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Senta Berger
Senta Berger - 1977.jpg
Berger in 1977
Born (1941-05-13) 13 May 1941 (age 73)
Vienna, Austria
Occupation Actress, producer, author
Years active 1955-present
Spouse(s) Michael Verhoeven (1966-present) (2 children)
Children Luca Verhoeven (b. 1979)
Simon Verhoeven

Senta Berger (born 13 May 1941) is an Austrian film, stage and television actress, producer and author.

Regarded by critics[who?] as one of the greatest actresses of the post-war period, and frequently named as one of the leading German-speaking actresses in polls, Berger has received many award nominations for her acting in theatre, film and television; her awards include three Bambi Awards, two Romys an Adolf Grimme Award, both a Deutscher and a Bayerischer Fernsehpreis, and a Goldene Kamera.

Berger married director and producer Michael Verhoeven in 1966. They are the parents of actors Simon and Luca Verhoeven.

Early life[edit]

Berger is the daughter of musician Josef Berger and teacher Therese Jany.[1] She first appeared on stage at the age of four, when her father accompanied her singing on the piano. At the age of five she started ballet lessons.

Berger also took private acting lessons. In 1957, she won her first small role in one of the final films directed by Austrian auteur Willi Forst. She applied for the Max Reinhardt Seminar, a famous acting school in Vienna, and was accepted, but she left shortly afterwards after accepting a film role without permission. In 1958, she became the youngest member of the Josefstadt Theatre in Vienna.


Bernhard Wicki and Artur Brauner produced the film The Good Soldier Schweijk with Berger and the German actor Heinz Rühmann. Brauner used Berger in several films, but she soon tired of musicals. In 1962, she went to Hollywood and worked with stars such as Charlton Heston, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Richard Widmark, John Wayne and Yul Brynner. She returned to Germany to accept an offer for a role in a series, which would have brought[clarification needed] an obligation of several years.

In 1963, Berger met Michael Verhoeven, son of the German film director Paul Verhoeven (not to be confused with the Dutch Paul Verhoeven). They started their own film production company in 1965. In 1966, Senta and Michael married. In 1970, she starred for the first time in a film produced by her own company and directed by her husband. Other internationally successful films made by the duo included, amongst others, Die weiße Rose, The Nasty Girl (Das schreckliche Mädchen) and Mutters Courage. Berger continued to develop her European career in France and Italy. Also in 1966, the British film Our Man in Marrakesh, called Bang, Bang, You're Dead in the U.S., was released, starring Senta Berger opposite Tony Randall.

In November 1964, she guest starred in an episode of the U.S. television show, The Man from U.N.C.L.E, entitled "The Double Affair". It was later expanded and released in cinemas as the feature film The Spy with My Face (1965). In 1966, Berger co-starred with Kirk Douglas in the film Cast a Giant Shadow. Berger played the role of Magda, a soldier in the Israeli army during the Israeli War of Independence (1948). In The Quiller Memorandum, also released in 1966, she played opposite Max von Sydow and George Segal in the role of a German schoolteacher involved in neo-Nazi activity.

In 1967, Berger acted in the pilot film for the Robert Wagner television series It Takes a Thief, which aired on American television network ABC on 9 January 1968. She reprised her role in the series in October 1969, in an episode in which her character was killed off.

On the Berlinale (2009)

In 1977, she was head of the jury at the 27th Berlin International Film Festival.[2] 21 years later, she was part of the jury at the 48th Berlin International Film Festival.[3]

In the 1970s, Photoplay Film Monthly said, "Approaching motherhood, Senta, the one-time militant feminist, has reverted to a docile feminine woman, just like the girl next-door." (Starlet, Kim Holston, 1988, McFarland).

Following the birth of her two sons (including the actor-director Simon Verhoeven), Berger returned to theatre work. She played at the Burgtheater in Vienna, at the Thaliatheater in Hamburg and at the Schillertheater in Berlin. Between 1974 and 1982, she played the “Buhlschaft” in the play Jedermann at the Salzburg Festival with Curd Jürgens and Maximilian Schell. She also acted alongside Schell and James Coburn in a supporting role in the acclaimed war film Cross of Iron (1977). In 1985–86, Berger started a comeback in front of German-speaking audiences in the TV serial Kir Royal. Further serial hits followed, like The Fast Gerti, where she played a taxi driver.

In the same year, she also started a career as a singer of chansons. 2005 saw her in the film, Einmal so wie ich will, as a woman trapped in an unhappy marriage who finds love on holiday, but turns her back on the relationship.

Since February 2003, Berger has been president of the German Film Academy, which seeks to advance the new generation of actors and actresses in Germany and Europe. The Academy will decide the assignment of the German Film Awards in the future.


