Famous German Film & Theater Personalities

Pick up any field randomly and you shall have a swarm of Germans who have contributed significantly to it. Be it as scholars or scientists, writer or artists, leaders or sportsperson, Germans would truly rank amongst the top ten. As such, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Germany has played an instrumental role in world history primarily because of its talented and outstandingly brilliant nationals. However, that is not all. Germans have contributed significantly as film and theatre artists as well. They have redefined the meaning of entertainment and left an indelible mark on films, theatre and television with their artistic brilliance. German artists have been working at different capacities in film and theatre production, as actors, directors, producers, artists, cameraman, cinematographer, choreographer, and action director. Some of them have even made their presence felt in Hollywood such as Maximilian Schell, Horst Buchholz, Christoph Waltz, Til Schweiger, Marlene Dietrich, Franka Potente, Diane Kruger and so on. Browse through section and find out more about famous German film and theatre personalities.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite German Film & Theater Personalities

 1 Bruce Willis

Bruce Willis.
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 19, 1955
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Idar-Oberstein, Germany

Actor and film producer, Bruce Willis, began his career on the off-Broadway stage in the 1970s. In his youth, he was widely regarded as an action hero following his portrayal of John McClane in the Die Hard franchise. Currently, he plays character roles. He is also a singer and has released a few albums.

 2 Michael Fassbender

Michael Fassbender.
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 2, 1977
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Heidelberg, Germany

Michael Fassbender is a critically-acclaimed Irish-German actor best known for playing a sex addict in the psychological erotic drama film Shame. Apart from being an actor, Michael is also a well-known racing driver; he started his auto racing career in 2017 and currently races for Proton Competition in the European Le Mans Series.

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 3 Kirsten Dunst

Kirsten Dunst.
10
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 30, 1982
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Point Pleasant, New Jersey, United States

Actress Kirsten Dunst gained recognition for her performance in the 1994 horror film Interview with the Vampire. Later she attained more fame when she acted in the Spiderman, its sequels Spiderman 2 and Spiderman 3. The Virgin Suicides, Elizabethtown, Marie Antoinette, Melancholia and The Beguiled are some of her other notable films. She has also acted in television series like Fargo.

 4 Marlene Dietrich

Marlene Dietrich.
4
Famous As: Actress & Singer
Birthdate: December 27, 1901
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Schöneberg
Died: May 6, 1992
Marlene Dietrich initially performed on stage in Berlin and then shot to fame with The Blue Angel. She continued to rule Hollywood with films such as Morocco, Desire, and Shanghai Express. She helped German and French exiles during World War II. Openly bisexual, she was famous for her androgynous image.

 5 Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog.
4
Famous As: Actor, Director
Birthdate: September 5, 1942
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Munich
Werner Herzog, one of the prominent figures of the New German Cinema era, has directed films such as Fitzcarraldo and Aguirre, and documentaries such as Grizzly Man. Named to TIME 100, he has written countless books and directed many operas. He was also seen playing The Client in The Mandalorian.

 6 Zazie Beetz

Zazie Beetz.
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 25, 1991
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Mitte, Berlin, Germany

German-American actress, Zazie Beetz, is best known for her role in the FX comedy-drama series Atlanta. She became interested in acting while in high school and appeared in many community theater productions. She began her career with small roles in short films and established herself as a popular TV actress in a few years.

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 7 Alexander Dreymon

Alexander Dreymon.
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 7, 1983
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Germany
Alexander Dreymon is best known for portraying Uhtred of Bebbanburg in The Last Kingdom and Luke Ramsey in American Horror Story: Coven. He has also been seen as Steiner in the war movie Resistance. He is trained in martial arts and is a polyglot who speaks German, English, and French.
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 8 Daniel Brühl

Daniel Brühl
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 16, 1978
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Barcelona, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Spanish-German actor Daniel Brühl began his career with the soap Verbotene Liebe. Raised trilingual, he is now fluent in six languages. Hollywood knows him best as Fredrick Zoller from Inglourious Basterds, while he first made waves with the German film Good Bye, Lenin! He later co-owned two bars.

