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German Actress Susanne Lothar Dies at 51

Susanne Lothar - P 2012
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Lothar screen credits included Oscar-nominated dramas “The Reader” and “The White Ribbon.”

COLOGNE, Germany – Acclaimed German actress Susanne Lothar, whose screen credits included Michael Haneke's Palme d'Or winner The White Ribbon (2009) and Stephen Daldry's Oscar-winning The Reader (2008) died Wednesday. She was 51. A lawyer for her family said Lothar died Wednesday but did not provide any details.

Lothar was one of the most celebrated German character actors of her generation. At the German Film Awards, the local equivalent of the Oscars, she received four best actress nominations, winning once, in 1983, for her debut performance as Marga Schroth in Tankred Dorst's Eisenhans (1983).

The Hamburg-born actress was a favorite of Austrian auteur Haneke, who cast her alongside her husband Ulrich Muhe as the parents of a family besieged by a pair of psycopaths in Funny Games (1997). Muhe, best-known for his starring role in the Oscar-winning drama The Lives of Others, died of cancer in 2007.

Lothar also appeared alongside Isabelle Huppert in Haneke's The Piano Teacher (2001) and as The Midwife in The White Ribbon, which received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language film.

The actress was also a regular on German TV drama and on stage. At the time of her death, Lothar had been shooting the drama Inner Amok from Austrian director Peter Brunner. She is survived by a son and daughter.