Swiss actor best known for his portrayal of Adolf Hitler in the 2004 film Downfall

The Swiss actor Bruno Ganz, who has died aged 77 from cancer, was a wise and contemplative presence, as familiar, consoling and crumpled as a favourite overcoat.

He came to prominence in three films by the director Wim Wenders. In The American Friend (1977), adapted from Patricia Highsmith’s novel Ripley’s Game, he was a shy picture-framer who is persuaded, under the misapprehension that he is dying, to become an assassin in order to provide for his family.

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