A familiar face in German television productions since the late 1980s, Michael Mendl has blossomed into a critically acclaimed actor, especially after co-starring in the Oscar-nominated "Downfall. " In that 2004 drama, which told the final days of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, he played General Helmuth Weidling, who in real life led the defense of Berlin against Soviet forces during World War II. One of the actor's best scenes as Weidling involves being called to Hitler's bunker; the character believes he is about to be executed, but, much to his disappointment, is given command of the Berlin Defense Area. Around this time, Mendl also portrayed German chancellor Willy Brandt in the television movie "In the Shadow of Power," which chronicled the politician's final days. Although there are some physical differences between the two men's faces, both Mendl and Brandt share a similarly distinguished quality. For his work in the film, Mendl received an important German acting award, his first in his homeland. Meanwhile, after the success of "Downfall," one of his subsequent roles was in the adventure flick "Lost City Raiders," which featured international stars James Brolin and Ian Somerhalder.