Capital: € 10 million
Age: 69
Born: 08/12/1950
Country of origin: Germany
Source of wealth: actress
Last updated: 2022

Short introduction

Iris Berben is a German actress and voice actress. She is still one of the most successful actresses in Germany.

Early life

Iris Renate Dorothea Berben was born in Detmold in North Rhine-Westphalia as the daughter of wealthy restaurateurs. After the parents divorced, she moved to Hamburg with her mother. Her school career was not straightforward; she was referred several times by various boarding schools, including the well-known boarding school in St. Peter-Ording. Berben finished school without graduating from high school. As a teenager, she became involved in the Hamburg protest scene. After leaving school, Iris Berben completed dance and movement training in London. She also took singing and speaking classes in Berlin.


Iris Berben began her acting career in 1968 and was able to gain initial experience, although she had never attended an acting school. Already in her first film “Detectives” in 1969 she was able to demonstrate her great talent. A year later she was also able to convince in the Italowestern film “Zwei Companeros”. A short time later (1978) she became known to a broader public in the climatic offshoot “Two Heavenly Daughters”, alongside the already popular actress Ingrid Steeger. In the following years Iris Berben was seen in many TV productions. The comedy series “Sketchup” alongside Diether Krebs was particularly successful. Other well-known German films, in which Iris Berben participated, included: “The Legacy of the Guldenburgs”, “Andrea and Marie”, “Fahr zur Hölle Sister” and the film adaptation of Thomas Mann’s great novel “Die Buddenbrooks”. In addition, she has played the lead role on the ZDF in the crime series “Rosa Roth” since 1993. In addition to her acting career, Iris Berben worked as a model and voice actress. The actress acted as a model for the well-known men’s magazines “Playboy” (1978) and “Penthouse” (1987 and 2002). As a voice actress, Berben has spoken a variety of audio books. Her readings of the diaries by Anne Frank and Joseph Goebbels were also set to music.

Career highlights

Iris Berben has won several prizes in her career, including the Romy, the Golden Camera, the Bambi and Grimme Prize. For her successful acting career she was awarded the Bavarian TV Prize for her life’s work in 2011. Iris Berben even received an Emmy nomination in 2010, the most important television award in the United States, for her role in “Krupp – A German Family”. Furthermore, she has been the president of the German Film Academy alongside the well-known actor Bruno Ganz since 2010. Berben held the office alone for four years (2013 to 2019).

Famous quotes

“Ultimately, the really intellectual people are the ones you can talk to about anything.”

“Refusal is one of the most beautiful things that comes with aging.”

“Only in the face of death do you know how attached you are to life, how short the moment can be and how to use it.”

“If you are adapted, you also meet people who are looking for exactly that.”

“I would like to live a thousand years. I’m so curious how society coped with the challenges. ”

Amazing facts

Iris Berben is very socially and politically committed. In particular, she campaigns against anti-Semitism, right-wing extremism and the right to exist of the State of Israel. The actress is also the patron of several foundations and initiatives such as the “Magen David-Adom-Israel in Deutschland eV” and the “United Buddy Bears”. She feels very attached to the State of Israel. For her commitment, Iris Berben was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit First Class, the Women’s World Award for Tolerance and the Leo Baeck Prize. The latter was given to her by Paul Spiegel from the Central Council of Jews in Germany. She is also a member of the jury for the award of the Nuremberg International Human Rights Award. Berben supports the SPD politically and participated in the campaign “Meine Vote für Vernunft” in 2016. Iris Berben was a member of the Federal Assembly in 2017.


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