|Capital:||€ 4 million|
|Country of origin:||Hanover, Germany|
|Source of wealth:||actor|
Despite success and money – Erdogan Atalay, the action hero from the cult series “Cobra 11” remains down to earth. The actor has been the epitome of the highway police for 23 years. The series is broadcast in 140 countries around the world. Erdogan Atalay alias Semir Gerkhan also races over the film highway in the 34th season of the RTL series as chief detective chief. Erdogan Atalay has made almost 400 episodes so far. With the continuing success of the RTL series, the actor was able to accumulate his fortune. The series hero has been driving an Italian luxury sports car, a Maserati, since 1999. But the family man actually loves horses.
The serial star Erdogan Atalay can be ranked among the top earners among German actors. The Cologne motorway commissioner Erdogan Atalay has now earned a small fortune. Streaming services are driving up the income of the series actors. But of about 5000 actors who work for television or film in Germany, only two percent can live on their income, said a spokesman for the artist agency of the employment agency, according to media reports.
The actor has a father of Turkish origin. His mother is German. Erdogan Atalay was born in Hanover on September 22, 1966. He grew up in Garbsen-Berenbostel and attended the integrated comprehensive school there. Hanover is horse country. Horses were also part of everyday life in the Atalays. “I was a show jumper and dressage rider until I was of age,” said Erdogan Atalay in an interview.
At the age of 18 he was seen on a Hanover theater stage in a supporting role in “Aladin and the magic lamp”. Then, in 1987, he began studying drama at the University of Music and Drama in the Hanseatic City of Hamburg. But the then 20-year-old only got guest roles, never a leading role, let alone a permanent place in the ensemble. He played at the Thalia Theater in Hamburg, sometimes in Berlin. Atalay tried to appear as a Turkish greengrocer in the evening program in the Marienhof series. It was not accepted.
Suddenly a former stuntman had him on the slip. The young, aspiring actor, Erdogan Atalay, has been fascinated by acrobatic movements, the art of body control and jumping since his youth. The hour of truth struck for the 1.60 meter tall German Turk in the early 1990s. RTL breathed life into the start-up “Alarm for Cobra 11”. Since then, the series has been a quota hit and Erdogan Atalay has been at the forefront.
The actor realized the purpose of his life. In the cult series “Alarm for Cobra 11”, he has been Semir Gerkhan, the tough detective chief detective on the freeway – and has been since the very beginning. A spectacular stunt chases the next. But the German series star also has another side. In private life, the Cologne-based action star is anything but a daredevil.
Erdogan Atalay has three children. Just as a man changes in the role of a family man, so has his leading role as Semir Gerkhan. As the chief detective chief, the series hero has to deal with the fact that his film wife separates from him. In his private life, Erdogan Atalay has been happy with Katja Ohneck, his manager, since his second marriage in 2017. His son Maris Atalay and the youngest baby also stem from this marriage. From 2004 to 2009 Erdogan Atalay was married to Astrid Ann-Marie Pollmann. In “Cobra 11”, his daughter Amira Pauletta Melisande Pollmann, or Pauletta for short, takes on the role of his film daughter Ayda Gerkhan.
The actor is interested in other roles. But Erdogan Atalay appreciates the permanence of his job and that of his employer. It gives him secure income. According to the contract, actors are not allowed to talk about their fees. Series stars earn around 300,000 euros per season. Some earn 10,000 to 15,000 euros per day of shooting. In a successful series like “Soko 5113”, actors earned an average of 1,500 to 2,500 euros per day of shooting. In 2012 Erdogan Atalay appeared in “Soko 5113”. But the fees vary. In addition to “Cobra 11”, Atalay appeared in various guest roles, such as “Die Wache” (1994), “Der Clown” (1998), “Hinter Gittern” (1999) or “Soko Stuttgart” (2016).
After twenty years of “Alarm for Cobra 11”, the main character says: “I only stop at ‘Cobra 11’ when I need a double when climbing out of the car!”
Great deeds sometimes seem quiet. Erdogan Atalay has been working for the children’s and youth institution “Die Arche” for two decades. Child poverty is an issue the actor is fighting.