Jürgen Prochnow ([IPA: 'jʏɐgən 'pʀɔxnoː]; born June 10, 1941) is a German actor. His most well-known roles internationally have been as the submarine captain (based on Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock) in Das Boot (1981), Duke Leto Atreides in Dune and the villain Maxwell Dent in Beverly Hills Cop II.
Prochnow was born in Berlin and raised in Düsseldorf, the son of an engineer. He has an older brother, Dieter. He studied acting at the Folkwang Academy in Essen. Thanks to his on-screen intensity and his fluency in English, he has become one of the most successful German actors in Hollywood. He portrayed Arnold Schwarzenegger in a film about the actor's political career in California, entitled See Arnold Run; coincidentally, Prochnow was one of the actors considered for the titular role in The Terminator. He also appears as the main antagonist in the Broken Lizard film Beerfest, which contains a submarine scene that references his role in Das Boot.
He was facially scarred (first- and second-degree burns) following a stunt accident during the filming of Dune. One scene called for Duke Leto (Prochnow) to be strapped to a black stretcher and drugged. During one take, a high-powered bulb positioned above Prochnow exploded due to heat, raining down molten glass. Remarkably, the actor was able to free himself from the stretcher, moments before glass fused itself to the place he had been strapped. During the filming of the dream sequence, he had a special apparatus attached to his face so that green smoke (simulating poison gas) would emerge from his cheek when the Baron scratched it. Although thoroughly tested, the smoke gave Prochnow first- and second-degree burns on his cheek. This sequence appears on film in the released version.
1985 Bavarian Film Awards, Best Actor