In the spring of 2006, Berger's autobiography was published in Germany: Ich habe ja gewußt, daß ich fliegen kann ("I Knew That I Could Fly"). Among her memories of Hollywood are a less-than-subtle attempt by Darryl Zanuck to get her on his casting couch, and of all the shallow people she met in Hollywood.

Honours and awards[edit]

Her star on Boulevard of Stars (2011)

This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.
  • Bambi Prize (1968)
  • Bravo Otto in Bronze (1969)
  • Film Award in Silver (production) for Die Weiße Rose on behalf of the film company Sentana (1983)
  • German Actor Award (Chaplin-shoe) for her role in Kir Royal (1987)
  • Bambi Prize, Special Bambi "Unknockable Stars" (1990)
  • Golden Gong (1996)
  • Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art, 1st class (1999)[4]
  • Karl Valentin Orden (1998)
  • Golden Romy as the most popular actress (1998)
  • Bambi Prize in the category for the National Television ARD Vierteiler Love and Other Catastrophes (1999)
  • Federal Cross of Merit (1999)
  • Bavarian Order of Merit (2002)
  • German Hörbuchpreis (2003)
  • Medal Munich shines (for outstanding service to Munich) (2003)
  • Hessian TV award as an ensemble member of the film The Conference (2005)
  • Golden Ox - Honorary Award of the Film Arts Festival Mecklenburg-Vorpommern to the Sentana Film Production Senta Berger and Michael Verhoeven (2005)
  • Billy Wilder Award (2006)
  • Platinum Romy for lifetime achievement (2007)
  • Special Prize of the German TV crime Award for her starring role in the WDR production Schlaflos ("Sleepless") (2009)
  • Herbert-Strate Prize of the NRW Film Foundation and the Association HDF Kino Cinema (2009)
  • German Television Award for Best Actress for her leading role in Schlaflos (2009)
  • Special Prize at the Television Film Festival in Baden-Baden for outstanding dramatic performance in Frau Böhm sagt Nein (2009)
  • Golden Camera Award in the category Best Actress in German Frau Böhm sagt Nein and Schlaflos (2010)
  • Adolf Grimme Award for her performance in Frau Böhm sagt Nein (2010)
  • Bavarian Television Award for best actress says in the "TV Movie" for her role in the film Frau Böhm sagt Nein (2010)
  • Grand Diagonale drama prize for lifetime achievement (2010)
  • Star on the Boulevard of Stars in Berlin (2010)
  • Hans Abich Award for outstanding services in television and film (Television Film Festival, Baden-Baden, 2010)
  • Cultural Award of the City of Munich (2011)
  • Bear (B.Z. culture prize) (2012)

Selected filmography[edit]

  • This list is incomplete; you may help by expanding it.
Year Film Role Notes
1959 The Journey Serving Girl in Black Scarf
1961 The Secret Ways Elsa
1961 Das Geheimnis der schwarzen Koffer (de) Susan Brown
1961 The Miracle of Father Malachia Yvonne Krüger
1962 Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace Mrs. Ellen Blackmore
1963 The Victors Trudi
1964 The Spy with My Face Serena
1964 See How They Run Orlando Miller
1965 Major Dundee Teresa Santiago
1965 The Glory Guys Lou Woddard
1966 Cast a Giant Shadow Magda Simon
1966 Our Man in Marrakesh Kyra Stanovy
1966 The Treasure of San Gennaro Maggie
1966 The Quiller Memorandum Inge Lindt
1967 The Ambushers Francesca Madeiros
1967 Diabolically Yours Christiane
1969 Les Étrangers (fr) May
1969 De Sade Anne de Montreuil
1969 Giacomo Casanova: Childhood and Adolescence Giulietta Cavamacchia
1970 When Women Had Tails Filli
1971 Roma Bene Princess Dedé Marescalli
1971 He Who Loves in a Glass House Hanna
1973 Bisturi la mafia bianca Suor Maria
1973 The Scarlet Letter Hester Prynne
1976 The Swiss Conspiracy Denise Abbott
1977 Cross of Iron Eva
1978 Nest of Vipers Carla Richter
1985 The Two Lives of Mattia Pascal Clara
1986 Killing Cars (de) Marie Landauer
1990 Tre colonne in cronaca Countess Odessa Bonaveri
1998 Bin ich schön? Unna
2009 Ob ihr wollt oder nicht! Dorothea
2010 Satte Farben vor Schwarz Anita
Year Title Role Notes
1964 The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Serena (TV series, 1 episode)
1966 The Poppy Is Also a Flower Maxine
1968 It Takes a Thief Claire Vickers (TV series, 1 episode)
1969 It Takes a Thief Claire Vickers/Laurie James (TV series, 1 episode)
1990 La belle Anglaise (TV series, 1 episode)
1992 Sie und Er Charlotte
1992 Lilli Lottofee Lilli
1994 Gefangene Liebe
1994-96 Ärzte Dr. Margarethe Martin (TV series, 8 episodes)
1995 Kommissar Rex Karla Wilke (TV series, 1 episode)
1996 Mein Sohn ist kein Mörder! Sarah Renzi
1997 Kap der Rache Lilian
1997 Lamorte Susa
1997 Die Nacht der Nächte Teresa
1998 Mammamia Clara
1999 Liebe und weitere Katastrophen Franziska Ackermann
1999 Rosamunde Pilcher - Das große Erbe Alex Gower
1999 Mit fünfzig küssen Männer anders Marie Mechlenburg
2000 Zimmer mit Frühstück Elisabeth
2000 Trennungsfieber Dr. Carla Severin-Bauer
2000 Scharf aufs Leben Solveigh Kronberg
2000 Probieren Sie's mit einem Jüngeren Anna
2002 Bis dass dein Tod uns scheidet Edith Mosbach
2004 Die Konferenz Cornelia Cordes
2005 Einmal so wie ich will Emma Bauer
2005 Emilia - Die zweite Chance Dr. Emilia Seiler
2005 Emilia - Familienbande Dr. Emilia Seiler
2006 Nette Nachbarn küsst man nicht Helga Forstmann
2008 Rosamunde Pilcher - Vier Jahreszeiten Julia Combe (TV mini-series, 4 episodes)
2009 Schlaflos Carla Sagmeister
2009 Frau Böhm sagt Nein Rita Böhm
2009 Mama kommt! Luise Fischer
2010 Liebe am Fjord Pernille (TV series, 1 episode)
2012 Operation Zucker Dorothee Lessing (TV thriller)
2013 Und alle haben geschwiegen Luisa Hamilton (TV drama)



