Bruno Ganz, who played Hitler in Downfall, dies at the age of 77


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Ganz was well known in German-language cinema and theater

Bruno Ganz, who played Hitler in the 2004 movie Downfall, died at 77.

The Swiss actor died Friday night at his home in Zurich, the management said.

Ganz was well known in German-language cinema and theater and had also played in English-language films, including The Reader and The Manchurian Candidate.

His most famous role, however, was that of Adolf Hitler in Downfall. A particular scene depicting Hitler in an apoplectic fury has become a meme and has spawned thousands of parodies online.

The film, entitled Der Untergang in German, tells the story of the last days of Hitler in his Berlin bunker. He returned $ 92 million (£ 71.3 million) to the wickets around the world when it was released.

He has been named the winner of the BBC Four World Cinema Award and for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, but since then he has become almost as famous for a wave of Internet parodies of his final scene, mocking many of the events in the world. 39; news. .

A New York Times critic described Ganz's performance as "intriguing" and "scary charismatic".

In 2005, Ganz told The Guardian newspaper that he had spent four months preparing for the role, studying historical records, including a secretly recorded Hitler tape, and observing people with the disease. from Parkinson, what he had ended up believing he had.

But he said: "I can not claim to understand Hitler, even the witnesses who were in the bunker with him were not really able to describe the essence of the man.

"He had no mercy, no compassion, no understanding of what the victims of the war suffered."

Ganz, the most famous Swiss actor, has had a rich and varied career. He played a vampire in Werner Herzog's Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979) and an angel in Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire (1987) and his sequel, Faraway, So Close! (1993).

He has appeared in genres such as Black – The American Friend (1977) – and Science Fiction – The Boys from Brazil (1978), starring Sir Laurence Olivier. In 2008, he played in the Baader Meinhof complex and his last role in Lars von Trier's 2018 film, The House Jack built.

At the time of his death, Ganz was the holder of the Iffland-Ring, a distinction awarded to the German-speaking actor deemed "the most important and the most worthy".

The ring is passed from person to person and it is not clear who Ganz was planning to transfer to on the occasion of his death.

It has been reported that Ganz was diagnosed with colon cancer.

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