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 9 Pia Wurtzbach

Pia Wurtzbach.
4
Famous As: Model, Actress
Birthdate: September 24, 1989
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Stuttgart, Germany

Pia Wurtzbach is a Filipino-German beauty queen who participated in the 64th Miss Universe pageant where she was crowned Miss Universe 2015. Wurtzbach is also a model, actress, and TV personality; she had to quit her showbusiness career temporarily to participate in the beauty pageant. She is also an advocate for gender equality and works towards raising awareness of HIV.

 10 LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton
7
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 16, 1957
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Landstuhl, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany

 11 Claudia Schiffer

Claudia Schiffer.
3
Famous As: Model
Birthdate: August 25, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rheinberg, Germany
In 2020, Claudia Schiffer stunned fans with an Instagram picture in a lacy blue gown on her 50th birthday, looking not any less desirable than a 20-something. The German model had earlier soared to fame as the face of Chanel and has graced the cover of American Vogue 16 times.

 12 Sibel Kekilli

Sibel Kekilli
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 16, 1980
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Heilbronn, Germany

Two-time Lola Award-winning German actor Sibel Kekilli is best known to international audiences as Shae from the iconic HBO series Game of Thrones. The Turkish-origin actor took up many odd jobs, working as a porn actor and a waitress, before stepping into mainstream movies and tasting success with Head-On.

 13 Nico

Nico.
3
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: October 16, 1938
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cologne
Died: July 18, 1988

Nico was a German musician, singer, and songwriter. Her work continues to serve as an inspiration to several musicians like Björk, Morrissey, and the English rock band The Cure. In 2017, Susanna Nicchiarelli directed Nico's biographical film titled Nico, 1988. Also an actress, Nico appeared in many films, including Andy Warhol's experimental underground film Chelsea Girls.

 14 Anne Buydens

Anne Buydens.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 23, 1919
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hanover, Germany

Anne Buydens is a philanthropist and film producer. She is best known for her 65-year-marriage with American actor Kirk Douglas. A cancer survivor, Anne Buydens works towards raising money for cancer research. She is credited with establishing Research for Women's Cancers, which raised money to help set up a research facility in Los Angeles.

 15 Heidi Klum

Heidi Klum.
5
Famous As: Model, Fashion Designer
Birthdate: June 1, 1973
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bergisch Gladbach, West Germany

German-American model and TV host, Heidi Klum has been featured on the cover of French, Portuguese, German, and Spanish Vogue magazines. She was the first German model to become a Victoria's Secret Angel. After a successful modeling career, she became a TV host in the 2000s. She is actively involved in philanthropic endeavors. 

 16 Franka Potente

Franka Potente
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 22, 1974
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Münster, Germany

Franka Potente is a German actress who took the entertainment world by storm with her performance in her debut film, After Five in the Forest Primeval, for which she won a Bavarian Film Award for Best Young Actress. After establishing herself in her native country, she moved on to Hollywood, appearing in multiple popular films. 

 17 Audra McDonald

Audra McDonald
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 3, 1970
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany

Audra McDonald is a singer and actress primarily known for her work on the Broadway stage. She has appeared in multiple musicals, operas, and dramas and is the recipient of six Tony Awards. She is a classically trained soprano and has performed with the Los Angeles Opera. She has also acted in many TV shows and films. 

 18 Arón Piper

Arón Piper.
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 29, 1997
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany

Arón Piper is a German-Spanish actor best known for his portrayal of Ander Muñoz in the Spanish thriller teen drama series, Elite. Apart from being an actor, Piper is also a musician. He joined hands with several other musicians to release a single titled Sigo. In 2020, he released another song titled Rosé.

 19 Daniel Tosh

Daniel Tosh
4
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: May 29, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Boppard, Rhineland-Palatinate, West Germany[2]

 20 Evel Knievel

Evel Knievel
4
Famous As: Stunt performer
Birthdate: October 17, 1938
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Butte, Montana, USA
Died: November 30, 2007

Evel Knievel was an entertainer and stunt performer. He attempted more than 75 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps in his career, a feat that gained him much popularity. In 1999, he was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame. He was known to be a man of values and actively preached anti-drug messages to youngsters. He also campaigned for motorcycle helmet safety. 

