Martina Gedeck was born in Munich on September 14th 1961. In 1971, her family moved to Berlin, where the 11-year-old debuted as an actress in children's TV shows. After finishing school in 1981, she enrolled at the Freie Universität Berlin, majoring in German literature and history.
From 1982 to 1986, she attended the acting class at the Hochschule der Künste. During that time, Gedeck made her stage debut at the Theater im Turm in Frankfurt. She performed on a regular basis at the Deutsche Schauspielhaus in Hamburg, and had engagements at other theatres in Basel, Berlin, Frankfurt and Hamburg.
Movie audiences got to know her thanks to her parts in Sönke Wortmann's hit comedy "Der bewegte Mann" (Maybe, Maybe not) and Rainer Kaufmann's "Stadtgespräch" (Talk of the Town). Her memorable turn as sluttish housewife cum entrepreneur Lola in Wolfgang Becker's "Das Leben ist eine Baustelle" (Life is All You Get) further boosted her film career.
After getting rave reviews for her award-winning performance in the TV-drama "Hölleisengretl", Gedeck impressed critics and moviegoers alike with her interpretation of shy waitress Seraphina in Helmut Dietl's "Rossini oder die mörderische Frage, wer mit wem schlief" (Rossini) and consequently was awarded the German Film Award for Best Actress In A Supporting Role in 1997.
By then, Gedeck had established herself as one of the most prolific character actresses in Germany. She effortlessly switched ambitious feature films like "Viehjud Levi" (Jew-Boy Levi) and highbrow TV-dramas like Dominik Graf's "Deine besten Jahre", garnering numerous awards and nominations along the way. Her international breakthrough came with "Bella Martha" by Sandra Nettelbeck: Gedeck plays successful but lonely chef Martha, who suddenly has to come to terms with the orphaned daughter of her dead sister and a new Italian assistant cook. The engaging film played extremely well in Germany and abroad, and Gedeck was awarded the German Film Award as Best Actress.
She continued to win audiences over with convincing turns in TV dramas "Romeo" and "Die Mutter", and most recently added two new prestigious movie projects to her résumé, the much talked about literary adaptation "Elementarteilchen" (The Elementary Particles) and the oscar-winning drama "Das Leben der Anderen" (The Lives of Others). But also in smaller productions like Stefan Krohmer's "Sommer 04" (Summer 04) she continued to give stunning performances. Two other prestigious projects are released in autumn/winter 2008: Bernd Eichinger's adaptation of the book about german terrorism "Baader Meinhof Komplex", in which Martina Gedeck plays Ulrike Meinhof, and Helma Sanders-Brahm's portrait of pianist Clara Schumann, who is torn between her love for her husband Robert and young Johannes Brahms, "Geliebte Clara" (Clara).
In 2010 she worked again with director Oskar Roehler and played the wife of actor Ferdinand Marian (Tobias Moretti) in his controversial film "Jud Süß - Film ohne Gewissen" (Jew Suss - Rise and Fall). She then had a supporting role in the Spanish thriller "Agnosia", which was not released in German cinemas. In 2011, she played a police psychologist trying to solve the case of a missing child in "Bastard" and a woman who suddenly finds herself isolated in the mountain wilderness by an invisible wall in "Die Wand", released in 2012. This performance garnered Gedeck a nomination for the German Film Award.
Spring 2012 saw the release of István Szabó's "Hinter der Tür" in Germany. In the film, Gedeck plays a writer who develops a unique relationship to her elder and slightly peculiar maid.
Following roles in "Halbe Hundert" (TV, 2012) and "Die Nonne" (F/D/B 2013), she was one of the leads in Bille August's "Nachtzug nach Lissabon" (D/CH/PT), which premiered at the 2013 Berlin IFF. Shortly afterwards, she starred opposite Klaus Maria Brandauer in the made-for-TV drama "Die Auslöschung", and played a woman whose ex-husband is confronted with her ex-lover in Markus Imboden's acclaimed "Am Hang" (CH/D 2013). After getting much attention for her portrayal of a tough juvenile court judge in the TV production "Das Ende der Geduld" (2014), Gedeck was one of the leads in the TV miniseries "Tannbach – Schicksal eines Dorfes", which is set in the last days of WWII.
In 2015, Martina Gedeck starred alongside Devid Striesow in the screen adaptation of the bestselling novel "Ich bin dann mal weg" and played the mother of Anne Frank in "Das Tagebuch der Anne Frank".