One of the leading lights of the German cinema, Monica Bleibtreu was destined for the stage from an early age. The granddaughter of actress Hedwig Bleibtreu, most famous for her role in "The Third Man," Monica's father was also a theater director, resulting in her starting performance at a very young age. She studied at Vienna's Max-Reinhardt-Seminar for acting, and began her professional career in 1966. She took a number of TV roles before coming to the big screen in 1979's "Ludwig: Requiem for a Virgin King," a filmed adaptation of the Wagner opera. She was incredibly prolific throughout the 80s and 90s, appearing in multiple projects every year. Later in her life, she began passing her skills along to the next generation of actors as a professor in residence at the Hamburg School of Music and Theater. Her best-known role was in Tom Twyker's "Run Lola Run," where she co-starred with her son Moritz Bleibtreu. The last years of her life were spent in a long battle with cancer, which eventually claimed her life in 2009. Here last released film was Fatih Akin's comedy "Soul Kitchen." She was so well-respected in Germany that the country's president Horst Koehler issued a memorial statement at her funeral.