The Swiss actor, Bruno Ganz, has received this year's Berlin Theatre Prize for a lifetime of achievement on stage. He is currently taking part in a critically-acclaimed version of Goethe's "Faust" in the German capital.
The Berlin jury cited Ganz as "a bold adventurer in his profession". It said he had played many of the great theatre roles: among them Hamlet, Odysseus, Prometheus and Faust.
Ganz, who turned 60 in March, never planned on becoming an actor. Born in Zurich to an Italian mother and Swiss German father in 1941, Ganz started out his professional career as a farmer.
In the mid-1960s, he was introduced to the stage by a friend in Zurich, who offered him the lead role in a performance of Shakespeare's "Hamlet".
The following decade saw him forging ahead both on stage and screen. After a spell in Zurich, Ganz has worked primarily in Germany, in Bremen, Munich and Berlin.
He has specialised in roles portraying unconventional characters, men full of doubt or worries.
His cinema roles include performances in such films as Rohmer's "Marquise of O", Herzog's "Nosferatu", and Wim Wenders' "Far Away, So Close!" and "Wings of Desire".
Ganz was recently honoured in Switzerland with the best male actor award for his portrayal of a Venetian waiter in Silvio Soldini's film, "Bread and Tulips".
Two years ago, he received the Hans Reinhart Ring theatre award.
swissinfo with agencies
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