Cornelius Obonya was born on March 29th, 1969 in Veinna, Austria. His parents are Elisabeth Orth-Obonya and Hanns Obonya (died 1978), his grandparents on my mother´s side were Paula Wessely and Attila Hörbiger, on his father´s side Marianne and Alois Obonya.
At the age of 17, he joined the Max-Reinhardt-Seminar to study acting, left it after one year and worked with Gerhard Bronner. Bronner was one of the important people in his professional and private life , like Emmy Werner, former managing director of the Volkstheater Wien and Andrea Breth with whom he worked for many years at the Schaubühne Berlin and at the Burgtheater Wien.
For his first role at the Volkstheater in Neil Simons „„Brighton Beach Memoirs“, he received the Nachwuchspreis des Karl-Skraup-Preises and one year later, the O.-E.-Hasse-Preis. With Andrea Breth he worked at the Berliner Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz (1992–1999), at the Burgtheater from 2000 on, he played in Edward Bond´s „The Sea“ (Hollarcut), Lessing´s „Emilia Galotti“ (Pirro), Schillers „Don Carlos“ (Domingo), Cechow´s „The Cherrygarden“ (Trofimow), Tennessee Williams’ „Cat on a hot tin roof“ (Gooper) und Lessing´s „Minna von Barnhelm“ (Paul Werner). In Andrea Breths ´direction of Schnitzler´s „Das weite Land“ ´in 2002 as Paul Kreindl he gave his debut at the Salzburg festival. And there he starred as "Monsieur Jourdain" in "Ariadne auf Naxos" by Richard Strauss in 2012.
At the Burgtheater Cornelius Obonya also played in the direction of Peter Zadek, Sven-Eric Bechtolf, Karin Beier, Carolin Pienkos, Anselm Weber, Stefan Bachmann and Falk Richter.
Further more Cornelius Obonya played at the Theater in der Josefstadt where he starrer in 2009/10 the „Lehrer“ in a dramatisation of Horváths „Yuth without a God“ by Christopher Hampton and in the Ronacher, where he starred as „Max Bialystock“ 2008/09 in the famous Mel-Brooks-Musical „The Producers“. With this production he had performances at the Berliner Admiralspalast. A huge success came in 2010/11 with a solo-programe, „Cordoba – das Rückspiel“ by Florian Scheuba und Rupert Henning (who also directed) at the Rabenhof Theater in Vienna. For theis he received the "Salzburger Stier 2010" and a nomination for the "Spezialpreis des Nestroy-Preises 2010“. He became „Schauspieler des Jahres" of Ö1 of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation. After this, in 2011/12, he played again at the Burgtheater, "Caligula" by Albert Camus, directed by Jan Lauwers and "Menschenfeind" in "Der Alpenkönig und der Menschenfeind" by Ferdinand Raimund directed by Michael Schachermaier.
The saison of 2012 und 2013 started his co-orperation with Stadttheater Walfischgasse, where he starrer as " Andrew Wake" in „Revenge/Sleuth" by Anthony Shaffer , at his side was Rupert Henning. The play was directed by Carolin Pienkos. She also directed the premiere of "C(r)sah", written by Rupert Henning, "Leroy Brooks" was his part here. In the summer-saisons 2013 - 2016 Cornelius Obonya was „Jedermann“ at the Salzburg festival.
The latest performances on screen saw Cornelius Obonya, as "Konrad" in "The Trapp Family - a life of music" . He also played in countless TV-Productiuons, as there were criminal-series „Tatort" and „CopStories“, Lars becker´s "Nachtschicht" and he played in productions like "Polt" und "Die Hebamme".
(c) Katharina Schiffl