  1. ^ http://www.mdr.de/riverboat/1187234.html
  2. ^ "Berlinale 1977: Juries". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  3. ^ "Berlinale: 1998 Juries". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  4. ^ "Reply to a Parliamentary question" (pdf) (in German). p. 1290. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senta_Berger — Please support Wikipedia.
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FOCUS Online

FOCUS Online
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 03:33:14 -0700

Sie gehört zu den ganz Großen der deutschen Schauspielbranche: Senta Berger. Nach auskurierter Lungenentzündung ist die 73-Jährige wieder voller Tatendrang. Im Interview mit spot on news erzählt sie, über was in ihrer Film-verrückten Familie ...

Fränkische Nachrichten

Fränkische Nachrichten
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 14:56:15 -0700

In die Welt des Wiener Schriftsteller Alfred Polgar hat sich die vielfach ausgezeichnete Film- und Fernsehschauspielerin Senta Berger begeben. Zusammen mit dem Trio "Cos´i fan tango", das die Texte musikalisch umrahmt, wird sie am Sonntag, 27. Juli, ab ...

FOCUS Online

FOCUS Online
Thu, 03 Jul 2014 03:46:58 -0700

US-Stars wie Meryl Streep und Kate Winslet und deutsche Hoch-Prominenz wie Veronica Ferres und Senta Berger sind seine Freunde. Und er hat als Produzent feine Film-Perlen wie „Die Kinder des Monsieur Mathieu“ geschaffen - und dafür sechs Awards ...
Mon, 30 Jun 2014 00:07:30 -0700

After all, once he becomes entangled in the plight of beguiling Kyra Stanovoy (Senta Berger), a self-professed journalist who is necessarily not what she seems, he repeatedly catches her lying to him and openly acknowledges his willingness to believe ...


Tue, 15 Jul 2014 11:33:45 -0700

Simone Kermes. Foto: Kultursommer Nordhessen/Andreas Dommenz Kassel. Die meiste Zeit des Jahres parken Gartenfahrzeuge in der historischen Reithalle in Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe am Fuße des Bergparks. Einmal im Jahr erwacht das Leben in dem ...
Westdeutsche Zeitung
Fri, 27 Jun 2014 22:48:45 -0700

Senta Berger: Ich fand die Konstellation schön, die diese Geschichte hat: Zwei Frauen, die sich in ihren jeweiligen gesellschaftlichen Klassen befinden und jede Menge Vorurteile ansammeln gegen die andere Klasse und die andere Frau. Wie das dann ...


Mon, 28 Jul 2014 21:30:00 -0700

In Sat.1 muss Felicitas Woll ihrem geschrumpften Chef aus der Patsche helfen, auf 3sat ermitteln Senta Berger und Rudolf Krause gegen einen Polizeiobermeister und bei VOX werden die bewegendsten Pop-Dramen vorgestellt.

Augsburger Allgemeine

Augsburger Allgemeine
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 08:45:00 -0700

Eva Maria Prohacek (Senta Berger) und ihr Assistent André Langner (Rudolf Krause) nehmen mal wieder einen Kollegen in die Zange: Polizeiobermeister Stefan Kracht wird der Versuch der Steuerhinterziehung vorgeworfen. Er gerät im Verhör immer weiter ...

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