German actress Susanne Lothar, probably best known internationally for her work with Michael Haneke, has died far too young at 51. In 1997, she and Ulrich Mühe played the seemingly senselessly victimized married couple in Haneke’s original Funny Games and performed together in Haneke’s The Castle as well. Lothar married Mühe that same year and they remained together until his death in 2007. Just one year earlier, Mühe had seen his own international breakthrough with his lead performance in Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s Oscar-winner, The Lives of Others.
Having played Mrs. Schober in The Piano Teacher in 2002, Lothar would work with Haneke once more in The White Ribbon (2009), taking on the role of the midwife humiliated by the doctor she’s having an affair with. The year before, she appeared as Carla Berg in Stephen Daldry’s The Reader and she has a small role in Joe Wright’s forthcoming Anna Karenina.
Lothar was widely known in Germany for her frequent television appearances, but she originally made her mark on the stage, having been a member of the company of the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg. According the report currently running through the German news wires, the circumstances of her death are as yet unknown.