Actress Dana Vávrová and her husband, famed director Joseph Vilsmaier, have relied heavily upon each other for inspiration and support during their rise to international stardom, with films such as the award winning Herbstmilch (Autumn Milk ), Rama Dama (1990), and Schlafes Bruder (Brother of Sleep ). A native of Prague, Vávrová had been starring in the long-running German television series Ein Stück Himmel since childhood and had already garnered many awards when she met Vilsmaier, who at the time was the show's cinematographer. Love blossomed and the two married. Though their careers are closely linked, each maintains a sense of independence from the other. Vilsmaier staunchly claims that he casts Vávrová in his films because she is a talented actress with a rare ability to immerse herself into her characters. Vávrová made her film debut in At Ziji Duchove! (Long Live the Ghosts! (1979)).