's stage production of Macbeth; and has also modelled for Hugo Boss. He has three children.