Bernd Stempel was born 1954 in Berlin Pankow. He grew up in Naumburg. After training as an apprentice locksmith and doing his Abitur (A-Levels) in Halle, he did his military service with the Border Patrols in the GDR. In 1976 he studied acting at the Staatliche Schauspielschule Berlin (today the University of Performing Arts "Ernst Busch"). In 1979 he had his first engagement at the Landestheater Halle. He was co-founder of the Neues Theater Halle where he made his directorial debut. From 1989 to 2020 Bernd Stempel was a permanent member of the ensemble at the Deutsches Theater Berlin.