• Portrait Tanja von Lahnstein
    Miriam Lahnstein as Tanja von Lahnstein

    Tanja grew up in a wealthy family that lost everything when her father went bankrupt. Used to a life of luxury, Tanja began to show her true face in these times of need: pure egoism. She finds loving support in Jan Brandner, since she reminds him of his sister – and “forbidden love” – Julia; but she also discovers the power of manipulation and uses him to get ahead. She first marries Benedikt von Anstetten in order to obtain the title of countess and then starts various businesses that not only bring her wealth, but also enemies, first and foremost Clarissa von Anstetten. The two women are bound for eternity in mutual hatred. When Tanja marries banker Ansgar von Lahnstein and becomes powerful beyond her dreams, Clarissa, who was thought to be dead, shows up again after ten years in jail, vowing to destroy Tanja.

  • Portrait Ansgar von Lahnstein
    Wolfram Grandezka as Ansgar von Lahnstein

    Good-looking and extremely self-confident, Ansgar von Lahnstein is very much aware of the power he exerts on others. The eldest son of Johannes von Lahnstein and brother of Carla, Leonard and Constantin, Ansgar is a ruthless businessman whose most positive characteristic is his readiness to fight to the death for the sake of the family empire. Unfortunately, the methods he uses often prove destructive – and even fatal – for those bold enough to cross him. He is particularly protective of his sister Carla and stepsister Nico. But his ambitiousness leads to conflicts with other family members, and to complications with the many women in his life – some of whom he blatantly abuses to gain more power. The charismatic Ansgar’s greatest conflict, however, is with his father, who has always preferred his brother Leonard to him.

  • Portrait Nico von Lahnstein
    Verena Zimmermann as Nico von Lahnstein

    A self-confident young woman who was once a punker and has now become a model of chic and elegance, Nico grew up believing that she was the daughter of Achim Brandner. But her life was shaken when she found out that Johannes von Lahnstein is really her father. While still feeling connected to Arno and his family, and to the middle-class world in general, she overcame her initial differences with Johannes and is now comfortable as a countess. Nico is not very diplomatic, which gets her into lots of trouble; she’s imaginative, creative and tends to rely on her intuition rather than her intellect in making choices. Like becoming a photographer. This has become her biggest dream, and she’s ready to make many sacrifices to pull this through. But does she have the stamina to study photography?

  • Portrait Clarissa von Anstetten
    Isa Jank as Clarissa von Anstetten

    Clarissa always wanted to make it big, even going so far as to give up her son Jan to the boy’s father and her first love, Arno Brandner. She used to be interested only in three things: money, power and status. And she was ready to do practically anything to reach her objectives. But after spending ten years in a South American prison, she now longs above all for her family, in particular her son Jan and his twin sister Julia, who have unfortunately fallen in love. Upon her release from jail, she sets out to find her children and dreams of a new life. But then she learns that it was her mortal enemy Tanja von Lahnstein who got Clarissa sent to jail. Tanja has been living the good life since then, and capitalized on Clarissa’s business sense by taking over her clothing line. Clarissa has only one goal now: to destroy Tanja...

  • Portrait Charlie Schneider
    Dr. Gabriele Metzger as Charlie Schneider

    Charlie is always the “life of the party” no matter where she goes. Bubbly, life-loving, endowed with a great sense of humor and just the right amount of self-deprecation, Charlie has everything it takes to make a great friend and confidante. One of her first confidantes was Clarissa von Anstetten, for whom Charlie has always been the only person she can fully trust. Charlie has more problems with men, perhaps because she tends to like them young... The fact that she runs a bistro not only suits her communicative personality, but also lets her interact with many other characters. If only she could think before she talks, and learn from her mistakes... Her generosity and openness have caused her major problems more than once in her life, such as being blackmailed and losing good friends, boyfriends, and all her possessions...