 21 Elisabeth Rohm

Elisabeth Rohm.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 28, 1973
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Düsseldorf, Germany
Elisabeth Röhm is best known as Kate Lockley from Angel and as Serena Southerlyn from Law & Order. Fans also loved in movies such as American Hustle. She was named to Maxim’s Hot 100 in 2002 and was also a skilled horseback rider earlier but quit it after an accident.

 22 Leni Riefenstahl

Leni Riefenstahl
3
Famous As: Film Director
Birthdate: August 22, 1902
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: September 8, 2003

 23 Benedikt Negro

Benedikt Negro
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Xanten, Germany

 24 Roland Emmerich

Roland Emmerich.
3
Famous As: Film Director, Screenwriter
Birthdate: November 10, 1955
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Stuttgart, Germany
German director/producer Roland Emmerich is best known for his blockbuster disaster/war films such as The Day After Tomorrow, Independence Day, Godzilla, and The Patriot. The LGBT activist is also openly gay. He is also an avid art collector. He has also worked for women’s rights and environmental causes.

 25 Nastassja Kinski

Nastassja Kinski.
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 24, 1961
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany

Nastassja Kinski is a German actress who played a major role in the success of several European and American films throughout the 1980s and 1990s. One of the most popular German sex symbols of her generation, Kinski appeared in erotic films like Cat People. She is also renowned for her much-publicized personal life, which includes her relationship with Roman Polanski.

 26 Q'orianka Kilcher

Q'orianka Kilcher
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 11, 1990
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Schweigmatt, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

 27 Kim Raver

Kim Raver.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 15, 1969
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, New York
Kim Raver is best known as Dr. Teddy Altman from Grey's Anatomy. She has also appeared as Kim Zambrano in Third Watch, Nico Reilly in Lipstick Jungle, and Audrey Raines in 24. She has also appeared in the film Night at the Museum and voiced Captain Marvel in Marvel Rising.

 28 Klaus Kinski

Klaus Kinski
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 18, 1926
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sopot, Poland
Died: November 23, 1991

 29 Cress Williams

Cress Williams.
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 26, 1970
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Heidelberg, Germany

Cress Williams is an American actor known for his portrayal of Terrence Williams in the popular television series, Living Single. Williams struck a deal with DC Entertainment in 2018 to play Jefferson Pierce / Black Lightning in the TV series Black Lightning. He is expected to play the role in future DC Entertainment movies and series featuring Black Lightning.

 30 Thomas Kretschmann

Thomas Kretschmann
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 8, 1962
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dessau, Dessau-Roßlau, Germany

 31 Annette Schwarz

Annette Schwarz
3
Famous As: Adult Film Star, Fetish model, Glamour model, Model
Birthdate: March 26, 1984
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Rhineland-Palatinate

Born in Germany, Annette Schwarz studied in all-girls school in France and then moved to Munich as an aspiring surgical nurse. However, after spotting an ad for the porn company GGG, she stepped into the adult movie industry at age 18. She has won porn awards including the AVN Award.

 32 Shawn Bradley

Shawn Bradley
3
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: March 22, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Landstuhl, West Germany

 33 Brittney Powell

Brittney Powell.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 4, 1972
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Würzburg
Best known for her relationship with the late pint-sized actor Verne Troyer of Austin Powers fame, Brittney Powell gained popularity with Celebrity Wife-Swap. She has also appeared in single-episode or cameo roles in a number of series, such as Friends and Titans. She has a son from a previous marriage.

 34 Helena Zengel

Helena Zengel
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 10, 2008
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany

When German actor Helena Zengel won the Lola Award for the Best Actress for System Crasher, she became the youngest performer to achieve the feat. She has also appeared with Tom Hanks in News of the World and earned a Golden Globe nomination for it.

