Meryem Uzerli (Turkish pronunciation: [mæɾˈjæm uzæɾˈli]), born August 12, 1983, is a Turkish-German actress and model who rose to prominence by playing Hürrem Sultan in the Turkish TV series Muhteşem Yüzyıl (2011–2013), for which she received critical acclaim and won numerous accolades, including a Golden Butterfly Award.

Uzerli was born and raised in Kassel. She made her acting debut with minor parts in German productions. She later made minor appearances in the television series Notruf Hafenkante (2010) and Ein Fall für zwei (2010). Uzerli is also known for her roles in German films like Journey of No Return (2010) and Jetzt aber Ballett (2010). At the end of 2010, she was chosen by Meral Okay for her first leading role in the Turkish TV series Muhteşem Yüzyıl (2011–2013). In addition to her acting career, Uzerli has appeared in many advertising films and is the face of numerous brands. In 2012, she was chosen as the Woman of the Year by GQ Turkey.

Early life

Meryem Uzerli was born on August 12, 1983 in Kassel, Germany. Her father Hüseyin is Turkish while her mother Ursula, who is also an actress, is German, so she has joint German-Turkish nationality. She embraces and unites both diverse cultures, demonstrated by her two residences in Berlin and Istanbul. Her native language is German, but she is also fluent in Turkish and English. She has two elder brothers and an elder sister, Canan, who is a jazz musician. At the Freie Waldorf School in Kassel, her artistic potential was supported by numerous theater projects. From 2000 until 2003, she studied acting at the Schauspiel Studio Frese in Hamburg. After graduating she took minor parts in several German productions.

Professional career

2010–13: Muhteşem Yüzyıl

Uzerli's best-known part is as Hürrem Sultan in the historical television drama series Muhteşem Yüzyıl, directed by the Taylan Brothers. In 2010, after an eight-month search to find the best actress for this role, she was chosen by Meral Okay, the series' screenwriter, and Timur Savcı, the series' producer. About her selection she said: “Until one day the phone rang, I was invited for a casting in Turkey, and then immediately I started living in Istanbul almost full time.” She lived in a hotel for two years during the shooting of Muhteşem Yüzyıl. She shared the leading role with Halit Ergenç, Nebahat Çehre and Okan Yalabık. Uzerli reached more than 400 million fans weekly through her starring role in Muhteşem Yüzyıl, which was broadcast in more than 60 countries. Within just two years she received many awards for her exceptional acting performance. She won the Golden Butterfly Award for Best Actress for this part in 2012. In 2013, she left the series due to health reasons, a burnout. From episode 103, Vahide Perçin took her part as Hürrem Sultan.

2014–present: Gecenin Kraliçesi and Annemin Yarası

At the end of 2014, it was announced that Uzerli will return after a one-year hiatus with new management and a TV project, after signing a contract with O3, the Turkish production company and MBC Group, one of the biggest TV centers of the Arab world. To mark Uzerli's comeback, Louis Vuitton and the Turkish edition of Elle magazine dedicated a 12-page fashion spread to the actress, photographed at historic German landmarks including the Berliner Dom and Siegessäule. A big press conference with Uzerli was planned in Dubai, where she would present her new project, but rather than organizing a signing ceremony for the contract in Dubai, Uzerli went to Istanbul with a small group of press members. She is still living in Berlin, but is planning to move to Istanbul. In December 2014, Star TV released a video and a photo of Uzerli introducing her as one of its stars in 2015. Previously, she had published a photo of herself during a camera shooting in Star TV's studio. In October 2015, she was again introduced among the TV's stars for 2016. About her future she says: “I am trying to build on my international success within any industry where actors are respected as artists, and where I can find great scripts that allow me to delve into a story that leaves the here and now behind.” In March 2015, it was finalized that Uzerli will share the leading role with Murat Yıldırım in her new TV series. The series' name was later announced as Gecenin Kraliçesi. It is directed by Muhteşem Yüzyıl directors, the Taylan Brothers. Some of the scenes for this series were filmed in Cannes, France. The shooting later continued in Rize, Turkey. It premiered on Star TV in January 2016.

