She was raised in East Germany, where she earned a masters degree in engineering. In 1960, she and her family moved to Stuttgart in West Germany. In 1961, she entered the state pageant of Baden-Württemberg in the hope of winning the car that was offered as prize.
She was at that time the tenth consecutive German entrant to reach the semifinals of the event (then a record) and is the first (and to date only) German to be crowned Mission Universe.
In 1962, Schmidt became the third of eight wives of the American actor Ty Hardin. They settled in the United States of America. The marriage lasted until 1966.
They had one daughter, Schmidt"s only child. From 1972 to 1986, Schmidt was involved in the movie industry, where she acquired credits as actress, producer and writer in eleven productions.
Eventually Schmidt returned to Germany, where she lives in Saarbrücken.