Christian Berkel was born in Berlin, Germany. His first novel, Der Apfelbaum (The Apple Tree), was published by Ullstein in 2018 and became a bestseller. His most recent novel is Ada, published by Ullstein in October 2020.
From the age of 14 he lived in Paris where he took drama lessons with Jean-Louis Barrault and Pierre Berlin. He then trained at the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin and appeared on stage in Augsburg, Düsseldorf, Munich, Vienna and at the Schiller Theatre, Berlin.
He has appeared in many German television productions and secured a major role in the Academy Award-nominated film Downfall as Dr. Ernst-Günther Schenck. He has followed this with significant roles in the Paul Verhoeven-directed Dutch movie Black Book and the big-budget American movies Flightplan, Valkyrie (in which he portrayed Colonel Albrecht Mertz von Quirnheim) and Quentin Tarantino’s Academy Award-nominated Inglourious Basterds.
He lives with his family in Berlin.
Photo (c) Gerald von Foris