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Marthe Keller
File:Marthe Keller Cannes 2016.jpg
Marthe Keller at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival
Born (1945-01-28) 28 January 1945 (age 79)
Basel, Switzerland
OccupationsActress, opera director
Years active1964–present

Marthe Keller (born 28 January 1945) is a Swiss actress and opera director.


Early years[]

Marthe studied ballet as a child, but stopped after a skiing accident at age 16. She changed to acting, and worked in Berlin at the Schiller Theatre and the Berliner Ensemble.[1]

Film work[]

Keller's earliest film appearances were in Funeral in Berlin (1966, in which she was not credited) and the German film Wilder Reiter GmbH (1967). She appeared in a series of French films in the 1970s, including Un cave (1971), La raison du plus fou (1973) and Toute une vie (And Now My Love, 1974). Her most famous American film appearances are her Golden Globe-nominated performance as Dustin Hoffman's girlfriend in Marathon Man (1976) and her performance as a femme fatale Palestinian terrorist who leads an attack on the Super Bowl in Black Sunday (1977). Keller acted alongside Al Pacino in the 1977 romantic drama film Bobby Deerfield, based on Erich Maria Remarque's novel Heaven Has No Favorites, and subsequently the two of them were involved in a relationship. She also acted alongside William Holden in Billy Wilder's 1978 romantic drama Fedora.

After 1978, Keller worked more steadily in European cinema compared to American movies. Her later films include Dark Eyes (1987), with Marcello Mastroianni.[2]

In April 2016, she was announced as the President of the Jury for the Un Certain Regard section of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.[3]

Theater work[]

In 2001, Keller appeared in an all-star Broadway adaptation of Abby Mann's play Judgment at Nuremberg, directed by John Tillinger, as Mrs. Bertholt, in the role played by Marlene Dietrich in the 1961 Stanley Kramer film version.[4][5] She was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Featured Actress for this performance.

Opera work[]

In addition to her work in film and theatre, Keller has developed a career in classical music as a speaker and opera director. She has performed the speaking role of Joan of Arc in Arthur Honegger's oratorio Jeanne d'Arc au Bûcher on several occasions, with conductors such as Seiji Ozawa[6][7] and Kurt Masur.[8] She has recorded the role for Deutsche Grammophon with Ozawa (DG 429 412-2). Keller has also recited the spoken part in Igor Stravinsky's Perséphone.[9][10] She has performed classical music melodramas for speaker and piano in recital.[11] The Swiss composer Michael Jarrell wrote the melodrama Cassandre, after the novel of Christa Wolf, for Keller, who gave the world premiere in 1994.

Keller's first production as an opera director was Dialogues des Carmélites, for Opéra National du Rhin, in 1999. This production subsequently received a semi-staged performance in London that year.[12] She has also directed Lucia di Lammermoor for Washington National Opera and for Los Angeles Opera.[13] Her directorial debut at the Metropolitan Opera was in a 2004 production of Don Giovanni.[14][15][16]

Personal life[]

Keller has one son, Alexandre (born 1971), from her relationship with director Philippe de Broca.


File:Marthe Keller 1975.jpg

Marthe Keller in Monte Carlo in 1975

Year Title Author Director Notes
1970 A Day in the Death of Joe Egg Peter Nichols Michel Fagadau Théâtre de la Gaîté-Montparnasse
1979 Three Sisters Anton Chekhov Lucian Pintilie Théâtre de la Ville
1982 Emballage perdu Vera Feyder Nelly Borgeaud Théâtre des Mathurins
1983 Exiles James Joyce Andreas Voutsinas Théâtre Renaud-Barrault
1983 Exiles James Joyce Andreas Voutsinas Théâtre Renaud-Barrault
1983-86 Jedermann Hugo von Hofmannsthal Ernst Haeussermann & Gernot Friedel Festival de Salzbourg
1984 Betrayal Harold Pinter Sami Frey Théâtre des Célestins
1986 Don Carlos Friedrich von Schiller Michelle Marquais Théâtre de la Ville
1988 Hamlet William Shakespeare Patrice Chéreau Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers
1997 Kinkali Arnaud Bedouet Philippe Adrien Théâtre national de la Colline
2001 Judgment at Nuremberg Abby Mann Joe Tillinger Broadway theatre
2008 The Stronger August Strindberg Wadsworth Arclight Theatre
2011 Jan Karski (mon nom est une fiction) Yannick Haenel Arthur Nauzyciel Festival d'Avignon


