Heidi Cheryl Shepard (born in New York City) is an American actress based in Germany. She gained fame through her role in German television series Hinter Gittern – Der Frauenknast (“Behind Bars – the Women’s Prison”) between 1997 and 2000. From 2003 to 2015, she appeared in hospital drama In aller Freundschaft (“In All Friendliness”).
In 1997, she played her first major role in a television series, appearing in 80 episodes of Hinter Gittern – Der Frauenknast, playing Susanne Teubner, a character who killed her husband in a crime of passion. From 2003 to 2015, she played plastic surgeon and urologist Dr Elena Eichhorn in In aller Freundschaft. Following that, she struggled to find new roles and filed for bankruptcy. On 31 July 2015, she opened a café, Cheryl’s Café, in Leipzig, but she had already closed the business by April 2016. Between May 2016 and April 2017, she played a leading role in the 13th season of telenovela Rote Rosen (“Red Roses”).
She supports causes advocating cultural awareness and is an active member of the charity Hand in Hand International e.V. – Verein für Begegnung und Zusammenarbeit.
Shepard has been married to German actor Nikolaus Okonkwo since 2006, and they have a son together. She has two adult daughters from her first marriage, as well as two adopted children.