She was the daughter of Thomas Schmidt and Anne Reinsdorf. Her mother washed clothes for a living, and placed her a student in the ballet school of the Royal Danish Theatre for her to survive in 1789. She debuted in 1793 and was employed in 1794. She was to be famed as a tragic heroine on stage.
Among her admirers were Knud Lyne Rahbek and Henrich Steffen. Adam Oehlenschläger is considered to have used her as a role model for the Nordic heroine in his tragedies, and it is for her interpretations of his plays that she is most known. She retired after a stroke in 1832.
Married to the actor Stephan Heger in 1797, she was the mother of Elise Holst, who replaced her in the same parts she used to play at the theatre after her retirement.