He played Dr. Anton Walter in Within the Whirlwind alongside Emily Watson. In 2009, he won the Deutscher Filmpreis Award for Best Leading Actor for his role in John Rabe.
He was a member of the dance band Ulrich Tukur & the Rhythmus Boys.
He was in the critically acclaimed film, The White Ribbon.
He had two children with Katharina John, whom he married in 2003.
He played Gibarian in the science fiction film Solaris, which starred George Clooney.