Andrew Medichini / AP
Actor Bruno Ganz, long career actress and signature actor in the film Wings of Desire and Adolf Hitler in Downfall made him one of the most recognized actors of German language cinema, on Friday. He was 77.
Bruno Ganz was one of the greatest and most versatile actors "inspired generations of film fans," said festival director Dieter Kosslick. We are incredibly saddend by the loss of a long-standing festival companion and outstanding figure of the international film history. pic.twitter.com/CSJkIsavfy
– Berlinale (@berlinale) February 16, 2019
Played movie as a whole when he was 19, as well as dozens more on stage. Whole, who was Swiss, won a number of film awards over his decades-long career. So what honored with Germany's Order of Merit and made a Knight of the French Legion d'honneur – The highest awards for civilian merit in those countries.
Whats so convincing portraying an angel in 1987's Wings of Desire that for years afterward, strangers would treat him as an angel in real life. "People in planes said: 'Ah, no need to be afraid, because with you here, nothing can happen.' 'We're safe,'" All told a Danish magazine in 1999. "Or a mother said to her child: 'Look 'there's your guardian angel.' They were not joking. "
" That was an amazing feeling, "Ganz said. "I loved that. Because that means more than people saying, 'You are a very good actor,' or 'I love your work.' If they say, 'Oh, you're an angel,' it's like a miracle. "In some way I became an angel, and who except me has that in his lifetime?"
Ganz's other career -defining role came in 2004's Downfall . He played Adolf Hitler at the end of his life, isolated in his bunker and trembling with Parkinson's Disease. The role was "somehow like skating on thin ice," All told NPR's Scott Simon at the time, "because, you know, it's cold, dark and death is waiting, and it's a strange experience."
Some critics – Wim Wenders, who directed All in Wings of Desire and other movies – said Downfall and All were too soft on Hitler. Ganz insisted Hitler was a human being. Hitler, "he told the Irish Times . I mean there is no sympathy for Hitler in the movie. "
Critic Kenneth Turan, reviewing Downfall for NPR's Morning Edition said the movie "does not whitewash Hitler or rehabilitate him." Ganz's Hitler, Turan said, "going from foaming at the mouth to shuffling around the bunker like a homeless man looking at an empty park bench."