Senta Berger  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Senta Berger (born May 13, 1941) is an Austrian actress and producer, born in Vienna.

Berger's parents were not rich, but they tried everything to meet the desires of their daughter. Her father was a musician. Senta 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, but her dream of a career as a dancer was destroyed when her teacher did not like the physical changes in Senta during puberty.

Berger then took private acting lessons. In 1957, she won her first small role in a film. She applied for the Max Reinhardt Seminar, a famous acting school in Vienna, and was accepted. However, shortly afterwards she was forced to leave, because she had accepted a film role without permission. In 1958, she became the youngest member of the Josefstadt Theatre in Vienna. Her ambition was still to be a film actress.

More and more directors and producers wanted to work with her, for example Bernhard Wicki and Arthur Brauner, who produced the film The Good Soldier Schweijk with Berger and the German actor Heinz Rühmann. Brauner used Senta Berger in several films, but she soon tired of musicals. In 1962, she went to Hollywood and worked with stars such as Charlton Heston, Frank Sinatra, Richard Widmark, John Wayne, and Yul Brynner. She returned to Germany to accept an offer for a series role, which would have brought an obligation of several years.

In 1963, Berger met Michael Verhoeven, son of the German film director Paul Verhoeven (not 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 Terrible Girl (Das schreckliche Mädchen) and Mutters Courage. Berger continued to develop her European career in France and Italy.

In 1966, Berger co-starred with Kirk Douglas in the movie Cast a Giant Shadow. Berger played the role of Magda, a soldier in the army of Israel during the Israeli War of Independence (1948). Some say that this role was Berger's greatest movie role.Template:Fact

The birth of her two sons caused Senta to turn back to theatre work. She successfully 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 Jedermannn at the Salzburg Festival with Curd Jürgens and Maximilian Schell. One of her greatest movie roles of the period was co-starring with Schell and James Coburn and in the acclaimed war movie Cross of Iron (1977). In 1985−86, Berger started a comeback in front of German-speaking audiences in the very popular TV serial Kir Royal. Afterwards further serial hits followed, like The Fast Gerti, where she plays a taxi driver.

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

Since February 2003, Senta 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, her 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 being called "You German pig" on her first day on the set of Major Dundee by a gaffer whose wife had lost her family in Auschwitz.

