Bruno Ganz, who played Hitler in Downfall, dies aged 77


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Bruno Ganz, who played Hitler in the 2004 film Downfall, has died aged 77.

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

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

His most famous role, however, was as Adolf Hitler in Downfall. One particular scene depicting Hitler in apoplectic fury became a meme and spawned thousands of parodies online.

The film, which told the story of Hitler’s final days in his Berlin bunker, grossed $92m (£71.3m) at box offices around the world when it was released.

It was named winner of the BBC Four World Cinema Award, but since then it has become almost as famous for a wave of internet parodies of its final scene, poking fun at numerous news events.

At the time of his death, Ganz was the holder of the Iffland-Ring, an accolade to the German-speaking actor judged “most significant and worthy”.

The ring is passed from person to person, and it is not yet clear who Ganz had intended it to transfer to on the occasion of his death.


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