Iris Berben

Iris Berben (born 12 August 1950) is a German actress, author and voice actress.

Iris Berben
Iris Berben in 2017
Born (1950-08-12) 12 August 1950
Years active1968present
Partner(s)Gabriel Lewy (19742006)
Heiko Kiesow (2007present)


Berben was born in Detmold, North Rhine-Westphalia. She grew up in Hamburg, where her parents ran a restaurant.[1]

Berben has appeared in about 150 film and television productions since 1969. Until today, Berben plays leading roles in a large number of German television productions, including the sitcom Zwei himmlische Töchter in the 1970s and the comedy show Sketchup with Diether Krebs in the 1980s. One of her best-known roles is the title character, a no-nonsense police commissioner, in the long-running crime series Rosa Roth between 1994 and 2013. Among her film roles are Sergio Corbucci's western Compañeros with Franco Nero, the Thomas Mann film adaption Die Buddenbrooks (2008) and the barmaid Petra in the sport film Eddie the Eagle (2016).

After the Six-day War in 1967 she travelled to Israel, and afterwards became the partner of the Israeli singer Abi Ofarim. Since then she has been associated with the pro-Israel lobby and has campaigned against antisemitism. She had a son, Oliver, in 1971, but never revealed the identity of the father.[1]

In 2010, together with Bruno Ganz, Berben was elected president of the German Film Academy. She served as a SPD delegate to the Federal Convention for the purpose of electing the President of Germany in 2017.[2]



  • 2005: Françoise Sagan, Bonjour Tristesse. Publisher: Random House Audio Köln, ISBN 978-3-89830-972-1.
  • 2006: Minka Pradelski, Und da kam Frau Kugelmann. Publisher: Random House Audio Köln, ISBN 978-3-86604-185-1.
  • 2007: Anna Gmeyner, Manja. Publisher: Hörkultur, ISBN 978-3-9523087-4-5.
  • 2010: Petra Hammesfahr, Die Mutter. Publisher: Random House Audio Köln, gekürzt 4 CDs 296 Min., ISBN 978-3-8371-0442-4
  • 2011: Marina Lewycka, Kurze Geschichte des Traktors auf Ukrainisch. Publisher: Random House Audio Köln, ISBN 978-3-8371-0875-0.
  • 2011: Iris Berben liest Verbrannte Bücher – Verfemte Komponisten. Publisher: Verlag Herder, ISBN 978-3-451-31978-5.
  • 2015: Brüder Grimm (Brothers Grimm), Brüderchen und Schwesterchen. Publisher: Amor Verlag, ISBN 978-3-944063-72-0.
  • 2015: Brüder Grimm (Brothers Grimm), Frau Holle. Publisher: Amor Verlag, ISBN 978-3-944063-71-3.
  • 2016: Hans Christian Andersen, Die kleine Meerjungfrau. Publisher: Amor Verlag, ISBN 978-3-944063-95-9.
  • 2017: David Walliams, Zombie-Zahnarzt, publisher: Argon Verlag, ISBN 978-3-8398-4122-8.



  1. "Iris Berben enthüllt ihre Jugendsünden". From an interview with the Reader's Digest (in German). rp online. 25 April 2002. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  2. Ralf Euler (November 23, 2016), 45 Hessen wählen mit Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
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