Berlin film fest to honour Germany's Mueller-Stahl

Armin Mueller-Stahl, one of Germany's most internationally renowned actors, will receive an honorary Golden Bear lifetime achievement award at the 61st Berlin Film Festival, organisers said Friday.

Celebrating the 50-year career of the Oscar-nominated star, the Berlinale, which ranks among the top three European film festivals, hailed Mueller-Stahl as an "extraordinary artist."

"Today Armin Mueller-Stahl is celebrating his 80th birthday. We wish him the very best and are delighted we'll be awarding this extraordinary artist the Honorary Golden Bear ... in February," said festival director Dieter Kosslick.

Mueller-Stahl has scooped a host of screen awards during his lengthy career.

He was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actor in his role in the 1996 picture "Shine", based on the true story of Australian pianist David Helfgott.

He is also no stranger to the Berlinale, having won the Silver Bear for his performance in "Utz" in 1992 and sitting on the festival jury in 2006.

More recently, he played one of the main supporting roles in Ron Howard's thriller "Angels and Demons", starring Tom Hanks and Ewan McGregor in an adaptation of the best-selling Dan Brown novel.

Mueller-Stahl enjoyed a successful early career in communist East Germany before moving west in 1980 where he was cast in "Lola" by legendary director Werner Fassbinder.

The Berlinale runs from February 10 to 20.