One of Germany's most revered and award-winning actresses, Martina Gedeck has had the kind of success that has prompted comparisons to American actress Meryl Streep. Gedeck was raised in West Berlin and while attending the University of Berlin she switched her studies from history to drama and was working professionally while still in school. The Bavarian actress first gained international fame in 2001 with the success of "Bella Martha," a romantic comedy in which Gedeck plays a workaholic chef trying to sort through her life issues. The film inspired an American version, "No Reservations," starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, and a Bollywood interpretation with Indian superstar Amitabh Bachchan. The rest of the decade would see Gedeck at the peak of her popularity. After winning a German Film Award (the equivalent of an Oscar with a three-million-Euro prize attached) for Best Actress for "Bella Martha," she came back with the Cold War surveillance drama, "The Lives of Others," which won Best Film at the European Film Awards and an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Robert De Niro cast her as the lead opposite Matt Damon in his 2006 film "The Good Shepherd," and her portrayal of a '60s counterculture German terrorist in "The Baader Meinhof Complex" in 2009 brought more accolades and awards. Gedeck is also involved in German politics, primarily associated with the Green Party.