July 26, 1975
Andreas Stenschke, (26 July 1975) is a German actor and director originally brought to prominence in the groundbreaking story of teenager Ulli Prozeski coming to terms with being gay on the popular daily serial, Verbotene Liebe, seen nationally on the ARD network.
Stenschke was born in Cologne, Germany and moved shortly to the nearby suburbs, where his parents, Wolfgang and Marlene, had bought a home. He has a younger brother, Christian, born in March 1980. Andreas was educated at the Gymnasium in Erftstadt Lechenich and graduated in 1995. He later received a degree in television series producing and directing from the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in March 2006.
From an early age he was drawn to cinema and won several prizes as a youthful filmmaker, including one in 1996, which, among the rewards, sent him to the Atlanta Olympics, where he sent back video reports to the WDR. He also worked intermittently as a teen-age model in pictorial layouts.
After fulfilling his national service obligation at a senior citizen home in 1995 and 1996, he attempted various pursuits in production when, during a visit to the WDR Studios in 1997, he was discovered in the commissary by the head writer of Verbotene Liebe, which led to an audition for the show.
After two years on the show, the producers offered him a storyline rich with possibilities. His character, heretofore straight, would discover he was gay after meeting an attractive doctor, Tom Seifert, played by Kay Böger.
This was one of the first such open romances on German TV, and the boundaries broken were much more revealing than in American cinema and on TV shows which depict such entanglements. Indeed the importance of the relationship is such that as recently as 2008—more than seven years after the characters broke up and subsequently left the show—videos of the encounter and ensuing romance were placed by various users on YouTube. As they were in German, a British fan undertook the task to subtitle the Ulli/Tom story in English.
After three and a half years and 342 episodes on Verbotene Liebe, Stenschke left the series and recorded a CD single, Just When I Needed You Most. It did not sell well, and so he concentrated on his acting, as well as his desire to direct.
In 2001, he applied for and was accepted among 800 entrants for admission to the prestigious Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in Ludwigsburg. At the same time, he had guest starred on a weekly serial, Die Anrheiner, and was then asked to join the regular cast, taking the role of Ben Merker. However, this conflicted with his desire to go to film school and he was determined to turn the acting job down. When the producers offered to work around his school schedule he undertook both assignments and began commuting a few times a month from Ludwigsburg, three hours south of Cologne where his series was shot. This kept his hand in acting and provided him a steady paycheck as he learned the ins and outs of production.
In the course of his four years at film school, he directed several films, received his diploma  and then continued his role on Die Anrheiner, ultimately leaving the series in 2008 after completing 133 episodes.
During his breaks from Die Anrheiner in 2006, Stenschke began his apprenticeship as a director, first serving as assistant director on Der perfekte Urlaub, a reality show shot in tourist locales, and then got a major opportunity as A.D. on the critically successful show Pastewka.
In 2007, he was hired for his first directorial assignment, a crime drama, Staatsanwalt Posch ermittelt, produced by Filmpool and broadcast on the RTL Television network. While shooting several episodes of the series, the show's PR representative remembered that one of the series' stars, Andrea Suwa, had played Stenschke's older sister Jessica Prozeski on Verbotene Liebe. Stenschke was asked if he would be willing to take a role in back to back episodes entitled "Feuerengel" and "Feuerteufel," although in these instances there would be a change of pace, as he would now be playing Suwa's love interest. Stenschke agreed and the result was very high ratings for the show.
Stenschke was then asked to direct a popular cooking competition show, Unter Volldampf!, produced by Granada and broadcast on VOX (TV channel). The show consisted of five amateur chefs vying for a cash prize. Each week featured a new restaurant and different chef candidates in cities throughout Germany. In a year and a half, Stenschke helmed 115 episodes.
In November 2009, Stenschke prepared to direct Alles was zählt, a Grundy UFA serial drama, broadcast on RTL, providing his biggest break to direct live actors on a top-rated series. When the five episodes were completed they were viewed by a panel of RTL and Grundy UFA executives. Having passed muster, Stenschke was hired in January 2010 to direct a second block of episodes, which were shot in February 2010. The response was such that Stenschke directed his third block in April 2010, a fourth and fifth block in the summer of 2010 and has continued directing numerous blocks as of the close of 2011.
In June 2009, Andreas Stenschke began a series of commentaries online at Ändis Wirre Welt.
Motion picture actor 
In October 2009, Andreas Stenschke began shooting his first motion picture as an actor, taking the lead role of Marek Feldmann in writer/director Romain Gierenz's independent film, Das Plüschtier, also known by its English translation, The Cuddly Toy. This is particularly apt as the film is shot almost entirely in English and provided Stenschke, who speaks English fluently, the chance to be seen by a wider audience. The month-long shoot, with pick-up shots in December 2009 and February 2010, is scheduled for release January 19, 2012 in Luxembourg.
Support for artists rights 
Andreas Stenschke joined the European support for the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike with a video produced in Cologne in which he warned Americans not to give in and suffer the fate befalling foreign artists who do not enjoy a residual structure for royalties and reruns as Americans do. The next year, Stenschke joined 38,000 fellow European artists signing a petition for the furtherance of the protection of artists rights.
- Ludwigsburger Kreisezeitung, "Einstiger Serienstar und Teenie-Schwarm Steht Jetzt Hinter der Kamera" by Birgit Kiefer, September 2005
- Bravo Magazin, "TV-Stars in Angst" by Jens-Stefan Hübel, 18 January 2000
- Verbotene Liebe fansite
- Erftstadt Magazin, "Der Lechenicher Traumschwiegersohn" by Hans-Georg Bensberg, 2005, September, Iss. 98, pg. Cover, pages 8-10
- German First Network website, One of Top 10 Romantic Couplings, Andreas Stenschke (Ulli) and Kay Böger (Tom) 1999
- Tom and Ulli story placed by Wuschel98 in German
- Ulli and Tom Story on Verbotene Liebe with English subtitles
- CD Singles Jacket, Edel Records 2000
- Stuttgarter Zeitung,"Vom Teenieschwarm Zum Regisseur" by Kerstin Ruchay, 29/9/2005
- Anrheiner Website
- Soap List
- Alte Knochen 2003
- Soko Schutzbengel 2005
- Baden-Württemberg website 2006
- Actor Citation for diploma film In Ewigweit Amen?
- Andreas Stenschke IMDB Listing
- RTL Program Guide
- Fernsehserien.de (2007)
- VOX TV Schedule
- Tageblatt Zeitung Fir Letzebuerg, "Ein Plüschtier, das wahnsinnig macht" by Janina Strötgen, (29/10/2009)
- Interview with The Cuddly Toy director Romain Gierenz on RTL Luxembourg
- The Cuddly Toy IMDB site
- Andreas Stenschke on WGAAmerica YouTube site
- Huffington Post article 23/3/2008
- Recording artists and performers call for fairness on term of protection in Europe
- Andreas Stenschke at the Internet Movie Database
- Andreas Stenschke German IMDB Site
- Official Website