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at German Film Festival in Tokyo, 11 June 2005
22 March 1941 |
Bruno Ganz (German pronunciation: [ˈbruːno ˈɡants] ( listen); born 22 March 1941) is a Swiss actor, known for his roles as Damiel in Wings of Desire and Adolf Hitler in Downfall.
Early life 
Bruno Ganz was born in Zürich to a Swiss mechanic father and a northern Italian mother. He had decided to pursue an acting career by the time he entered university. He was equally drawn to stage and screen but initially enjoyed greater success in the theater.
In 1960, Ganz landed his first film role, in Der Herr mit der schwarzen Melone (The Gentleman in the Black Derby). Despite the support of lead actor Gustav Knuth, his cinematic debut was not particularly successful and it was only many years later that his career in film got off the ground. Ganz made his theatrical debut the following year and devoted himself primarily to the stage for almost two decades thereafter. In 1970, he helped found the Berliner Schaubühne ensemble and two years later performed in the Salzburg Festival premier of Thomas Bernhard's Der Ignorant und der Wahnsinnige, under the direction of Claus Peymann. The German magazine Theater heute (Theater Today) solidified Ganz’s reputation as a stage actor by pronouncing him Schauspieler des Jahres (Actor of the Year) in 1973. One of Ganz's most physically demanding stage portrayals was the title character in Peter Stein’s 2000 production of Goethe's Faust (Parts I and II), as he suffered injuries during rehearsals and his assumption of the role was delayed.
Ganz made his film breakthrough in a major part in the 1976 film Sommergäste, launching a widely recognized film career in both Europe and the U.S. He has worked with directors Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, Éric Rohmer, and Francis Ford Coppola, among others. In 1979 he starred opposite Klaus Kinski in Herzog’s Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (Nosferatu: Phantom of the Night).
Ganz played a professor opposite Sir Laurence Olivier in the thriller The Boys from Brazil (1978), about Nazi fugitives.
Ganz then became known for his role in Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire, as the angel Damiel. He co-starred with Dennis Hopper in Wenders' The American Friend, an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel Ripley's Game.
Ganz is best known for portraying Adolf Hitler in Der Untergang (Downfall) (2004). Ganz did four months of research on Hitler in preparation for the role.
Ganz recently appeared in The Reader and Der Baader Meinhof Komplex, which were both nominated for the 81st Academy Awards (best picture and best foreign language film).
It has been announced that he will play Italian journalist Tiziano Terzani in an upcoming biopic.
Ganz has also served as a speaker in classical music works, including a recording of Luigi Nono's Il canto sospeso with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
Personal life 
Bruno Ganz is separated from his wife Sabine, whom he married in 1965, and with whom he had his only son Daniel (born 1972). When not in his hometown of Zürich, he resides in Venice and Berlin.
- This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.
- Der Herr mit der schwarzen Melone (The Man in the Black Derby), 1960
- Chikita, 1961
- Sommergäste (Summer Guests), 1976
- Lumière, 1976
- Die Marquise von O... (The Marquise of O...), 1976
- Die Wildente (Wild Duck), 1976
- Der Amerikanische Freund (The American Friend), 1977
- Die linkshändige Frau (The Left-Handed Woman), 1977
- The Boys from Brazil, 1978
- Messer im Kopf (Knife in the Head), 1978
- Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (Nosferatu the Vampyre), 1979
- Retour à la bien-aimée (Return to the Beloved), 1979
- 5% de risques, 1980
- Der Erfinder (The Inventor), 1980
- La Dame aux camélias (The Lady of the Camellias), 1980
- La provinciale (1981)
- Hands Up!, 1981
- Die Fälschung (Circle of Deceit), 1981
- Krieg und Frieden (War and Peace), 1982
- Dans la ville blanche (In the White City, directed by Alain Tanner), 1983
- Private Resistance (1985)
- Der Himmel über Berlin (Wings of Desire), 1987
- Bankomatt (1989)
- Strapless, 1989
- Erfolg (Success), 1991
- La Domenica specialmente (Especially on Sunday), 1991
- The Last Days of Chez Nous, 1992
- Brandnacht (Night on Fire), 1992
- Prague, 1992
- In weiter Ferne, so nah! (Faraway, So Close!), 1993
- L'Absence (The Absence), 1994
- Saint-Ex, 1997
- Mia aioniotita kai mia mera (Eternity and a Day) 1998
- Pane e Tulipani (Bread and Tulips), 2000
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Faust, 2001 TV
- Epsteins Nacht (Epstein's Night), 2002
- Behind Me - Bruno Ganz, 2002
- Luther, 2003
- The Manchurian Candidate, 2004
- Der Untergang (Downfall), 2004
- Have No Fear: The Life of Pope John Paul II (2005)
- Baruto no Gakuen (バルトの楽園; Ode an die Freude), 2006
- Vitus, 2007
- Youth Without Youth, 2007
- The Reader, 2008
- Der Baader Meinhof Komplex (The Baader Meinhof Complex), 2008
- The Dust of Time (Η Σκόνη του Χρόνου), 2008
- Satte Farben vor Schwarz (Colours in the Dark), 2010
- Das Ende ist mein Anfang (The End Is My Beginning), 2010
- Unknown, 2011
- Night Train to Lisbon (2013)
- Michael Kohlhaas (2013)
External links