ALEXANDRA MARIA LARA (Marlene Lauda)
is a Romanian-German
actress best known for her
roles in the Oscar-nom inated biographical drama
Downfall (2004) and Francis
Ford Coppola's Youth Without
Born in Bucharest,
Lara is the only child of
Romanian actor Valentin
Platareanu. At the age of four, her family fled to West
Germany to escape from the Nicolae Ceausescu
regime in Communist Romania. Although the family
had originally planned to immigrate to Canada, they
settled in Freiburg im Breisgau, Baden-Wurttemberg,
before eventually moving to Berlin. After graduating
from the Franzosisches Gymnasium Berlin in 1997,
Lara studied acting under the tutelage of her father,
co-founder of the Theaterwerkstatt Charlottenburg. By
the age of 16, she was playing leading roles in various
In 2008, she played supporting roles in the
German productions The Baader Meinhof Complex
and Hinter Kaifeck, opposite Benno Furmann. Aside
from her roles in various films that year, she was
a member of the feature-film jury at the Cannes
International Film Festival.
Several international films followed, including
Anton Corbijn's Control; Spike Lee's Miracle in St.
Anna; Stephen Daldry's The Reader; The Company; and
The City of Your Final Destination, with Laura Linney
and Sir Anthony Hopkins. At the end of 2009, Lara
played the leading roles in Sam Garbarski's Quartier
lointain and the romantic drama City of Life.
In 2010, Lara starred in Bruno Chiche's Small World,
alongside Gerard Depardieu. In 2011, Lara starred in
Detlev Buck's Woman in Love, opposite German actor
Matthias Schweighofer; Andrzej Jakimowski's Imagine;
and Christoph Schaub's Nachtlarm.
In 2012, Lara was recognized with the Chevalier des
Arts et des Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture
for her contributions to the art of cinema. In 2005, she
received Germany's Golden Camera for Best German
Actress for her role in Downfall. In 2006, Lara won
Best Actress at the Milan International Film Festival for
her role in The Fisherman and His Wife.
Lara currently resides in Berlin with her partner,
actor Sam Riley.
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