  • Portrait Jan Brandner
    Hubertus Grimm as Jan Brandner

    The son of Arno Brandner and Clarissa von Anstetten will be marked forever by the events that followed his birth: when Clarissa gave birth to the twins Jan and Julia, she gave Jan to Arno and kept Julia, letting the twins grow up without knowledge of one another. However, Jan’s feeling of incompleteness means that he has always seemed unable to truly enjoy life – until the day he meets Julia and the two fall in love, a “forbidden love.” Though the twins find out about their bond early enough, they cannot hide their feelings for one another. And after several affairs with other women, Jan decides to become a priest, and goes to Majorca to run a youth center. But when Julia suddenly disappears, Jan does everything he can to find her. Jan will also learn that he has a daughter, Leonie, with his childhood sweetheart Kerstin.

  • Portrait Arno Brandner
    Konrad Krauss as Arno Brandner

    The owner of a construction company in Düsseldorf, Arno Brandner is an honorable, righteous man who places great weight on traditional values and is strong enough to prevent himself from being manipulated by others. Although he can be very stubborn and sometimes tries to impose his views on others, he is usually very wise and always seeks an equitable solution for family or business problems. He and his great love Clarissa had two children, Jan and Julia, but Clarissa separated the twins at birth, against Arno’s will. (Their “forbidden love” gave rise to the original title of the series.) Arno had two further children with his later wife Iris. When he meets Clarissa again after her years in prison, they begin a passionate affair that threatens Arno’s marriage. Considering his moral integrity, how will he be able to live a lie?

  • Portrait Leonie Richter
    Stefanie Bock as Leonie Richter

    Leonie is the daughter of Jan Brandner and Kerstin Richter. She was raised alone by Kerstin, who heaped scorn on Kerstin’s father. He allegedly abandoned them and refused to have any contact with his daughter. Leonie has grown up feeling insecure and lacking self-confidence, and now wants to meet her father and find out why he isn’t interested in her. She finds him on Majorca, where she also meets and falls in love with Timo, her cousin. She is intelligent and has many interests, including composing songs and writing the lyrics to them. Her big dream is to turn this into a career. She’s too shy, however, to perform them herself or have them played by professionals. She also realizes that if she wants to make her way in life, she must rebel against her dominating mother...

  • Portrait Julia Mendes
    Nina Bott as Julia Mendes

    For 19 years, the daughter of Arno Brandner and Clarissa von Anstetten had no idea that she had a twin brother, Jan. Sadly, by the time she found out, she and Jan were hopelessly in love – a “forbidden love.” Although both Jan and Julia tried to build lasting relationships with others, they could never forget one another. Julia even had a son, Timo, with Tim Sander. In Spain, Julia meets the physician Ricardo Mendes, whom she marries, and who lovingly raises her son Timo as his own. Julia wants nothing more than for the three of them to form a loving family. Her worst fear is that Timo might find out that she left his biological father in order to be with her brother...When her mother Clarissa unexpectedly shows up, Julia is afraid that her past will catch up with her – and that she might finally yield to her love for Jan.

  • Portrait Timo Mendes
    Remo Schulze as Timo Mendes

    The son of Julia and nephew of Jan, Timo has been raised on Majorca and believes that Ricardo Mendes, his mother’s husband, is his real father; Julia never told him the truth: that he’s the son of Tim Sander, who was murdered by Tanja von Anstetten... Timo is very open, he enjoys life and everything it has to offer. His pal Emilio shares his views and is always ready to join his friend in their adventures. There is no lack of them in Timo’s life, since his hot-headedness often gets him into hot water. He knows he’s got to watch out, however, since he wants to become a pilot! As far as girlfriends are concerned, he’s had quite a few flirts with vacationers, but his big love is his cousin Leonie – who tells him about his real father and how he was killed, thus triggering a dark plot against the indestructible Tanja von Lahnstein.

  • Portrait Emilio Sanchez
    Florian Wünsche as Emilio Sanchez

    A classical but penniless young Latin lover, Emilio is strikingly handsome, athletic and always looks cool, even though he can’t afford expensive clothes – everything looks good on him! He left his native Venezuela for Majorca, Spain, a couple of years ago and is keeping above water with various odd jobs and occasional petty thefts. He basically works as an all-purpose helper in the kitchen of a youth center, and even though he dreams of a life in luxury, he would do well to cultivate his cooking skills, as he has undeniable talents in the kitchen. Emilio is Timo’s best friend and will soon move to Düsseldorf. Emilio’s weakness is his flightiness and irresponsibility. He’s easy to manipulate and doesn’t think enough about the consequences of his actions. He’s always in danger of slipping into full-fledged criminality.

