In Der Baulöwe © DEFA-Stiftung, Waltraut Pathenheimer
Annekathrin Bürger was born in Berlin on April 3, 1937. She apprenticed as a graphic designer and became a set design assistant at the Carl Maria von Weber Theater in Bernburg.
Despite failing the entrance exam for drama school, in 1955 she appeared in a short docudrama. Shortly thereafter, she was discovered by director Gerhard Klein, who cast her in the leading role in Eine Berliner Romanze. She played an unassuming young woman who wants to become a fashion model and is the love interest of Hans—played by Ulrich Thein, whom she later married.
Bürger studied acting at the Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen (Academy for Film and Television) in Potsdam-Babelsberg from 1957 to 1960. Parallel to what became a distinguished career in film, Bürger also performed on stage. After a short engagement at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin (1959-60), Bürger performed at the Senftenberg Theater from 1960 to 1963 and at the Berlin Volksbühne from 1965 to 2013.
While still in school, Bürger was a hit in one of the leading roles in Slatan Dudow’s Verwirrung der Liebe. She was also cast in the first GDR/Soviet co-production, Fünf Tage, fünf Nächte, in which she played a young woman returning from a concentration camp to her destroyed city, Dresden, after WWII. With almost 200 film and television credits to her name, Bürger has starred in literary adaptations, crime dramas, comedies, political thrillers and two East German Westerns: Tödlicher Irrtum and Tecumseh. Her performance was particularly notable opposite co-star Armin Mueller-Stahl in the television adaptation of Hans Fallada’s Wolf unter Wölfen. She also shared the screen with Mueller-Stahl in Frank Beyer’s remarkable WWII love story, Königskinder. Later, she appeared frequently in three popular television crime series: Polizeiruf 110, Die Stein and Tatort.
In 1976, Bürger was one of the artists who officially protested the expatriation of singer-songwriter Wolf Biermann. She was also a member of one of the groups that organized the historic East Berlin demonstration on November 4, 1989, where she sang Bulat Okudzhava’s song “Words of a Political Prisoner to Stalin.” At the time of the collapse of the GDR, she chaired the National People’s Movement Congress.
In 2006, Annekathrin Bürger was honored at the Berlin International Film Festival as the “Dream Woman of the 1950s.” She is an accomplished chanson singer and has toured with musical-literary programs since 1965. In 2011, she released her CD Liebe ist das schönste Gift [Love Is the Most Beautiful Poison]. Bürger is also a published author of short stories and poetry; in 2007, she published her autobiography, Der Rest der bleibt. Erinnerungen an ein unvollkommenes Leben [What’s Left: Memories of an Unfinished Life].
Bibliography & More:
Bürger, Annekatrin and Christine Rammelt-Hedelich. Weisheiten der Liebe. Dessau: feder edition, 2015.
Bürger, Annekatrin and Christine Rammelt-Hedelich. Geliebte Ostsee. Dessau: feder edition, 2010.
Bürger, Annekatrin and Kerstin Decker. Der Rest der bleibt. Erinnerungen an ein unvollkommenes Leben. Munich: Droemer, 2007.
|2019||Begegnung zwischen Annekathrin Bürger und Fatima Kar (Encounter: Annekathrin Bürger und Fatima Kar, doc, short)|
Magische Momente – Pauls Weihnachtswunsch (Magical Moments: Paul’s Christmas Wish, TV)
Die Anfängerin (The Beginner)
|2014||Nele in Berlin (TV)|
|2014||Die Schneekönigin (The Snow Queen, TV)|
|2013||Sein letztes Rennen (His Last Race)|
|2012||Für Elise (For Elise)|
|2010||Eines Tages… (One Day…)|
|2010||Draußen am See (Losing Balance)|
Eines Tages… (One Day…)
|2008-2011||Die Stein (Ms. Stein, TV series)|
|1999-2007||Tatort (Crime Scene, TV series)|
|2004||18 – Allein unter Mädchen (Surrounded, TV series)|
|2002||Mord an Bord (Murderer on Board, TV)|
|2002||Väter (I’m the Father)|
|1999||Todesengel (The Angel of Death, TV)|
Im Namen des Gesetzes (In the Name of the Law, TV series)
|1996||Der Kindermord (The Child Murder, TV)|
|1994-95||Wir sind auch nur ein Volk (We Are Only One People, TV mini-series)|
|1991||Der Rest der bleibt (What Remains…, TV)|
|1973-1990||Polizeiruf 110 (Police Call 110, TV series)|
|1969||Tödlicher Irrtum (Fatal Error)|
|1968||Mit mir nicht, Madam! (Not to Me, Madam!)|
|1965||Wolf unter Wölfen (Wolf among Wolves, TV)|
|1962||Königskinder (Star-Crossed Lovers)|
|1962||Das zweite Gleis (The Second Track)|
|1960||Fünf Tage – Fünf Nächte (Five Days, Five Nights)|
|1960||Septemberliebe (September Love)|
|1959||Verwirrung der Liebe (Love’s Confusion)|
|1956||Eine Berliner Romanze (A Berlin Romance)|
|1955||Gebirge und Meer (Mountains and Sea, short, docudrama)|