Eric Braeden

Birth Name: Hans Jörg Gudegast
Birth Place: Kiel, Germany


Born Hans-Jörg Gudegast on April 3, 1941, in Kiel, Braeden grew up in nearby Bredenbek, Germany. As a high school student-athlete, his wins in discus, javelin, and shot-put contributed to his team winning the National German Youth Championship.

Leaving his native Germany, Braeden emigrated to the US in 1959. He settled in Texas, where a cousin found him work as a translator. After a few months, he left for Montana, to work on the ranch of a fellow German ex-pat.

He earned a partial athletic scholarship to the University of Montana (then Montana State University) and worked part-time at a lumber mill. It was in Montana where Braeden met Bob McKinnon.

No long after, McKinnon convinced him to join a sponsored motorboat trip up and down the treacherous Salmon River. The idea was to film a documentary of the journey and take it to California.

While Life magazine showed interest, the duo missed the publication’s deadline. They took their finished product, The Riverbusters, on the L.A. talk show circuit.

Braeden decided to remain in California and worked odd jobs at restaurants while studying Political Science at Santa Monica State, which is where he met and fell in love with his future wife. He began working in TV and film and a few years later, the professional became a full-fledged actor.

Fast Facts

  • Born Hans Gudegast in Kiel, Germany. His Americanized stage name was derived from the German town where he grew up, Bredenbek.
  • Played on a 1972-73 Los Angeles-based semi-pro soccer team.
  • Landed roles as Germans in a number of World War II series and movies, including Captain Dietrich in ABC’s The Rat Patrol.
  • Portrayed millionaire John Jacob Astor in James Cameron’s Titanic.
  • Had multiple Daytime Emmy nominations for his work as Victor Newman on The Young and the Restless and won in 1998.
  • Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007.
  • In 1987, he was appointed, along with Henry Kissinger, Paul Volker, Steffi Graf, Alexander Haig, and Katherine Graham, to the German-American Advisory Board.
  • In 1991 received the Federal Medal of Honor from the president of his native land, Germany.
  • Got into a minor Twitter war of words with Neil Patrick Harris in 2010 after Harris bashed Braeden about pulling out of a role on How I Met Your Mother.


  • Wilhelm Gudegast — Father
  • Matilde Gudegast — Mother
  • Dale Gudegast — Wife
  • Christian Gudegast — Son


Eric Braeden had 19 years of film and television roles under his belt by the time he took on the role of businessman Victor Newman on The Young and the Restless in 1980, but it was because of the role Braeden reached a larger audience.

Dating back to 1961, as Hans Gudegast, Braeden started on Operation Eichmann, followed by classics 77 Sunset Strip, The Rat Patrol, Combat!, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Mission Impossible, Mannix, McCloud, The Six Million Dollar Man, Gunsmoke, How The West Was Won, CHiPS, Vegas$ and Wonder Woman.

In recent years, Eric has done double duty and added an epic turn as John Astor in the Oscar-winning Titanic, numerous TV credits and produced and starred in The Man Who Came Back.

Eric BraedenPhotos

Actor (30 Credits)

Title Role Year

The Young and the Restless (TV Show)

10-27-2017 — 2017
10-26-2017 — 2017
10-25-2017 — 2017

Victor Newman 2017

How I Met Your Mother (TV Show)

Happily Ever After — 2008

Robin Sr. 2008

Hope & Faith (TV Show)

Daytime Emmys — 2004
Daytime Emmys — 2004
Daytime Emmys — 2004

Lance Taylor 2004

Meet The Deedles (Movie)

Elton Deedle 1998

Titanic (Movie)

John Jacob Astor 1997

The Ambulance (Movie)

Doctor 1993

Airwolf (TV Show)

Birds of Paradise — 1986

Nick Kincaid 1986

Charlie's Angels (TV Show)

Attack Angels — 1981

Reardon 1981

A Man Called Sloane (TV Show)

Collision Course — 1979

Crane 1979

CHiPs (TV Show)

Mait Team — 1979

Sen. Larwin 1979

Wonder Woman (TV Show)

The Skateboard Wiz — 1978

Donelson 1978

Kojak (TV Show)

When You Hear the Beep, Drop Dead — 1977

Krug 1977

Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo (Movie)

Bruno Von Stickle 1977

Cannon (TV Show)

The Quasar Kill — 1976

Karl Bruckner 1976

The Mary Tyler Moore Show (TV Show)

Critic — 1976

Karl Heller 1976

Marcus Welby, M.D. (TV Show)

A Fevered Angel — 1974
In Sickness and in Health — 1972

Goodleigh 1972 - 1974

Gunsmoke (TV Show)

The Iron Blood of Courage — 1974
The Bullet — 1971
The Bullet — 1971

Talley 1971 - 1974

Banacek (TV Show)

The Vanishing Chalice — 1974

Bolitho 1974

The Ultimate Thrill (Movie)

Roland 1974

Hawaii Five-0 (TV Show)

The Diamond That Nobody Stole — 1973
The Second Shot — 1970
A Bullet for McGarrett

Djebara 1970 - 1973

McCloud (TV Show)

The Million Dollar Round Up — 1973

Ravic 1973

Lady Ice (Movie)

Peter Brinker 1973

The Adultress (Movie)

Hank Baron 1973

Mannix (TV Show)

Woman in the Shadows — 1971

Grunyev 1971

Escape From The Planet Of The Apes (Movie)

Dr. Otto Hasslein 1971

Colossus: The Forbin Project (Movie)

Dr. Charles Forbin 1970

100 Rifles (Movie)

Von Klemme 1969

Dayton's Devils (Movie)

Max Eckhart 1968

Morituri (Movie)

Radio Operator 1965

Operation Eichmann (Movie)

Klaus 1961

Remarks by (3 Credits)

Title Role Year

Soapography (TV Show)

Catherine Hickland & Eric Braeden — 2005


Star! Close-Up (TV Show)

Jason Priestley; Eric Braeden — 2004


Intimate Portrait (TV Show)

Melody Thomas Scott — 2002


Guest (13 Credits)

Title Role Year

Between the Lines with Barry Kibrick (TV Show)

Eric Braeden - I'll Be Damned — 2017


CBS This Morning (TV Show)

04-17-2017 — 2017


The Marilyn Denis Show (TV Show)

MDS-S7-118 — 2017
The Marilyn Denis Show — 2011

2011 - 2017

Tavis Smiley (TV Show)

Eric Braeden — 2017
Tavis Smiley — 2009
Tavis Smiley — 2007

2007 - 2017

The Talk (TV Show)

The Talk — 2017
The Talk — 2012
The Talk — 2011

2011 - 2017

OK! TV (TV Show)

OK! TV — 2014


Home & Family (TV Show)

Home & Family — 2013


The Queen Latifah Show (TV Show)

Alyson Hannigan, Chef Charles Phoenix, and Eric Braeden — 2013


Euromaxx (TV Show)

Euromaxx — 2008


Daytime Emmy Awards (TV Show)

Wayne Brady (TV Show)

Wayne Brady — 2003


Celebrity Homes (TV Show)

Lisa Guerrero; Celebrity Artists — 2003


Politically Incorrect (TV Show)

Politically Incorrect — 2002
Politically Incorrect — 2000

2000 - 2002

Appearing (3 Credits)

Title Role Year

etalk (TV Show)

03212017 — 2017


"The Young and the Restless" On-Set (TV Show)

What's on DVD (TV Show)

What's on DVD — 2009


Subject (person only) (1 Credit)

Title Role Year

Star! Close-Up (TV Show)

Eric Braeden — 2003