In addition to her career in television, Uzerli is also set to appear in a cinema movie titled Annemin Yarası. The film was released in March 2016. Her co-stars include Ozan Güven, Okan Yalabık and Belçim Bilgin.

Uzerli is also a model and has appeared in many of Elle's, Marie Claire's, InStyle's and Elidor's (Turkish beauty company) advertisements.

Personal life

After leaving Turkey, Uzerli announced that she had broken up with her boyfriend Can Ateş after learning that he had cheated on her. She said that she was pregnant and she wanted to give birth to her child, whose father is Ateş. On 10 February 2014, she gave birth to a girl named Lara.

It was also rumored that Uzerli was in a relationship with her previous cast mate Ozan Güven, who played the role of Rüstem Pasha in Muhteşem Yüzyıl. Uzerli later posted on her Facebook that the news about her relationship with Güven was not true.

At the end of 2014, Uzerli received an invitation from a rich family to an event in the Middle East, offering her 500,000 euros to attend a special dinner. She replied to them: “I don’t usually accept such invitations, but if you donate the money to three Turkish associations working for children in need, I will come.” The event's hosts replied: “Then we will pay more money.” She attended this dinner in December 2014.


2008Menage A TroisMadelineShort film
Jetzt vorbei
2009Das total verrückte WochenendeProstitute
WiedergeburtShort film
The LineAnnaShort film
SchulterblickShort film
Lauf um deine LiebeShort film
LUMEShort film
Sterne über dem EisStudent
2010Journey of No ReturnStewardess
Das ist ja das Leben selbst
The Dark Chest of WondersShort film
Urbane DaterShort film
Lover's GuideMaraShort film
2016Annemin YarasıMarijaLeading role
2008Ein total verrücktes Wochenende
Inga LindströmBrittaProtagonist
2010Der StaatsanwaltEpisode: "Mordswut"
Notruf HafenkanteEpisode: "Alles Lüge"
Ein Fall für zweiAnkelEpisode: "Verlust"
Jetzt aber BallettSasha KitanoTV movie
WALF: We All Love FootballLenaTV series
2011–2013Muhteşem YüzyılHürrem SultanLeading role
2016Gecenin KraliçesiSelinLeading role

Awards and nominations

201047th International Antalya Golden Orange Film FestivalSpecial Jury PrizeJourney of No ReturnWon
201124th Tüketici Academy AwardBest Female LeadMuhteşem YüzyılWon
2011Silver Horse AwardBest ActressWon
2011TV Stars AwardBest ActressWon
201138th Golden Butterfly AwardSpecial PrizeWon
2011Marmara UniversityBest ActressWon
2011TV OscarsBest ActressWon
20112nd AwardsBest ActressWon
2011Turkish Antalya Television AwardBest Drama ActressNominated
2012Turkey GQ AwardsWoman of the YearWon
201239th Golden Butterfly AwardBest ActressMuhteşem YüzyılWon
2012Galatasaray UniversityBest Film and Serial ActressWon
2012Istanbul Kültür UniversityBest Drama Series ActressWon
2012Golden MDG AwardBest Drama Lead TurkeyWon Honorary AwardsBest ActressWon
2012Magazine Journalists Association: Golden Objective AwardsBest Actress of the YearWon
2012Yıldız Technical UniversityMost Popular Series ActressWon
20123rd AwardsBest ActressNominated
2012Turkish Antalya Television AwardBest Drama ActressNominated
2012Aydın University IstanbulMost Popular Series ActressWon
2012Radikal AwardsBest ActressWon
2012Andy-Ar AwardsBest Actress of the YearWon
2012Esenler 2012 Most Successful People NamesBest Actress of the YearWon
201311th Stars Award CeremonyMost admired TV series Actress of 2012Won
201320th İtü Emös Achievement AwardsBest ActressWon
2013Turkish Antalya Television AwardBest Drama ActressWon
2013Yıldız Technical UniversityMost Popular Series ActressWon
20134th AwardsBest ActressWon
2013Crystal Mouse AwardsBest ActressWon