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Bruno Ganz was born in 1941 in Zurich, Switzerland. He made his debut in theatre where he gained his reputation as a solid young actor. He is known as the 'sad-looking leading man of the 'New German Wave'', known for doomed, self-tortured protagonists. Ganz most internationally recognized role was his portrayal of Adolf Hitler in the 2004 Oscar nominated 'Downfall'.
After a few small roles and a promising lead performance in 'October Sky' (1999), Jake Gyllenhaal took a chance on a young first-time director and his bizarre, off-beat script. 'Donnie Darko' (2001) – which also starred his sister Maggie – gave the young actor cult kudos. He followed it with solid performances in 'Lovely & Amazing' (2001) and 'The Good Girl' (2002). 'The Day After Tomorrow' (2004) showed he could carry a lead in bigger Hollywood productions, but his Jack Twist in 'Brokeback Mountain' (2005) showed just how compelling he could be. He deserved his BAFTA and although he has been eclipsed by Heath Ledger, his performance is no less impressive. Then came the series of roles that carved out his place as a charismatic leading man: 'Jarhead' (2005), 'Zodiac and Rendition' (both 2007). He didn’t fit in 'Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time' (2010), just as he is fine but surplus to requirements in 'Everest' (2015). He is solid and watchable in 'End of Watch' (2012), 'Prisoners' and 'Enemy' (both 2013), but exceptional in 'Nightcrawler' (2014). His physicality in that film is more impressive than the transformation for 'Southpaw' (2015). He is understated in Tom Ford’s 'Nocturnal Animals'.