Eric Braeden (born Hans Jörg Gudegast on April 3, 1941) is an Emmy Award-winning German and American film and TV actor, best known for his role as Victor Newman on The Young and the Restless.
Gudegast was born in Bredenbek, Germany (near Kiel), where his father was once mayor, and emigrated to the U.S. in 1959. While an American citizen, he also considers himself a loyal citizen of Germany, and holds dual citizenship. Braeden has been awarded many German civics awards.
He accumulated many TV and film credits during his first two decades in America, most notably a role on the TV series The Rat Patrol (1966-1968), as well as a starring role in the movie Colossus: The Forbidden Project (1970), in which he first took the stage name of Eric Braeden, and a supporting role in 1971's Escape from thePlanet of the Apes.
He was also kept busy during the early 1970s in a variety of guest starring roles in such TV series as The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Wonder Woman.
In 1980, he was offered the role of self-made magnate Victor Newman on The Young and the Restless for a 26-week run.
Upon imprisoning his wife's lover, the character became a classic love-to-hate soap opera villain, and his contract was renewed. Still on the show today, Braeden won a Daytime Emmy for his work in 1998.
In late December 1991, Eric Braeden and Peter Bergman had an altercation backstage. According to reports, after exchanging bitter words onset, Braeden showed up at Bergman's dressing room door to further discuss the matter and violence ensued.
Since then, the actors have resolved their differences and now enjoy a cordial relationship.
In 1997, he played Colonel John Jacob Astor IV in the blockbuster film Titanic.
During the early 1970s, Braeden appeared as a guest star in several episodes of the CBS western Gunsmoke.
His current project, The Man Who Came Back, an independent Western film of double-cross and revenge, is written and directed by Louisiana's own Glen Pitre.
This project will require him to exercise an out clause in his contract with The Young and the Restless. He will be off the show temporarily for 5-6 weeks in the Summer of 2007.
On July 20, 2007, he will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.