The actress and author Andrea Sawatzki (60) cannot let go of the difficult years of her childhood. In 2022, the former “Tatort” detective looked back on the years before her successful start into acting in her autobiographical novel “Brunnenstrasse”. In it she talks about her life as the daughter of a destitute nurse and a father who suffered from Alzheimer’s at an early age, which has had a great influence on her to this day. In an interview with “Bild” she gave more detailed insights into her situation at the time.

At the age of eight, she had to take responsibility for her sick and unpredictable father. “My mother was on night duty as a nurse in the hospital. She looked after my father during the day when I was at school and she was supposed to be sleeping,” said Sawatzki. “I took over when I got home from school so she could get some sleep and then looked after my father through the night. When I was supposed to be sleeping.”

The family burden had a drastic impact on her school performance. “I often didn’t go at all because I was just too tired,” admitted the actress. After her father’s death, she immediately dropped out of school, moved to Munich and initially worked as a waitress. “It was also a good feeling to finally have our own money in our pockets,” remembers Sawatzki, “because we were chronically broke at home.”

The decisive turning point in her life came when she attended drama school, which she graduated from in 1987. After an engagement at the Landesbühne Wilhelmshaven, she landed her first major film roles and appeared in TV series such as “Der Fahnder”, “Wolff’s Revier” and “Adelheit and her murderers”. Between 2001 and 2009 she portrayed the chief inspector Charlotte Singer in the Frankfurt crime thrillers “Tatort”. She can currently be seen as Gundula Bundschuh in the ZDF film series “The Bundschuh Family”, which is based on her own novels.

As she reports in the interview, her life today as a successful actress and author is still strongly influenced by the experiences of her difficult childhood. “At first I thought I could escape my own life and hide behind my characters,” says Sawatzki. “But around the age of 30, I realized that even in acting you always have to take yourself with you and that you can’t play a role without bringing your own life into it.”