Capital: € 7 million
Age: 48
Born: 11/18/1971
Country of origin: Luckenwalde, Germany
Source of wealth: Comedian
Last updated: 2022

Short introduction

She likes dogs, has a boating license and prefers to spend her free time with her mother over a glass of eggnog in the allotment. Ilka Bessin has remained quite normal, even if she admits that success used to go a little to her head. No wonder: she is one of the most popular comedians in Germany. In the beginning, her path to becoming a superstar was anything but easy.

Early life

Ilka Bessin was born in 1971 in Luckenwalde in Brandenburg in the former GDR. Her father is on the road as a truck driver, and her mother contributes to family income as a seamstress. Ilka’s childhood is not easy. She is being teased. Her father hits her.

She wants to be a clown. But after she left school, she first went to the canteen kitchen of a state ball bearing factory. There she trained as a cook and provides around 1,000 employees with hot meals every day. When the company was privatized after the reunification, the employment came to an abrupt end. The company closes and Ilka has to reorient. She now becomes a hotel manager, waiter in numerous restaurants and cafés, and even rises to become the manager of a gastronomic company. But then she is released, illegally. The labor court is on her side, she could go back to her former post, but she doesn’t want more. Instead, she finds work on the cruise ship AIDA, entertaining travelers with a colorful animation program.

Then Ilka’s life seems to get out of joint. After her time at AIDA, she returns to Berlin and becomes unemployed. It’s not that easy to find a job that suits you. For four years she lives on Hartz IV, trying to keep herself financially with telephone sex. 200 applications and two suicide attempts later, she finally tried again in 2005 and called the Quatsch Comedy Club in the Friedrichspalast in Berlin.


Founded in 1997 by the moderator Thomas Hermanns, the Quatsch Comedy Club is the cornerstone of many artists’ careers. It offers newcomers the chance to prove themselves in a talent competition.

When Ilka calls there, she really only wants to wait in the club and earn something from unemployment benefits. But the man on the phone, Thomas Schrode, is not responsible for gastronomy at all, but recruits new talent for the show stage. He thinks Ilka’s way of talking is funny and asks if she would like to take part in the talent competition.

Ilka comes up with a text that should fill a short appearance, works on an idea for a stage character. This is the birth of Ilka’s alter ego: Cindy from Marzahn, the “princess of prefabricated buildings”. The figure represents the prototype of the average recipient of social welfare in the east of Berlin in a funny, exaggerated and self-ironic way. A real Berlin snout full of unfulfilled dreams and caught in the odds of life. In addition a squeaky pink jogging suit, a tiara on the straw blonde curly head, the eyes covered with make-up. Ilka is not trusted that this grotesque presentation will delight the audience. Nevertheless, she manages to make the audience laugh and even wins the youth award.

Ilka Bessin remains Cindy from Marzahn and her career is steeply uphill. This is followed by appearances on Stefan Raabs TV Total as well as several tours with Ilka’s own stage program. Then the broadcaster RTL gives her a TV show called “Cindy from Marzahn and the young savages”. She can also be seen in guest appearances in the improvisation show “Schillerstrasse” and as a supporting actress in various German film productions. She also assists Markus Lanz in “Wetten dass…?” and moderated the show “Celebrity Big Brother” together with Oliver Pocher. Ilka has become an integral part of television. And she always embodies the funny Cindy from Marzahn – except for a few appearances, where she shows herself as Ilka without makeup.

In 2016, just over 10 years after her success in the Quatsch Comedy Club, then the cut. Ilka’s father, now a nursing child and demented, dies. Although he was not always loving to Ilka, the two make up before his death. Ilka becomes more serious, begins to become interested in important issues such as child poverty and people in financial crises. She wants to develop and knows that all of this no longer fits Cindy, who has meant so much to her over the years. Ilka decides to finally put the masquerade down and from now on to show herself to the public as it is, even posing naked for the magazine “Gala”. And she states: The shit storm does not come. The audience loves them anyway, with all corners, edges and curves.

RTL books them for various TV formats on the subject of “Social injustice in Germany”. In 2018 she wrote a book about her life with depth and feeling. “Abschmminkt” climbs to the top of the Amazon bestseller list, is published as an audio book (read by her in Berlin dialect) and is now also to be made into a film by Matthias Schweighöfer – with Ilka in the leading role. And there is another tour, without Cindy but with Ilka, this time quite natural and slimmer, but still sarcastic and funny as usual.

Things are also going well privately. In 2018 Ilka got engaged and now lives in Berlin Wilmersdorf.

Career highlights

From being a welfare recipient to becoming a millionaire in just a few years – this should have been Ilka Bessin’s personal highlight. Even the New York Times wrote an article about them. As a result, Ilka Bessin as Cindy from Marzahn was even allowed to perform in front of 200 spectators in a small comedy club called “Carolines” near Times Square in 2014. She was awarded the German Comedy Prize six times, the Quatsch Comedy Club Kleinkunstpreis twice, the Goldene Kamera and the Bravo Otto once – to name just a few.

Famous quotes

Ilka Bessin is known for her loose mouth and that is precisely why it is so popular with her audience. Often discussed, both on stage and privately: age and weight problems. Ilka Bessin is relaxed about both: “Nothing has changed,” she says about her 50th birthday, which is due in a few years, “except that I get out of bed more slowly in the morning. Have fun, go crazy no matter how old you are. ” And on the subject of curves, she explains truthfully: “It doesn’t give a shit to the sea whether you have a bikini figure or not.”

Amazing facts

Ilka Bessin creates her own fashion. There are already two collections for women from size 42 upwards. Ilka makes sure that the quality is impeccable and the working conditions in the production are good. This also explains the fact that their fashions cannot compete with the cheap offers of the big discounters, but they are still affordable. Fashionable blazers, blouses, trench coats and women’s dresses for the business woman or for everyday wear can be purchased in the online shop. Only one item of clothing is missing from Ilka’s range: a pink jogging suit.


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