 35 Mike Vrabel

Mike Vrabel
3
Famous As: American football coach
Birthdate: August 14, 1975
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Akron, Ohio, USA

 36 Toni Garrn

Toni Garrn.
3
Famous As: Model
Birthdate: July 7, 1992
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
German model/actor Toni Garrn gained recognition after signing with Calvin Klein and then modeled for Victoria's Secret. She played Reeva Steenkamp in Oscar Pistorius: Blade Runner Killer and also appeared in Spider-Man: Far from Home. An avid philanthropist, she is associated with the Because I Am a Girl campaign.

 37 Otto von Habsburg

Otto von Habsburg
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: November 20, 1912
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Reichenau an der Rax
Died: July 4, 2011

 38 Briana Banks

Briana Banks
5
Famous As: Adult Film Star, Glamour model, Model
Birthdate: May 21, 1978
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Munich

Briana Banks is a German American adult actress and model. Born in Germany, she later moved to USA where she began her career as a model. She eventually ventured into pornography and appeared in many popular adult videos. She was also featured in the cable TV series Vivid Valley. She was inducted into the XRCO Hall of Fame in 2016.  

 39 Sheryl Lee

Sheryl Lee
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 22, 1967
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany

 40 Luise Rainer

Luise Rainer.
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 12, 1910
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Düsseldorf, Germany
Died: December 30, 2014

Luise Rainer, the first actor to win consecutive Academy Awards, had decided to make a career as an actor after watching a circus performance at age 6. A prominent stage actor in Germany, she secured an MGM movie deal and move to the U.S. during the Nazi regime.

 41 Florence Kasumba

Florence Kasumba.
3
Birthdate: October 26, 1976
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kampala, Uganda

Ugandan-born German actor Florence Kasumba is best known as Ayo from the Marvel films. Apart from voicing Shenzi in the 2019 version of The Lion King, she has also appeared in Wonder Woman. The multilingual actor was first inspired to join the entertainment industry after watching a musical at 12.

 42 Tom Wlaschiha

Tom Wlaschiha
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 20, 1973
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dohna, Germany

 43 Uwe Boll

Uwe Boll.
5
Famous As: Restaurateur
Birthdate: June 22, 1965
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wermelskirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia, West Germany
German filmmaker Uwe Boll has faced a lot of backlash for his supposedly poor-quality films, many of which have been crowdfunded. The Golden Raspberry Award-winning director has now moved on to the restaurant business and has also inspired the documentary F*** You All: The Uwe Boll Story

 44 Lisa Vicari

Lisa Vicari
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 11, 1997
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Munich, Bavaria, German

 45 Heike Makatsch

Heike Makatsch
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 13, 1971
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Düsseldorf, Germany

The daughter of former German ice-hockey player Rainer Makatsch, Heike Makatsch initially apprenticed as a dressmaker. She began her entertainment career hosting shows such as Interaktiv. She later appeared in movies such as Love Actually and Am I Beautiful? She also earned an Emmy nomination for Margarete Steiff.

 46 F. W. Murnau

F. W. Murnau
2
Famous As: Film director
Birthdate: December 28, 1888
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bielefeld, Germany
Died: March 11, 1931

 47 Flula Borg

Flula Borg.
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 28, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Erlangen, West Germany

Flula Borg is a German actor, comedian, musician, DJ, and YouTube personality. Despite being a German, Borg has managed to establish himself in the American film and TV industry; he has appeared in films like Pitch Perfect 2 and Bad Therapy. Popular on social media, Flula Borg was named in The Hollywood Reporter magazine's Top 25 Digital Stars list in 2015.

 48 Edda Göring

Edda Göring.
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: June 2, 1938
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: December 21, 2018
Edda Göring was the only child of Nazi Party member Hermann Göring and actor Emmy Sonnemann. She grew up amidst luxury and received expensive art as gifts as a child, one of which, a painting of Madonna and Child by Lucas Cranach the Elder, dragged her into legal disputes.

 49 Til Schweiger

Til Schweiger
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 19, 1963
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany

 50 Ernst Lubitsch

Ernst Lubitsch
2
Famous As: Film director, Actor, Screenwriter, Film producer, Writer, Film editor
Birthdate: January 29, 1892
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Berlin
Died: November 30, 1947