Bruno Ganz

born on 22/3/1941 in Zürich, ZH, Switzerland

died on 16/2/2019 in Au, ZH, Switzerland

Links (German)

Bruno Ganz

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Bruno Ganz

at German Film Festival in Tokyo, 11 June 2005
Born March 22 1941
Zürich, Switzerland
Years active 1960-present

Bruno Ganz (German pronunciation: [bruno ants]; born 22 March 1941) is a Swiss actor, known for his roles as Damiel in Wings of Desire, as Adolf Hitler in Downfall and as Professor Rohl in The Reader.

Early life

Bruno Ganz was born in Zürich to a Swiss mechanic father and a northern Italian mother.[1][2] 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.[3][4]


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 Ganzs 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 Steins 2000 production of Goethe's Faust (Parts I and II), as he suffered injuries during rehearsals and his assumption of the role was delayed.[5]

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 Herzogs 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).[6] Ganz did four months of research on Hitler in preparation for the role.[7] His performance achieved its greatest prominence when it became the basis for a series of "Hitler Rant" videos.

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.[8]

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.[9]

Personal life

Bruno Ganz is separated from his wife Sabine, whom he married in 1965; they have a son called Daniel.[10]


This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.
  • 1973 "Actor of the Year" in German magazine Theater heute (Theatre Today)
  • 1976 German Film Awards in gold for dramatic performances in The Marquise of O
  • 1979 Deutscher Darstellerpreis (Chaplin-Shoe)
  • 1991 Hans-Reinhart-Ring, given by the Swiss Society for Theatre Culture
  • 1996 Iffland-Ring
  • 1998: Officier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France)
  • 1999: Grimme-Preis for Towards the End of the Night
  • 1999: Bremer Filmpreis
  • 2000 Swiss Film Prize
  • 2000: Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France)
  • 2000 David di Donatello Award for Bread and Tulips
  • 2001 Berliner Filmpreis (Berlin Film Awards)
  • 2001: Swiss Film Prize
  • 2004: Bambi for Downfall
  • 2004: SwissAward Division culture
  • 2004: European Film Award
  • 2004: Bavarian Film Awards, Best Actor[11]
  • 2005: Goldener Gong for Downfall
  • 2005: Jupiter Prize for Downfall
  • 2005: Austrian Decoration for Science and Art[12]
  • 2006: Kunstpreis der Stadt Zürich
  • 2006 Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Verdienstorden der Bundesrepublik Deutschland)
  • 2006: Order of merit
  • 2006: Golden Ox - prize at the FilmArtFestival Mecklenburg-Pomerania
  • 2007: Knight of the Légion d'honneur (France)
  • 2008: 22nd International FilmFest Braunschweig - European Theatre Prize "Europa"
  • 2010: Star on the Boulevard of the Stars in Berlin
  • 2010: European Film Academy Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2011: Pardo alla Carriera at Locarno International Film Festival


  • 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
  • Schwarz und weiss wie Tage und Nächte, 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
  • The Power of the Past, 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 (; 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 ( ), 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)
  • The Counselor (2013)
  • In Order of Disappearance (2014)


  1. Born: 22 March 1941 in Zurich, Switzerland. Retrieved on 2011-04-26.
  2. Born 1941 to a Swiss worker and his Northern Italian wife. Retrieved on 2011-04-26.
  3. Swiss-born actor Bruno Ganz established himself in Germany, first as co-founder of the Schaubuhne Theatre company, then as a romantic lead in films. Archived from the original on 2013-01-25. Retrieved on 2011-04-26.
  4. he got his first film role with 19... ...but his absolute break through he has with in a play by Peter Zadek in Bremen. Retrieved on 2011-04-26.
  5. John Rockwell, With Pivotal Actor Back, Marathon Faust Gets Another Look, New York Times, 4 January 2001. URL accessed on 2009-02-01.
  6. Rob Mackie, Downfall, The Guardian, 16 September 2005. URL accessed on 2009-02-01.
  7. Krysia Diver and Stephen Moss, Desperately seeking Adolf, The Guardian, 25 March 2005. URL accessed on 2009-02-01.
  8. Mara Amorevoli, Ganz to play Terzani (in Italian), La Repubblica, 2009-08-27. URL accessed on 2009-08-27.
  9. John Rockwell, After Karajan In Berlin, No Deluge Yet, New York Times, 24 October 1993. URL accessed on 2009-02-01.
  10. Spouse: Sabine Ganz (1965 - present) (separated) 1 child. Retrieved on 2011-04-26.
  12. Reply to a parliamentary question (pdf) (German). Retrieved on 1 November 2012.

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This page was last modified 10.04.2014 15:42:24

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