  • Portrait Kim Wolf
    Nicole Mieth as Kim Wolf

    Kim thinks she’s the daughter of Viktoria and Thomas Wolf, but her biological father is Ansgar von Lahnstein – to whom she feels a fateful attraction... Her mother has always regretted the one-night stand that led to her pregnancy with Kim, and her secret weighs upon her relationship with her daughter. Kim is hurt by this coldness and does her best to wrap her father around her little finger and infuriate her mother. Kim is pretty and knows how to use her looks to get what she wants. She’d like to be rich and famous, either as a model or as the wife of a famous man. Basically, she’d just like to show her mother that she can make it on her own. Though she manipulates the people around her, she’s not a cold-hearted schemer. Her role model is her stylish big sister Marlene; she has little in common with her younger sister Dana.

  • Portrait Thomas Wolf
    Till Demtroeder as Thomas Wolf

    Thomas stands for down-to-earth middle-class values, for integrity and straightforwardness – this, even if he has a dark secret in his past, namely that is the illegitimate son of Count Dietrich von Lahnstein, Ludwig’s father. He is Viktoria’s husband and father of Marlene, Dana and Kim. He has always worked as a forester, his latest position being the forester of the Lahnstein property outside of Düsseldorf. Thomas is spontaneous, and as such, he immediately proposed to Viktoria when they were in their twenties and she became pregnant. Since then, his short temper and dislike of taking orders from people who know nothing about forestry have led him to quit jobs repeatedly, which seriously pulls at the fabric of the family. Thomas hovers between his dream of having his own woodland property and his fear of losing Viktoria.

  • Portrait Viktoria Wolf
    Patricia Schäfer as Viktoria Wolf

    Viktoria comes from a rigid, conservative Protestant family that she vowed she would never emulate. Her big dream was to study psychology, but she soon became pregnant with Thomas’ child, and the two got married shortly thereafter. A warm-hearted, open woman, Viktoria fully embraced her role as mother, and soon gave birth to another child, Dana. Her relationship with them is warm and loving – unlike that with daughter Kim. The roots for this troubled mother-daughter relationship lie in the fact that Kim is the product of a brief affair Viktoria had with Ansgar von Lahnstein. To a high-principled woman like Viktoria, Kim is a constant reminder of her failing. Although she has a loving relationship with Thomas, she never told him the truth about Kim and fears that she will lose her family if the truth comes out some day.

  • Portrait Christian Mann
    Thore Schölermann as Christian Mann

    Christian is a born athlete, an honest, reliable young man who, after having developed heart problems, had to abandon boxing and turned to horses as his profession: he is now a trainer at the Lahnstein Race-Horse Farm. Christian dealt himself a bad hand, however, when he went to prison for his father, who was ill and a gambler, and robbed a service station. Christian knew that his dad wouldn’t come out alive. His acquaintanceship with Olli changes his life: he falls in love with him and begins an emotional roller-coaster ride due in part to his difficulty in accepting his homosexuality. He becomes less uptight when he and Olli are entrusted with the care of Lilly, their foster child. But when they are forced to give her up, a rift opens up between Olli and Christian and it seems like they might separate for good...

  • Portrait Oliver Sabel
    Jo Weil as Oliver Sabel

    Oliver is the sweet-natured, Peter Pan type of eternally youthful man-child who refuses to grow up. He’d be a perfect son-in-law if only he could ever decide to have a serious relationship. Since he’s bisexual, he has lots of candidates to choose from. But he’s still trying to deal with his difficult childhood in a proper Protestant family, with a cold father and a mother concerned about what people think. The only person who has no problems with his sexual orientation is his aunt Charlie, the black sheep of the family, who supports him not only morally but also financially. He has no trouble accepting money from her – he’s convinced that he deserves it. Oliver hates taking responsibility; this makes him slippery and hard to really know. Though he took on a job on a cruise ship, he doesn’t really know what to make of his life.