When you think of German cinema, you may think of serious, dramatic actors like Christoph Waltz or Til Schweiger, or award-winning actresses like Diane Kruger or Angela Winkler. But there’s another German actress who deserves just as much attention— Claudia Michelsen. From her breakout role in Downfall to her work with directors such as Ingmar Bergman and Werner Herzog, Michelsen has enjoyed an incredibly successful acting career that has spanned over two decades and almost 100 films. Here are three reasons why Claudia Michelsen is the most versatile actress in Germany. (1) Why Claudia Michelsen is the Most Versatile Actress in Germany

Why Claudia Michelsen is the Most Versatile Actress in Germany
Why Claudia Michelsen is the Most Versatile Actress in Germany


Claudia Michelsen was born on December 4, 1975, in Freiburg im Breisgau, West Germany. Her mother worked for a theatrical producer. Claudia began her career as a stage actress and studied at Frankfurt’s Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst before returning to Freiburg to train at the Schauspielstudio Freiburg. Why Claudia Michelsen is the Most Versatile Actress in Germany


Claudia Michelsen was born on January 4, 1964, to actor Hans Christian Schmid and opera singer Margaret Price. Her paternal great-grandfather was director Max Mack, and her stepfather is actor Jan Josef Liefers. After finishing high school at The American School in London, she completed a degree in foreign languages and theater studies at Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich.


Born with Polish, Jewish, and French ancestry, Claudia Michelsen was born and raised in Berlin. She graduated from the Otto Falckenberg School of Performing Arts with a degree in acting. She has three children with her husband, filmmaker and director Herbert Achternbusch.

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Physical info

Michelsen was born in East Berlin and studied theater at Humboldt University of Berlin, studying with Anna Zaradny. Early roles include Apartment Zero (1988), for which she won a Film Award at the German Academy Awards, Generation War (2013), and In Darkness (2017).

Why Claudia Michelsen is the Most Versatile Actress in Germany
Why Claudia Michelsen is the Most Versatile Actress in Germany


In her home country of Germany, she is probably best known for her portrayal of Rosemarie Rose Weissner on the soap opera Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten, where she held a recurring role from 1994 to 2011. As an actress, it would be impossible not to mention her prowess in playing a huge range of different characters with ease and finesse – so much so that she can often be mistaken as a chameleon.


Claudia was born in Hamburg, and she grew up there and later Berlin. She trained at New York’s Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. She lived for a few years with an American family and speaks fluent English. Â In her career she has appeared on stage, radio, film and TV.

Net worth

Claudia Michelsen is a German actress who has appeared in more than eighty films since 1989. Her early success as an actress came from her ability to play both comedic and dramatic roles with equal skill. As of 2019, she’s won five European Film Awards and seven German Film Awards for her work on screen.

sweetest time

When we think of versatile actresses, German-born Claudia Michelsen often springs to mind. With an ever-expanding list of impressive credits under her belt, she’s undoubtedly carved out a name for herself as one of Europe’s most accomplished actors. But what makes Claudia so versatile? We took a look back on some of her most iconic roles to find out.

secrets of beauty

Claudia has a natural and authentic look which makes her as versatile as possible. The actress doesn’t go through multiple make-up sessions for different roles, instead she relies on hair, eyebrows, eyelashes and lipstick to transform into an entirely different character. She never opts for short hair cuts or drastic changes that would change her identity completely. ‘It’s not just about beauty,’ Claudia said in an interview with Us Weekly ‘I think it’s important to also focus on my person.’

Why Claudia Michelsen is the Most Versatile Actress in Germany
Why Claudia Michelsen is the Most Versatile Actress in Germany

first love

When you think of an actress in Germany, what do you think of? Blonde hair and pale skin? That seems to be the traditional look that everyone strives for. But then again, Claudia Michelsen manages to shatter any preconceptions about German actors or actresses with her appearance. Growing up, she was inspired by other Latin actresses like Salma Hayek, among others. And yet she does manage to keep up her German roots.

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first success

Claudia Michelsen’s first break came with a 1989 film I’m Kissing You Goodbye. This was followed by a string of roles in television and on stage, as well as supporting roles in movies. Her greatest success to date has been achieved with her TV show Weissensee (White Lake) which ran from 1990-2010.

dearest person

Claudia Michelsen was born on June 30th, 1959, to Otto and Waltraud. She attended school at Staatliches Schauspielschule Ernst Busch (The Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts) from 1979-1985.

The Secret to Success

Success comes down to a number of different things and it’s not always the same for everyone. For one, all businesses need to be built on an idea that resonates with people. You may think your idea is brilliant, but if nobody else cares about it, then what’s the point? Claudia Michelsen has built her success on making people feel passionate about ideas that are often overlooked in German cinema.

A Brief History of her Life

Claudia Michelsen was born on July 29, 1963 and raised in Hamburg. The youngest of three children, she had an athletic upbringing which supported her during her acting career. Following in the footsteps of both her mother and grandmother, she developed a love for sewing and dress-making at a young age; so much that she almost pursued it as a profession until later deciding to instead study drama at Theater School Hamburg. It was while studying here that she also began auditioning for various theater productions.

Why Claudia Michelsen is the Most Versatile Actress in Germany

A Timeline

– Born on February 24th, 1969 in Frankfurt am Main.

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– Studied at Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt am Main and was chosen for a leading role to study theater.

Her Views on the film industry

Claudia Michelsen may be best known for her role as Sonia Ulbricht, wife of Karl-Erik Ulbricht, in The Lives of Others. It was a brilliantly written, directed and acted film, which won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film and three BAFTAs.

My husband knew that I had never really desired to work outside the home, she has said of her character in the film.

How she feels about success

Despite being a well-known actress, it is not easy to be called up for every project. What happens very often when I go for an audition, Michelsen says, is that they will know me by name and my CV but then they will say they have found a better match. It’s really important to keep going.

A recent example of versatile acting

One of her most memorable performances was an award-winning portrayal of Elisabeth Schumann, a member of Hitler’s inner circle who risked her life by speaking out against his regime and died in a concentration camp. To portray this person – that would always be one of my ambitions to fulfil, she says.


What kind of work have you done? How long have you been acting for?

I started as a student on stage and cinema when I was about 18. So for about 26 years now.

What was your first big break? And what do you think you’re best known for?

My first real film experience was with Volker Schloendorff, his groundbreaking The Tin Drum which also won an Oscar back then.

By Bio Life Story Team

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