Ellen Hellwig was born in Trondheim, Norway, in 1946. She trained as an actor between 1967 and 1971 at Theaterhochschule “Hans Otto” in Leipzig and was subsequently engaged as an actor at Schauspiel Leipzig, where she worked with directors like Gotthard Müller, Horst Szmisek, Fritz Bennewitz, Karl Georg Kayser, Matthias Brenner, Christina Emig-Könning, Wolfgang Engel, Dietrich Kunze, Alexander Lang, Herbert König, Konstanze Lauterbach, Enrico Lübbe, Armin Petras and Michael Thalheimer.
In 1983, Ellen Hellwig received the Critic’s Award of Journalists for her performance as Lola Blau in Georg Kreisler’s “Heute Abend Lola Blau“, directed by Wolfgang Weit. From 2010, Ellen Hellwig was engaged at Theater Chemnitz, where her roles included “Doña Rosita the Spinster” by Federico García Lorca, Queen Margaret in Witold Gombrowicz’ “Yvonne, Princess of Burgundy”, Dotty in Christian Brey’s production of “Noises Off” by Michael Frayn and Maude in “Harold and Maude” by Colin Higgins. Over the course of her career, she also worked in film and television, as a voice actor and, since 2010, as a professor of acting.
Ellen Helwig was engaged at Schauspiel Leipzig once more from 2013 to 2017. In 2016, she was appointed an honorary member of the acting company and she continues to work at this theatre as a guest.