Bruno Ganz was an acclaimed Swiss actor who was a prominent figure in German language film and television for over fifty years. He is internationally renowned for portraying Adolf Hitler in the Academy Award-nominated film Downfall (2004).
Ganz was born in Zürich, to a Swiss mechanic father and a northern Italian mother. He decided to pursue an acting career by the time he entered university. He debuted at the theatre in 1961, and gained a reputation as a reflective, charismatic and technically brilliant stage actor. In 1970, he and Peter Stein founded the theatre company ‘Schaubühne’ in Berlin, Germany. On stage, Ganz portrayed Dr. Heinrich Faust in Peter Stein’s staging of Faust, Part One and Faust, Part Two in 2000.
In cinema, Ganz became one of the best-known and most acclaimed actors in the German language, collaborating with many of the most respected European actors and directors of his time. He also starred in international features that reached a global audience. His film debut was The Gentleman in the Black Derby (1960). He also starred in Unknown (2011), The Counselor (2013), and The Party (2017).
Ganz died from cancer on 16 February 2019 at his home in the village of Au, in Wädenswil, Switzerland.
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