Cornelius Obonya was born on March 29th, 1969 in Vienna, Austria. His parents are Elisabeth Orth-Obonya and Hanns Obonya (died 1978), his grandparents on his mother´s side were Paula Wessely and Attila Hörbiger, on his father´s side Marianne and Alois Obonya. He is married to Carolin Pienkos and father of their son Attila.
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 „Newcomer Karl-Skraup-Preis“ 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. 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 starred 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-performance, „Cordoba – das Rückspiel“ by Florian Scheuba und Rupert Henning (who also directed) at the Rabenhof Theater in Vienna. For this he received the "Salzburger Stier 2010" and a nomination for the "Spezialpreis des Nestroy-Preises 2010“. He became „Schauspieler des Jahres“ (Actor of the year) 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 of Belgium´s „Need-Company“ and "Menschenfeind" in the Burgtheater´s long running production of "Der Alpenkönig und der Menschenfeind" by Ferdinand Raimund directed by Michael Schachermaier. For this performance he received the „Raimund-Ring“ (Austrian theatre-award) in 2012. The saison of 2012 und 2013 started his co-orperation with Stadttheater Walfischgasse, where he starred 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. Again at the Salzburg festival he starred as "Monsieur Jourdain" in "Ariadne auf Naxos" by Richard Strauss in 2012. From the summer-saisons of 2013 to 2016 Cornelius Obonya was „Jedermann“ at the Salzburg festival.
He also played in countless TV-Productiuons, as there were criminal-series „Tatort" and „Soko Kitzbühel“, and he played in productions like "Polt" und "Die Hebamme“. The latest performances on screen saw Cornelius Obonya, as „The Policeman“ in „Spanien“ by Anja Salomonowitz and in „The Trapp-Family - A Life for Music“ by Ben Verbong wich can be seen in German and Austrian cinemas since 5th of October 2015. US/UK premieres planned for 2016/17. In 2019 he played „Thomas Wies“ in „Adults in the Room“ by Costa-Gavras.
Cornelius also works as Opera-Director together with his wife, having done the first ever production of The Bat (Die Fledermaus) by Joh. Strauß at Teatro alla Scala in Milan in 2018 and The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte) at the opera festival Oper im Steinbruch in Austria in 2019.
Cornelius Obonya was born on March 29th, 1969 in Vienna, 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.
He visited primary school in Hietzing, Vienna and grammar school in the Schottenstift, Kollegium Kalksburg and the BORG III. After leaving school 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. His further path led him as "Jedermann" to the Salzburg Festival and to numerous German and Austrian productions in film and television. For example with "Tatort" or with "Adults In The Room" directed by Costa-Gavras at the Venice Film Festival.Cornelius Obonya is married to the director Carolin Pienkos, and father of their son Attila.
Since 2020 Cornelius Obonya has been President of "Aktion". He took over this voluntary work as the successor to Ksch. Elisabeth Orth and her predecessor Dr. Erika Weinzierl.
In 2020, Cornelius Obonya wrote and recorded "Thoughts for the day" on ORF-Radio Austria 1 (Ö1) on the subject of migration.