Katharina Thalbach

Carrying on the artistic ambitions of her family--her father was a Swiss film director and her mother an actress--Katharina Thalbach also took up acting, and to date has appeared opposite the likes of Meryl Streep, Stellan Skarsgård, and other renowned performers. She started out in German television during the '60s, which led to film roles throughout the subsequent decade, including Volker Schlöndorff's international success "The Tin Drum." For the 1979 film about a stunted youth living in 1930s Germany, she landed the part of Maria Matzerath, the main character's first mistress; unfortunately, some of the attention paid to her was likely related to simulated love scenes with actor David Bennent, then 11 years old. Although the movie was banned as obscene in certain places, this did not hurt Thalbach's career long-term. Indeed, one of her subsequent appearances was in the 1982 American film "Sophie's Choice" as Wanda, a Nazi Resistance fighter who befriends the protagonist, played by Streep. Plenty of German movie roles followed over the next few decades, including the lead female role in the drama "Good Evening, Mr. Wallenberg," about real-life Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who helped save thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Nazis. In 2006, she re-teamed with Schlöndorff for "Strike," in which she played a Polish labor worker who took part in various important events across three decades. Thalbach also did voice work for the German translation of Disney's 2002 animated feature "Lilo and Stitch."