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Haneke actress Susanne Lothar dies at 51

German actress Susanne Lothar, who appeared in four films by Michael Haneke, has died at the age of 51.

Her family’s lawyer did not reveal the cause of death.

She was cast opposite her then husband Ulrich Mühe in the lead roles of Haneke’s Funny Games, and followed this with parts in his Kafka adaptation The Castle, The Piano Teacher and The White Ribbon.

Her first film role was in 1983 with Tankred Dorst’s Eisenhans, which earned her a Federal Film Prize as Best Lead Actress, but she initially concentrated on working in the theatre with such directors as Peter Zadek and Luc Bondy.

However, from the beginning of the 1990s, Lothar worked increasingly for film and television. Her recent productions included Lars Kraume’s Days To Come, Stephen Daldry’s The Reader, Andres Veiel’s If Not Us, Who, and Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina.

Only a few weeks ago, she attended the 30th edition of Filmfest München for the world premiere of Hanna Doose’s feature debut Dust On Our Hearts where she had one of the lead roles. The film won the prizes in the Best Direction and Best Production categories at the German Cinema New Talent Awards during the Filmfest.

Hailing from Hamburg, Susanne Lothar was part of an acting dynasty, her father Hanns unforgettable as James Cagney’s  assistant Schlemmer in Billy Wilder’s 1961 classic One, Two, Three.

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