Year Title Role Director Notes
1964 Der trojanische Krieg findet nicht statt The piece Franz Josef Wild TV Movie
Mein oder Dein Jean Franz Josef Wild (2) TV Movie
1965 Antiquitäten Young Lady Marran Gosov Short
Und nicht mehr Jessica Jessica Lovell Falk Harnack TV Movie
Mariana Pineda Wilm ten Haaf TV Movie
1966 Funeral in Berlin Brigit Guy Hamilton
Kein Freibrief für Mord Christine Foster Karl-Heinz Bieber TV Movie
Corinne und der Seebär Corinne Thomas Engel TV Movie
1967 Wilder Reiter GmbH The nun Franz-Josef Spieker Nominated - German Film Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Pfeiffer Marthe Marran Gosov (2) Short
1969 Le diable par la queue Amélie Philippe de Broca
1970 Les caprices de Marie Marie Panneton Philippe de Broca (2)
1971 Arsène Lupin The Countess Natasha Jean-Pierre Decourt TV Series (3 Episodes)
1972 The Old Maid Vicka Jean-Pierre Blanc
Un cave Catherine Gilles Grangier
P'pa je serai serrurier The woman Ulysse Laugier Short
La demoiselle d'Avignon Koba Lye-Lye Michel Wyn TV Series (1 Episode)
1973 Elle court, elle court la banlieue Marlène Réval Gérard Pirès
La raison du plus fou The hitchhiker François Reichenbach
La chute d'un corps Marthe Renon Michel Polac
1974 And Now My Love Sarah & Rachel Stern Claude Lelouch
Only the Wind Knows the Answer Angela Delpierre Alfred Vohrer
1975 Down the Ancient Staircase Bianca Mauro Bolognini
L'aigle à deux têtes The Queen Pierre Cavassilas TV Movie
1976 Marathon Man Elsa Opel John Schlesinger Bambi Award for Best Actress - National
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Le guêpier Melba Roger Pigaut
1977 Black Sunday Dahlia Iyad John Frankenheimer
Bobby Deerfield Lillian Sydney Pollack
1978 Fedora Fedora / Antonia Billy Wilder
1980 The Formula Lisa Spangler John G. Avildsen
1981 The Amateur Elisabeth Charles Jarrott Nominated - Genie Award for Best Performance by a Foreign Actress
1982 La certosa di Parma Gina Sanseverina Mauro Bolognini (2) TV Mini-Series
1983 Der Platzanweiser Peter Gehrig
Jedermann Buhlschaft C. Rainer Ecke TV Movie
Wagner Mathilde Wesendonck Tony Palmer TV Mini-Series
1984 Femmes de personne Cecile Christopher Frank
1985 Red Kiss Bronka Véra Belmont
Joan Lui Judy Johnson Adriano Celentano
1986 Die Frau des Reporters Esther Heide Pils TV Movie
1987 Dark Eyes Tina Nikita Mikhalkov Nominated - David di Donatello for Best Supporting Actress
The Hospice Dominique Othenin-Girard TV Movie
1988 La ruelle au clair de lune Nelly Édouard Molinaro TV Movie
Una vittoria Luigi Perelli TV Movie
Sueurs froides Diane Régis Wargnier TV Series (1 Episode)
1989 Georg Elser - Einer aus Deutschland Klaus Maria Brandauer
The Nightmare Years Tess Shirer Anthony Page TV Mini-Series
1991 Lapse of Memory Linda Farmer Patrick Dewolf
Young Catherine Princess Johanna Michael Anderson TV Movie
1992 Im Kreis der Iris Marikka Peter Patzak TV Movie
Turbulences Hélène Élisabeth Rappeneau TV Movie
À deux pas du paradis Eva Grundberg Michel Vianey TV Movie
1993 Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher Joan of Arc Akio Jissoji TV Movie
Liberate mio figlio Elena Roberto Malenotti TV Movie
1994 My Friend Max Catherine Mercier Michel Brault
1995 Sostiene Pereira Mrs. Delgado Roberto Faenza
Tödliches Geld Beatrice Belmont Detlef Rönfeldt TV Movie
Belle Époque Antoinette Gavin Millar TV Mini-Series
1997 Women Barbara Luís Galvão Teles
K Nora Winter Alexandre Arcady
Nuits blanches Julia Sophie Deflandre
1998 The School of Flesh Madame Thorpe Benoît Jacquot
1999 Le derrière Christina Valérie Lemercier
2001 Tout va bien c'est Noël ! Jacqueline Bréaud Laurent Dussaux TV Movie
2002 Time of the Wolf Rebecca McGregor Rod Pridy
2003 Par amour Nicole Doucet Alain Tasma TV Movie
Biarritz International Festival of Audiovisual - Best Actress
Luchon International Film Festival - Best Actress
2004 Die Nacht singt ihre Lieder Mother Romuald Karmakar
La nourrice Madame Dumayet-Ponti Renaud Bertrand TV Movie
2005 Fragile Emma Laurent Nègre Swiss Film Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role
2007 Chrysalis Professor Brügen Julien Leclercq
UV The mother Gilles Paquet-Brenner
Dans l'ombre du maître Maria David Delrieux TV Movie
Le lien Eva Denis Malleval TV Movie
La prophétie d'Avignon Dona Flores David Delrieux (2) TV Mini-Series
2008 Cortex Carole Rothmann Nicolas Boukhrief
Bouquet final Nickye Michel Delgado
Le sanglot des anges Eléonore Jacques Otmezguine TV Mini-Series
2009 Sous un autre jour Iréne Alain Tasma (2) TV Movie
2010 Hereafter Dr. Rousseau Clint Eastwood
2011 The Giants Rosa Bouli Lanners
My Best Enemy Hannah Kaufmann Wolfgang Murnberger
Page Eight Leona Chew David Hare TV Movie
Nominated - Online Film & Television Association Award for Best Ensemble in a Motion Picture or Miniseries
La résidence Léa Laurent Jaoui TV Movie
2012 In a Rush Mina Louis-Do de Lencquesaing
2013 The Mark of the Angels – Miserere Laura Bernheim Sylvain White
2014 Homo Faber (Trois Femmes) Hanna Richard Dindo
La vie à l'envers Nina Anne Giafferi TV Movie
2015 Amnesia Martha Sagell Barbet Schroeder
2016 After Love Christine Joachim Lafosse
2017 The Witness Judge D'Amici Mitko Panov
Sources Vives Irène Meyer Bruno Bontzolakis TV Movie


