Actress Hannelore Elsner is best known to German audiences for her role as Inspector Lea Sommer in the long-running crime program "Die Kommissarin," which ran from 1994 to 2006. Although she has worked steadily since 1959 on stage, on television, and in movies, she is little known to mainstream audiences beyond the borders of Germany. Savvy moviegoers, though, especially ones who attend film festivals, may know her from her role as half of a German couple confronting their mortality in Doris Dörrie's "Cherry Blossoms," an homage to the great Japanese director Ozu, and from her part in Oskar Roehler's "No Place to Go" as a novelist suffering a mental breakdown during the collapse of the East German government in 1989. Both films showcase the actress at the top of her craft and show why many critics and audiences alike feel that she is one of the best German actresses of her generation. Roles in the poignant drama "Vivere"--playing a suicidal heartbroken woman-and in the German box-office hit comedy "Go for Zucker," in which she plays a frustrated wife to a drunken, gambling pool player who enters a tournament hoping to make the score of a lifetime, were received with much critical praise.