Selected filmography

Year Film Role Director Notes
1959 The Journey Serving Girl in Black Scarf Anatole Litvak
1960 The Good Soldier Schweik Gretl Axel von Ambesser
1961 The Secret Ways Elsa Phil Karlson
1961 The Miracle of Father Malachia Yvonne Krüger Bernhard Wicki
1961 Template:Ill Chantal Géza von Radványi Two films (Part 2)
1961 Template:Ill Susan Brown Werner Klingler
1962 Template:Ill Nelly Werner Klingler
1962 Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace Mrs. Ellen Blackmore Terence Fisher
1963 The Victors Trudi Carl Foreman
1963 Kali Yug: Goddess of Vengeance Catherine Talbot Mario Camerini Two films
1963 Template:Ill Jenny Victor Vicas
1964 The Spy with My Face Serena John Newland The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
1964 See How They Run Orlando Miller David Lowell Rich TV movie
1965 Major Dundee Teresa Santiago Sam Peckinpah
1965 The Glory Guys Lou Woddard Arnold Laven
1966 Cast a Giant Shadow Magda Simon Melville Shavelson
1966 Our Man in Marrakesh Kyra Stanovy Don Sharp
1966 The Poppy Is Also a Flower Dancer Terence Young
1966 Template:Ill Doris Holberg Alfred Vohrer
1966 The Quiller Memorandum Inge Lindt Michael Anderson
1966 The Treasure of San Gennaro Maggie Dino Risi
1967 To Commit a Murder Gertraud Sphax Édouard Molinaro
1967 The Ambushers Francesca Madeiros Henry Levin Matt Helm
1967 Diabolically Yours Christiane Julien Duvivier
1969 If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium London Saleswoman Mel Stuart Cameo
1969 Template:Ill May Template:Ill
1969 De Sade Anne de Montreuil Cy Endfield
1969 Giacomo Casanova: Childhood and Adolescence Giulietta Cavamacchia Luigi Comencini
1970 Template:Ill Giovanna Franco Giraldi
1970 When Women Had Tails Filli Pasquale Festa Campanile
1971 He Who Loves in a Glass House Hanna Michael Verhoeven
1971 Template:Ill Sylvaine Orsini Yves Boisset
1971 Roma Bene Princess Dedé Marescalli Carlo Lizzani
1971 Lover of the Great Bear Fela Valentino Orsini
1972 Template:Ill Ruth Halbfass Volker Schlöndorff
1973 Template:Ill The wife Otto Schenk
1973 The Scarlet Letter Hester Prynne Wim Wenders
1973 Hospitals: The White Mafia Suor Maria Luigi Zampa
1973 Amore e ginnastica Maria Pedani Luigi Filippo D'Amico
1974 Puzzle Sara Grimaldi Duccio Tessari
1974 La bellissima estate Manuela Sergio Martino
1976 Template:Ill Alice Burgmann Michael Verhoeven
1976 The Swiss Conspiracy Denise Abbott Jack Arnold
1976 Goodnight, Ladies and Gentlemen Signora Palese Anthology film
1977 Das Chinesische Wunder Detta Gaspardi Wolfgang Liebeneiner
1977 Cross of Iron Eva Sam Peckinpah
1978 Ritratto di borghesia in nero Carla Richter Tonino Cervi
1985 Fatto su misura Signora Schwartz Template:Ill
1985 The Two Lives of Mattia Pascal Clara Mario Monicelli
1986 Template:Ill Marie Landauer Michael Verhoeven
1990 Tre colonne in cronaca Countess Odessa Bonaveri Carlo Vanzina
1998 Template:Ill Unna Doris Dörrie
2009 Ob ihr wollt oder nicht! Dorothea Ben Verbong
2010 Template:Ill Anita Template:Ill
2012 Template:Ill Mona Mödlinger Helmut Dietl
2012 Template:Ill Rosalie Template:Ill
Year Title Role Notes
1963 Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color : Template:Ill Henriette Treffz
1964 The Man From U.N.C.L.E. : The Double Affair Serena (TV series, 1 episode)
1968 It Takes a Thief : A Thief Is a Thief Claire Vickers (TV series, 1 episode)
1968 Istanbul Express Mila Darvos
1968 Template:Ill Susanne Stefan (TV miniseries, 3 episodes)
1969 It Takes a Thief : Flowers from Alexander Claire Vickers/Laurie James (TV series, 1 episode)
1986 Kir Royal – Aus dem Leben eines Klatschreporters Mona (TV series, 6 episodes)
1989 Die schnelle Gerdi Gerdi (TV series, 6 episodes)
1990 La belle Anglaise (TV series, 1 episode)
1992 Sie und Er Charlotte
1992 Lilli Lottofee Lilli (TV series, 6 episodes)
1994 Gefangene Liebe
1994–1996 Ärzte : Dr. Schwarz und Dr. Martin Dr. Margarethe Martin (TV series, 8 episodes)
1995 Die Nacht der Nächte Teresa
1995 Kommissar Rex Karla Wilke (TV series, 1 episode)
1996 Mein Sohn ist kein Mörder! Sarah Renzi
1997 Kap der Rache Lilian
1997 Template:Ill Susa
1997 Bella Ciao Teresa
1998 Mammamia Clara
1999 Liebe und weitere Katastrophen Franziska Ackermann (TV miniseries, 4 episodes)
1999 Rosamunde Pilcher: Nancherrow Alex Gower
1999 Template:Ill Marie Mechlenburg
2000 Zimmer mit Frühstück Elisabeth
2000 Trennungsfieber Dr. Carla Severin-Bauer
2000 Template:Ill Solveigh Kronberg
2000 Probieren Sie's mit einem Jüngeren Anna
2002–2014 Unter Verdacht Dr. Eva-Maria Prohacek (TV series, 22 episodes)
2002 Bis dass dein Tod uns scheidet Edith Mosbach
2004 Die schnelle Gerdi und die Hauptstadt Gerdi (TV series, 6 episodes)
2004 Template:Ill Cornelia Cordes
2005 Template:Ill Emma Bauer
2005 Emilia – Die zweite Chance Dr. Emilia Seiler
2005 Emilia – Familienbande Dr. Emilia Seiler
2006 Template:Ill Helga Forstmann
2008 Rosamunde Pilcher: Four Seasons Julia Combe (TV miniseries, 4 episodes)
2009 Template:Ill Carla Sagmeister
2009 Template:Ill Rita Böhm
2009 Template:Ill Luise Fischer
2010 Liebe am Fjord: Das Ende der Eiszeit Pernille (TV series, 1 episode)
2011 Template:Ill Erika Welves
2012 Template:Ill Dorothee Lessing (TV thriller)
2012 Template:Ill Klara
2013 Template:Ill Luisa Hamilton (TV drama)
2013 Template:Ill Rita

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Senta Berger" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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