Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Bruno Ganz, a Swiss actor known for playing roles ranging from an angel to Hitler, his agent said Saturday.
Ganz died Friday in his home in Zurich at age 77 of colon cancer.
Ganz's biggest acting role was portraying German dictator Adolf Hitler during his final days inside his Berlin bunker in the 2004 film Downfall.
Critic Rob Mackie described Ganz in a Guardian review of the film as "the most convincing screen Hitler yet: an old, bent, sick dictator with the shaking hands of someone with Parkinson's, alternating between rage and despair in his last days in the bunker."
Ganz told The Guardian in 2005 that after analyzing historic records for months as research for the role, he believed that Hitler had Parkinson's disease late in his life.
"There is newsreel of him presenting medals to the Hitler Youth a few days before his death, and you can see his hand shaking, so I visited a hospital and observed Parkinson's sufferers," Ganz said.
While some criticized him for humanizing the dictator, his rants in the role later became fodder for memes on social media used to create parodies.
Ganz also received accolades for playing an angel in the 1987 film Wings of Desire, and he played the role again in the film's sequel in 1993, Faraway, So Close!
His latest film appearance was in 2018 in Lars von Trier's The House that Jack Built, a Cannes premiere.
He had the Iffland-Ring, a diamond studded ring stamped with the image of German actor August Wilhelm Iffland, an accolade for the "most significant and worthy" German-speaking actor of their era.
It is not known who Ganz had chosen to pass the ring onto at the time of his death.
He is survived by his son, Daniel.