Alexandra Maria Lara
Judging from her body of work thus far, actress Alexandra Maria Lara tends to lean towards roles in historical and crime films. Born in Bucharest, Romania, Lara's gift for acting was genetic, as her father, Valentin Platareanu, is a Romanian actor, director, and drama teacher (Lara studied acting under her father's watchful eye). While still a teen, Lara was already landing roles on German television shows ("Mensch, Pia!") and movies ("Das Vorsprechen"). But it would be her role as Adolf Hitler's secretary, Traudl Junge, in the 2004 film "Downfall" that would serve as Lara's global breakthrough (resulting in a Bambi Award win the same year). After her performance in "Downfall," renowned director Francis Ford Coppola offered her a lead role in his 2007 film "Youth Without Youth." Lara would continue to rack up award wins during this era, including taking home a Golden Camera Award in 2005 for "Best German Actress." Lara consistently lands acclaimed roles in foreign films, including a pair of Academy Award-nominated movies released in 2008, "The Reader" and "Der Baader Meinhof Komplex."