Gottfried John

Gottfried John Biography

Gottfried John as General Arkady Grigorovich Ourumov in Goldeneye cast

Gottfried John was a well-known German stage, screen, and voice actor. Born in Berlin in 1942 during World War II, he and his mother were evacuated to East Prussia.

Growing up with his single mother, John was moved in and out of various protectories and after fleeing from one when he was 15, he returned to his mother who was living in Paris. In Paris, he earned a living as a pavement artist and construction worker before returning to Berlin in 1960 to pursue acting.

Gottfried John’s acting career began with several uncredited roles in films and TV shows, including Café Oriental (1962) and Das Mädchen und der Staatsanwalt (1962). He went on to star in Jaider, der einsame Jäger (1971) as Jaider and Carlos (1971) as Carlos. His biggest break in English-language movies came with his portrayal of General Ourumov in the James Bond film GoldenEye (1995).


John was also known for his role as Reinhold in the mini-series Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980) directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. He went on to appear in Aghet – Ein Völkermord (2010) as General Kress von Kressenstein, Life Is Too Long (2010) as Georg Maria Stahl, Die Löwin (2012) as Jo, Liebe und Tod auf Java (2013) as Dr. Jan Kersebohm, and his final film role in Ruby Red (2013) as Dr. White.

Gottifried John lived in Kelmis, Belgium for many years near the border to Aachen before moving to Utting am Ammersee near Munich with his wife in 2008. He passed away on September 1, 2014 in Utting am Ammersee at the age of 72 due to cancer.