Anke Engelke was born in Montreal, Canada. Her family moved back to Germany when she was five. There she attended a school in a small town in the „Land of Berg“, before moving to Cologne where she settled permanently.
At the age of 10, she started singing in the school’s choir and she has been singing ever since. She is part of “Fred Kellner und die famosen Soulsisters” since 1988.
At 12 years of age she debuted as a radio host, presenting a children´s program called „Moment mal“ (RTL, Luxemburg). At 13 she co-hosted her first TV show „Spielexpress“, ZDF and throughout her teenage years she presented a daily live show for the ZDF’s summer program.
From 1986 to 1998 Anke Engelke worked for the public radio station „Südwestfunk“, starting to focus on journalism. She can still be heard on SWR 3 in co-operation with Kristian Thees, in „Wie war dein Tag, Liebling?“ („ How was your day, darling?“)
In 1996 TV channel SAT1 started the weekly program „SAT-1 Wochenschau“ giving Anke Engelke a chance to work in a comedy show. In 2000 two seasons of her own comedy show „Anke – die Comedyserie“ followed, and since 2002 she has been staring in and co-producing her succesful comedy show „Ladykracher“ pausing only in 2004 for 78 shows of „Anke Late Night“ and „Ladyland“ in 2006.
In 2007 and 2009 Anke Engelke and her longtime friend and colleague Bastian Pastewka presented two editions of „Fröhliche Weihnachten“ („Merry Christmas“), acting as Wolfgang and Anneliese Funfzichler, – a duo of German folk music.
Since 2001 she’s been acting with Olli Dittrich in the improvisation series „Blind Date“. In 2007 she created a world of her own in the „Sendung mit dem Elefanten“ a program for pre-schoolers, and in the same year became a steady member of the cast of „Kommissarin Lucas“ with Ulrike Kriener, interpreting the inspector’s sister, which was seen on ZDF.
On the big screen she first appeared in 2000, in Detlef Buck’s film „Liebesluder“, followed by Helmut Dietl’s „Vom Suchen und Finden der Liebe“ in 2005, Ute Wieland’s „Freche Mädchen“ in 2008, and most recently, in Lars Büchel’s „Lippels Traum“, filmed in 2009. Attentive spectators surely won’t miss her parts in the films of Tobi Baumann „Wixxer“ (2004) and „Vollidiot“ (2007).
Since Anke Engelke loves film she has been serving as MC at film festivals such as the Berlinale and the European Film Awards for many years, has reported from the world’s red carpets at the Oscar’s, the Golden Globes, or the Berlinale on behalf of the WDR Morgenmagazin.
In 2011 she co-hosted the Eurovision Song Contest with Rudith Rakers and Stefan Raab in three languages in front of an audience that counted over 100 million people worldwide. 2012 she was the Jury-President for the German ESC-ratings and in 2013 she hosted the German competition for the entry to the ESC „Unser Star für Malmö“ for the ARD.
Having gained experience in dubbing as a child, she has been the German voice of Disney´s Jane in „Tarzan“ (1994), of Dorie in „Finding Nemo“, Of Marge in „The Simpsons“ (since 2006), as well as that of kangaroo in the German version of „Horton Hears A Who“ (2008), a frog in „Gnomeo and Juliet“ (2011) and a crazy tourist in the British feature movie „Sightseers“ (2013).
Anke Engelke received numerous awards for her work, such as the renowned „Grimme Preis“: one for her female characters in „Sat1-Wochenschau“ (1999), one for the episode „Taxi nach Schweinau“ of the „Blind Date“ – series, as well as one for „Fröhliche Weihnachten“ in 2008. She has won 5 German Comedy Awards for her show „Ladykracher“ and 4 for her work as a comedian. 2011 she received her second „German Television Award“ for „Ladykracher“ and one for her work as one of the three presenters of the Eurovision Song Contest. She has also received an Emmy-nomination in the category „Popular Arts“ for her show „Ladykracher“.
She enjoys performing dramatic readings as well as recording audio books such as „Bambi“, „The Jungle Book“ and „Querulanten“ with German literature super star Roger Willemsen with whom she has been hosting a musical radio show on New Year´s Eve for several years.
Having wanted to be a teacher when she was little, Anke Engelke has been part of one of Europe´s most renowned children´s program on TV from it’s first edition in 2007: „Die Sendung mit dem Elefanten“. Being a huge art fan, she has been giving guided tours for children in the „Bundeskunsthalle Bonn“ for many years and is an honorary professor at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne where she teaches TV direction.
For over 10 years she has been working as the ambassador for the German Medical Aid Organisation „Action Medeor“ and enjoys accompanying them on research trips to Africa almost every year.