  1. Cori Ellison (29 February 2004) "Reaching the Top of the Opera World by Accident." The New York Times.
  2. Vincent Canby (25 September 1987) "Dark Eyes, Comedy Based on Chekhov Tales." The New York Times
  3. "Un Certain Regard Jury 2016". Cannes Film Festival. 28 April 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  4. Bruce Weber (27 March 2001) "On Evil and the Citizen, No Answers Are Easy." The New York Times
  5. John Simon (9 April 2001) "Stoppard Unstoppered." New York Magazine
  6. Donal Henehan (13 December 1984) "Honegger's Jeanne d'Arc." The New York Times,
  7. Bernard Holland (15 August 1989) "Joan of Arc at the Stake, A Honegger Extravaganza." The New York Times
  8. James R. Oestreich (8 April 1994) "Masur's Jeanne d'Arc Gives Life to a Long-Ago Feminist." The New York Times
  9. Anthony Tommasini (4 October 1999) "Masur and a Multitude Offer Seldom-Heard Stravinsky." The New York Times
  10. Lloyd Schwartz (25 April to 1 May 2003) "Winding down or revving up?" The Boston Phoenix
  11. 'Words of the Romantics, Accompanied by Piano." The New York Times, 23 March 1992.
  12. Michael Billington (6 August 1999) "A soulful martyrdom." The Guardian.
  13. Joshua Kosman (15 December 2003) "Netrebko's voice buoys L.A. 'Lucia.'" The San Francisco Chronicle.
  14. Anthony Tommasini (3 March 2004) "A Monster From Mozart, Oozing Seductive Charm." The New York Times
  15. Martin Bernheimer (3 March 2004) "Don Giovanni/Metropolitan Opera, New York." The London Financial Times.
  16. Peter G. Davis (22 March 2004) "Shaving Crème." New York Magazine

External links[]