10 Best German Actresses

Our list of ten best German actresses features a cast of some of the most beautiful and talented women in their field. Through the years, Germany has given us many notable actresses, as well as models, singers, entertainers, and athletes. Marlene Dietrich, the legendary film actress, was German. In 1999, the American Film Institute named Dietrich the ninth greatest female star of all time.

In recent years, Franka Potente has gained international fame as the female lead in the Bourne movies. Probably the most famous German actress today, she tops our list of Germany’s ten best actresses. She is followed by nine other beautiful, talented German actresses. Here's the list: 

  1. Franka Potente. Franka (sometimes spelled Franke) Potente, 36, is the most recognized German actress in America. She is best known for her role as Marie in “The Bourne Identity” and “The Bourne Supremacy” with Matt Damon. She studied acting in Munich and New York. Born and reared in Germany, Potente is of Sicilian descent. Her surname means “powerful” in Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese.
  2. Natalia Avelon. Natalia Avelon, 30, was born in Poland but grew up in Germany. A German citizen, Avelon is an actress and a singer. In her most famous acting role, she played the 1960s sex symbol Uschi Obermaier in the 2007 film “Das Wilde Leben.” She also sang a song for the soundtrack.
  3. Julia Jentsch. Julia Jentsch, 32, is an award-winning German actress and ensemble member of the Munich Kammerspiele. She is best known for the title role in the 2005 film “Sophie Scholl–The Final Days,” which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. When asked about being a star, Jentsch is said to have replied, “That’s a term that is used for everything and everyone, so it has no meaning.”
  4. Sibel Kekilli. Sibel Kekilli, 30, is an award-winning German actress of Turkish descent. She first gained attention for her role in the 2004 film “Head-On,” originally titled “Gegen die Wand.” Aside from her acting career, she is known for her support of Terre des Femmes, an organization that works against domestic violence in Islamic families.
  5. Anna Maria Muhe. Anna Maria Muhe, 25, is the daughter of German actor Ulrich Muhe and his actress wife, Jenny Grollmann. Muhe played the role of Kati in the provocative 2002 film “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” Her awards include the Golden Camera, a Cannes Film Festival honor for best newcomers.
  6. Hanna Schygulla. Hanna Schygulla, 66, is a well-known German actress. She is considered an icon of the New German Cinema of the 1970s and 1980s. This award-winner ranks among the world’s top actresses. She was considered for the lead role in the 1982 film “Sophie’s Choice,” when American Meryl Streep was cast instead. Streep won the Academy Award for her performance.
  7. Martina Gedeck. Martina Gedeck, 48, is another of Germany’s favorite actresses. She received international fame for her roles in “The Lives of Others” and “Mostly Martha,” a role that stars Catherine Zeta Jones in the American remake. Gedeck’s career began in drama school, and her acting credits include just about every film genre.
  8. Alexandra Maria Lara. Alexandra Maria Lara, 31, is a German actress of Romanian descent. Her leading roles include historical drama and crime films. “The Reader,” the acclaimed 2008 film starring Kate Winslet, featured Lara as the young Ilana Mather. The German tabloid “Bild” ranked Lara as one of the fifty most beautiful Germans of today.
  9. Nora Tschirner. German actress Nora Tschirner, 29, is also a television and radio presenter. She is the daughter of a documentary film director and a radio journalist. “Neon” magazine named Tschirner among the 100 most important young Germans. She has starred in several films and German television series. She’s also known for her now-legendary parody of Shakira, the Colombian singer and dancer.
  10. Anneke Kim Sarnau. Rounding our list of the ten best German actresses is Anneke Kim Sarnau, 38. Sarnau, the great niece of German actor Hans Sohnker, acts in German theater and film. She stars on the German television crime series “Police 110.” In 2005, she played the role of Birgit in “The Constant Gardener,” a drama based on a John Le Carre novel.