In Das singende, klingende Bäumchen © DEFA-Stiftung, Kurt Schütt
Christel Bodenstein was born in Munich, Germany, on October 13, 1938. From 1952 to 1955, she trained at the Leipzig School of Ballet and at the Berlin Ballet School. Her first engagement was at the Landestheater in Halle. From 1956 to 1959, she then studied acting at the Deutsche Hochschule für Filmkunst (now Filmuniversität Babelsberg Konrad Wolf) in Potsdam-Babelsberg.
While still a student, Bodenstein was cast by director Slatan Dudow in Der Hauptmann von Köln. Other film roles followed, including an internationally-acclaimed portrayal of the arrogant princess in the fairytale film, Das singende, klingende Bäumchen in 1957. From 1959 to 1973, while continuing to appear on stage at the Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin and the Hans Otto Theater in Potsdam, she became a member of the ensemble at the DEFA Studio for Feature Film.
Starting in the 1960s, Bodenstein was given more challenging film roles, such as Grit in Ralf Kirsten’s contemporary film Beschreibung eines Sommers and the young assistant producer in Gottfried Kolditz’s music film Revue um Mitternacht,playing opposite Manfred Krug. Bodenstein also performed alongside Krug in the television movie Wenn die Nacht kein Ende nimmt, a story about a 17-year-old girl who gets lured into the world of prostitutes. She played the lead in Konrad Wolf’s production of Der kleine Prinz,an adaptation of the beloved story by Antoine de Saint Exupéry; it was the only film in which she collaborated with director Konrad Wolf, who was her husband at the time.
All in all, Bodenstein played in over 30 films. Starting in the early 1970s, she also began touring with her own literary-musical programs and gave guest appearances at various theaters. She was one of the founding members of Das Ei, the small stage theater at the Friedrichstadt-Palast in Berlin. From 1994 until her retirement, she worked as an assistant director and director of the Friedrichstadt-Palast theater’sKleine Revue. In 2016, she was cast as an old herbalist in a television adaptation ofDas singende, klingende Bäumchen.
|2016||Das singende, klingende Bäumchen (The Singing, Ringing Tree, TV)|
|1991||Die Kaltenbach-Papiere (Fatal Assignment, TV mini series)|
|1990-91||Spreewaldfamilie (The Spreewald Family, TV series)|
|1988||Grüne Hochzeit (Just Married!)|
|1985||Stielke, Heinz, fünfzehn (Stielke, Heinz, Fifteen)|
|1972||Nicht schummeln, Liebling! (No Cheating, Dear!)|
|1971-83||Der Staatsanwalt hat das Wort (The Prosecutor Has the Floor, TV series)|
|1966||Der kleine Prinz (The Little Prince)|
|1965/66||Wenn du groß bist, lieber Adam (When You're Older, Dear Adam)|
|1965||Ohne Pass in fremden Betten (No Passport Required in Strange Beds)|
|1962||Minna von Barnhelm oder das Soldatenglück (Minna von Barnhelm or The Soldier's Luck)|
|1962||Revue um Mitternacht (Midnight Revue)|
|1962||Beschreibung eines Sommers (Description of a Summer)|
|1959||Maibowle (May Punch)|
|1959||Wenn die Nacht kein Ende nimmt (When a Night Won't End, TV)|
|1957||Das singende, klingende Bäumchen (The Singing, Ringing Tree)|
|1956||Das tapfere Schneiderlein (The Brave Little Tailor)|
|1956||Der Hauptmann von Köln (The Captain of Cologne)|