German leading man and heartthrob Benno Fürmann was born Benjamin Fürmann in Berlin. After studying at the Lee Strasburg Institute in New York, he started acting in German features and made-for-TV movies. In 1995, he joined the cast of the German sitcom Und Tschuss! and played in several crime stories as Karsten Rohde, co-starring with Dieter Pfaff as Kommissar Hans Sperling. In 1999 he won Best Actor at the German Television Awards for his work on Die Bubi Scholz Story. After that, he started getting lead roles in major German comedies and dramas (Der Eisbär, St. Pauli Night, Punktchen und Anton, and 'Ne Günstige Gelegenheit). In 2000, he moved to thrillers for the starring role in Freunde -- winning him Best Actor at the Bavarian Film Awards -- and a supporting role in Anatomie. He followed this up Tom Tykwer's romantic drama The Princess and the Warrior, opposite Anatomie co-star Franka Potente. In 2001 he appeared in another romantic comedy, Jeans, the directorial debut of his long-time co-star Nicolette Krebitz. He quickly gained more starring roles in German films before making his first U.S. production with the religious thriller The Order in 2003.