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Jude Law co-star dies aged just 51
Lothar and husband Mühle. Photo: DPA

Jude Law co-star dies aged just 51

Published: 26 Jul 2012 11:46 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 Jul 2012 14:36 GMT+02:00

Actress Susanne Lothar has died, just after finishing shooting British film “Anna Karenina” with Keira Knightley and Jude Law. She was married to celebrated actor Ulrich Mühe who starred in the Oscar-winning film “The Lives of Others.”

Lothar, who was just 51, starred in major German-language films including "The White Ribbon", an atmospheric mystery set in rural Germany during the build-up to World War I.

Although her family’s lawyer confirmed her death on Wednesday, no cause was released.

Hamburg-born Lothar acted in several major theatre productions before moving into cinema, where she won a Bundesfilmpreis for her debut performance in the 1983 film "Eisenhans."

She then starred in several films by Austrian director Michael Haneke, including "The Piano Teacher" "Funny Games" and "The Castle", as well as alongside Kate Winslet in "The Reader."

She specialised in playing vulnerable, damaged women who found hidden reserves of strength. The Austrian director Haneke frequently looked to her to embody characters pushed to the limit.

In "The White Ribbon", which won the Palme d'Or in Cannes in 2009, she played a midwife who submits to a humiliating loveless affair with the predatory town doctor.

In "Funny Games" she and her husband played a middle-class couple terrorised by two sadists during a home invasion.

And she appeared opposite Isabelle Huppert in Haneke's harrowing "The Piano Teacher" based on a play by Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek.

A celebrated character actor on stage as well as the screen, Lothar worked with some of Europe's most prominent theatre directors including Peter Zadek and Luc Bondy.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Thursday called her an "actress of

extremes".

"Theatre and film will no longer know in the future whom to entrust with the torn, courageous, endlessly fragile characters who live on the edge," Der Spiegel magazine wrote in its online edition.

Acclaimed German actor Ulrich Tukur, who appeared in several stage productions with her, told German radio that she had a "dark energy" which she knew to deploy to great effect in her performances.

"There was always a lot of desperation in what she did," he said.

Born November 15, 1960 in the northern port city of Hamburg to actor parents, Lothar later moved to Berlin where she also enjoyed doing the occasional television crime show.

Her husband Ulrich Mühe died of cancer aged 54 in 2007, shortly after playing the lead role in the Stasi thriller "The Lives of Others."

The couple are survived by two children, Sophie Marie and Jakob.

The Local/DPA/AFP/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:48 July 26, 2012 by kavanak
RIP to a fine actress who deserves much better than 'Jude Law co-star'
12:57 July 26, 2012 by wood artist
This is so sad. A great couple, both wonderful actors, both lost at such a young age. Two of my favorite films, both because they allow the viewer time to think and consider the thoughts of the actors...The Lives of Others and The White Ribbon.

Gotta second @kavanak. She is better than simply being Jude Law's costar. I can't speak for Germany as a whole, but I think she's deserving of top billing and not just as somebody else's second. In any case, she will be missed.

wa
14:58 July 26, 2012 by melbournite
I also enjoyed several of her list of movies. I think I will try and see the rest now
03:54 July 27, 2012 by coffeelover
@ kavanak, @ wood artist, @ melbournite, agree, she is better than the stupid headline for the news story. For her family, we grieve also. She will not be forgotten, true talent and entertainer, she made our lives better by following her instincts for acting out her characters. RIP my fair lady.
11:38 July 27, 2012 by deep_schismic
Comment: Ditto at what kavanak said....that is SHAMEFUL that the Local goes with a headline like 'Jude Law co-star' How about 'acclaimed German actress passes way'. I suppose the lame thinking behind it would be that people would freak out thinking that Jude Law died, or worse..that he was supposedly 51?! Get it together...

She was a great actress, RIP.
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