Elmar Roloff was born in 1943 in Düsseldorf. Following a degree in pedagogy and German studies, he initially worked as a teacher. In 1971, he trained as an actor at the Zimmertheater Münster. From 1975, Rolfhoff had several engagements at theaters in Nuremberg, Freiburg, Kassel, Mannheim and Bonn. Roloff went to Stuttgart in 1993 with Friedrich Schirmer. He has been a member of the Schauspiel Stuttgart ensemble ever since. Roloff was awarded the title State Actor by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts in May 2019. His most significant roles include Uncle Vanya in Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya (1999, directed by Nicolas Brieger), Vladimir in Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett (2004, directed by Hasko Weber), Glagoljew in Platonov by Chekhov's (2005, directed by Karin Henkel), James Tyrone in A Long Journey Into the Night by Eugene O'Neill (2007, directed by Barbara David Brüesch), Gertrude in Hamlet by Shakespeare (2009, directed by Volker Lösch), Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller (2011, directed by Jan Neumann), Lord Hastings in Richard III by Shakespeare (2014, directed by Robert Borgmann), the old Faust in Faust I by Goethe/Jelinek (2017, directed by Stephan Kimmig) and Gloster in King Lear by Shakespeare (2018, directed by Claus Peymann).