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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 4 March, 2003, 12:12 GMT
Magnificent Seven actor dies
Horst Buchholz in 1996
Buchholz compared actors to whores
Horst Buchholz, who starred in the classic western film The Magnificent Seven, has died of pneumonia in Berlin, aged 69.

He was known as Germany's James Dean for playing rebellious teenagers.

His last major role was as a Nazi doctor in Roberto Benigni's 1997 Oscar-winning film Life is Beautiful.

Buchholz died on Monday at the Charite hospital, a spokesman said.

He suffered a broken thigh in December and was released from hospital in February.

Horst Buchholz
He played a communist in Wilder's film One, Two, Three, set in his native Berlin
Buchholz was born in Berlin's working class Prenzlauer Berg district on 4 December 1933, the son of a shoemaker killed in World War II.

He dropped out of school early to take acting lessons and began a successful theatre career in the German capital.

In the 1950s, he established himself as a film actor and played his most famous role in The Magnificent Seven in 1960.

The array of co-stars included Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen and James Coburn.

'First German accepted'

He spent several years in Hollywood in the early 1960s and made films in France, Spain, Italy and Britain.

Buchholz also found international acclaim with Billy Wilder's 1961 comedy One, Two, Three.

His distinct voice also dubbed more than 1,000 imported films.

Horst Buchholz and Myriam Bru
Buchholz was married for 44 years
The Die Welt newspaper said: "Horst Buchholz was the first German actor that the world outside accepted after the war, treating him with mercy for being born late enough not to have anything to do with it."

In Life is Beautiful, Buchholz played the grey-haired Dr Lessing, who develops a friendship with a Jewish waiter in Italy.

But he does nothing to stop the mass murder when they meet again in a concentration camp.

Buchholz worked with top actors such as Romy Schneider, Heinz Ruemann and Peter Falk, plus director Wim Wenders.

He once said: "We actors are like whores - for a good film I'm the world's biggest whore."

He is survived by his wife of 44 years, former actress Myriam Bru, and two children.

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