(showreel, short and long version, go to: schauspieler / showreel)
MH-K, writer and actor
As an actor Miguel Herz-Kestranek is still known to the public from his theatre years, but more so from his many serious and partly cabaret-type one-man-shows and from television. So far he has starred in more than 155 partly international TV and film parts. His trademark is his versatility as character actor, lover, comedian and villain.Miguel Herz-Kestranek, who after obtaining his A-levels, attended the Viennese Reinhardt seminar, where he was allowed to skip one class and graduated therefore after two years.
His theatre years started after a guest role at the Viennese Volkstheater with a student year at the Vienna Burgtheatre. Thereafter he discharged himself and went to join the Grazer Schauspielhaus, where his parts got more important and larger. During his second year in Graz he dissolved his contract and went back to Vienna. By accident he was given a leading role in a play in the Konzerthaus-Kellertheatre, which belonged to the Vienna Theatre in the Josefstadt. His colleagues at the time – also young beginners – were Karl Heinz Hackl, Rudolf Jusits, Ludwig Hirsch and many others who are todays leading actors at the theatre.
Miguel Herz-Kestranek was very successful in playing his part and was soon after engaged by the Theatre in the Josefstadt, where he remained until 1979. He acted in many leading and supporting roles in all three theatre houses until his contract was not renewed and he – this time unintentionally – was jobless out on the street. He managed to obtain an engagement at the Salzburger Festspiele in Arthur Schnitzler’s play “Das weite Land”, director: Maximilian Schell. At the Salzburger Festspiele he performed six times. (3 times in “As you like It”, director: Otto Schenk, 2 times in “Das weite Land”,director: Maximilian Schell and once in “Dantons Death”, director: Rudolf Noelte.
Essential though was that he began to give recitals, at first reading the so-called Viennese “Kaffeehausliteratur”. Although not well known to a wider audience he rented a hall at his own risk in the Viennese Palais Palffy for two nights, had posters made, which he distributed in Vienna, calculated price categories, had tickets printed and bought stamp pads, borrowed spotlights and asked friends to act as door stewards and to perform other duties. The performance sold out twice and had brilliant reviews. His second career as lecturer and being mostly his own promoter of his entertainment evenings had started.
Meanwhile television knocked on his door and Miguel Herz-Kestranek soon played many and interesting parts. In 1985 he was elected by the public in Austria’s largest newspaper to be the most popular Austrian television inspector. His breakthrough in Austria came with the part of “Magister Liguster” in the legendary ORF series: Familie Merian”. Besides Richard Burton and Vanessa Redgrave Miguel Herz-Kestranek starred in the international series “Wagner”, where he played one of the leading roles (the conductor Hans von Bülow). His television parts mainly for German television are numerous. (for an accurate part-index please see: theatre and filmroles).
As an actor Miguel Herz-Kestranek, who never neglects his writing activities, performs also as chansonnier and stars in musicals. He acts in various, partly cabaret-type one-man-shows and programs and appears as moderator and presenter. On top of that he now is in charge of organising and producing two large “Advent shows”. Here he functions as musical director as well as being responsible for acting and directing, lighting and stage design, besides playing the leading role.