An aspiring ballerina, Diane Kruger, turned towards modelling after an injury and eventually made her way into the world of acting. The German-American actress bagged limelight with the movie Troy and later cemented her position with an acclaimed film performance in Inglourious Basterds. Her other notable works include drama series The Bridge and movies National Treasure and In the Fade.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
11 Heidi Klum
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.
Leni Riefenstahl was a German film director and actress best remembered for her role in producing Nazi propaganda. She made her directorial debut in 1932, becoming one of the few women to direct a movie during the Weimar Period. Riefenstahl is credited with directing two of the most technically innovative propaganda films of all time, Olympia and Triumph des Willens.
German-French actor Romy Schneider began her career with the Heimatfilm genre of films as a teenager. She appeared as Empress Elisabeth of Austria in the Austrian Sissi trilogy and in Ludwig. She is also remembered for her César Award-winning roles in Une histoire simple and L'important c'est d'aimer.
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.
Q'orianka Kilcher is an American actress, activist, and singer. She is best known for playing important characters in films like The New World and Princess Kaiulani. As an activist, Kilcher has been visiting universities and colleges and delivering speeches at organizations like Amnesty International.
17 Luise Rainer
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.
18 Toni Garrn
19 Sheryl Lee
Sheryl Lee is a German-born American actress best known for her work in film, stage, and television. Lee is well-known for playing Madeline Ferguson and Laura Palmer in the cult TV series Twin Peaks. Sheryl Lee is also renowned for her philanthropic efforts and activism. She has participated in campaigns to raise awareness and money for breast cancer.
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.
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.
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.
24 Edda Göring
25 Elke Sommer
26 Margot Frank
One doesn’t come across an actor who manages her own red-carpet look, but Romanian-German actor Alexandra Maria Lara claims she does just that. Married to actor Sam Riley, she has appeared with him in several films, too. She is the star of the upcoming spy thriller The King's Man.
Known as the Rolling Stones muse, for her affairs with at least two of the iconic rock band’s members, Anita Pallenberg was an actor-model. The Rolling Stones tracks such as You Got The Silver and Angie were inspired by her. She had also studied fashion designing after recovering from drug addiction.
29 Antje Traue
Helene Fischer is a German singer, dancer, actress, and TV presenter. She attended the Frankfurt Stage & Musical School to study singing and acting. She made her debut in 2005 and found immediate success. Eventually, she started singing in English as well. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including 17 Echo awards and four "Krone der Volksmusik" prizes.
31 Lisa Vicari
Turkish-German actor and model Meryem Uzerli soared to fame playing Hürrem Sultan in the Turkish series Muhteşem Yüzyıl, a role that earned her a Golden Butterfly Award. She has also appeared in German series such as Notruf Hafenkante and films such as Journey of No Return.
35 Maria Riva
Born to actor Marlene Dietrich, Maria Riva started her career as a child actor, working in films such as The Scarlet Empress. The Emmy-nominated actor had also been part of CBS teleplays such as The Milton Berle Show. She had penned a bestselling memoir on her mother, too.
36 Bella Dayne
Patricia Rhomberg is an Austrian former pornographic film actress who was active during the 1970s. She began her career as a medical assistant but her life took an unexpected turn after meeting director Hans Billian, who made sex movies and encouraged her to become a porn star. She played the lead role in many popular porn films before retiring.
Ina-Maria Schnitzer, better known to her fans as Jordan Carver, had initially been a hotel manager and then a beautician before plunging into modeling. The buxom beauty is now a renowned swimsuit and lingerie model and is the first German to appear on the cover of the British magazine Zoo.
Alicia von Rittberg is a German actress who achieved international fame after playing Emma in the 2014 American war film, Fury. An acclaimed actress in Germany, Alicia von Rittberg is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Bambi Award, which she won for her portrayal of Ida Lenze in the German drama TV series, Charité.
44 Ari Up
Born into a musical family, Ari Up began experimenting with punk music early in her life. At fourteen, she co-founded post-punk band, The Slits, releasing their debut album Cut in 1979 and her first full-length solo album, Dread More Dan Dead, in 2005. Known for her wild hair and odd stage outfits, she died at forty-eight after battling breast cancer.
45 Diem Brown
German-Austrian actress, author, and businesswoman Christine Kaufmann gained attention of post-war German movie audiences with her performances in films like Rosen-Resli, Der schweigende Engel and Ein Herz schlägt für Erika. She became the first German to be honoured with Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress for her performance in the drama film Town Without Pity.
47 Lilli Palmer
48 Nina Hagen
Nina Hagen is a German singer-songwriter and actress. She began her career as an actress and gained fame as a singer during the punk and new wave movements in the 1970s and 1980s. Her parents are also actors and singers. Hagen is a voice-over artist as well. She is involved in human and animal rights activism.