The Hörbigers were already regarded as a great Austrian acting dynasty when Christiane saw the light of day on October 13, 1938 as the second child of Attila Hörbiger and Paula Wessely and thus also the niece of Paul Hörbiger.
According to family legend, the parents did not want any of their three daughters (there was Elisabeth, born in 1936, and Maresa, born in 1945) to follow in their footsteps, but after Elisabeth, who did very soon, so as not to be reduced to family origins , took the name of her maternal grandmother, Orth, Christiane too - and eventually Maresa too, but that's another story - started trying her hand at acting.
She made her debut in 1955 in the film "The Major and the Bulls" (directed by Eduard von Borsody) alongside her father Attila, and began studying at the Max Reinhardt Seminar, which she dropped out of after less than one semester to take private lessons , especially with another acting legend, Alma Seidler (1899–1977).
After a few early appearances at the Burgtheater, including as Recha in Lessing's "Nathan the Wise" (she was not very successful on her first attempt in 1959) and numerous changing engagements throughout the German-speaking world, such as Munich, Heidelberg, again at the Burgtheater, too at the Salzburg Festival (as a love interest), from 1967 to 1985 she found a permanent second home at the Zurich Schauspielhaus.
However, Christiane Hörbiger seems to have found the true feeling of home more in films and especially since the 1980s in television series.
Her breakthrough in Germany came at the latest with the role of Countess Christine Guldenburg in the ZDF-produced family series "Das Erbe der Guldenburgs", which was first broadcast between 1987 and 1990.
Another great success was the series "Julia - An Unusual Woman", co-produced by ARD and ORF.
This ran between 1999 and 2003 on Austrian and German television.
Hörbiger plays the title role with wit and, yes, but also a bit of bitterness, judge Dr.
Julia Laubach, who dares to make a new start in the small town of Retz in the Weinviertel region of Lower Austria after severe strokes of fate,
but also there is often confronted with problems that affect her private life.
In 1983 she played the character of a Göring niece named Freya von Hepp in "Schtonk!", Helmut Dietl's satire on the publication of the forged Hitler diaries by the "Stern".
Christiane Hörbiger has repeatedly used her popularity for high-profile voluntary work.
In 2003 she was one of the founding members of the Deutsche Filmakademie eV (DFA), campaigned for human rights and against racism, had also been Austria's UNICEF ambassador since 2003 and, around 2010, campaigned for support for the German Cancer Aid.
A video authorized by her in 2019, in which she supported the then Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, contrary to the Hörbiger family tradition and her previously known convictions, caused some confusion.
She never commented on it later.
On the occasion of her eightieth birthday, she published her memoirs under the title "I am the White Clown", for example of her two marriages - 1962 to 1967 with the Austrian director Wolfgang Glück and from 1968 to 1978 with the Swiss journalist and author Rolf Robert Bigler.
Hörbiger's son Sascha Bigler came from this second marriage.
Christiane Hörbiger died this Wednesday at the age of 84 in her native city of Vienna.