Monica Bleibtreu dies of cancer

German actress' breakthrough was in '4 Minutes'

CANNES -- German actress Monica Bleibtreu, mother of star Moritz Bleibtreu ("The Baader Meinhof Complex") and an accomplished performer in her own right, has died of cancer. She was 65.

Bleibtreu has been a fixture on German television for decades but success on the big screen came rather late in life. Her breakthrough performance was as Traude, the curmudgeonly piano teacher in Chris Kraus' "4 Minutes," a role that won her a German Film Award for best actress in 2006.

Other notable films include Nicolette Krebitz's "The Heart Is a Dark Forest," children's film "Max Minsky and Me" and Kai Wessel's Hildegard Knef biopic "Hilde," which premiered at the Berlinale in February.

Bliebtreu's last onscreen performance alongside Julia Jentsch in Bettina Oberli's upcoming crime drama "The Murder Farm." She was to star in Hans Steinbichler's new film "Das Blaue vom Himmel," a role that will now have to be recast.

Bleibtreu's German agency, Players, said the actress died suddenly Thursday night after what had been a years-long struggle with cancer.
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