Ganz had reportedly been diagnosed with colon cancer last year, while working at the Salzburg Festival, in Austria.
An iconic star of the German film and theatre industry, Ganz is perhaps best known for playing infamous dictator Adolf Hitler in the 2004 film, Downfall.
However, those who haven’t seen the whole film will almost certainly recognise him from the scene in which Hitler berates his officers during a meeting in his war room.
It was quickly turned into memes and thousands of parody versions where the subtitles had been changed, often satirising current news events.
Ganz said in an interview that the production company behind the movie had tried to shutdown some of the videos but were unsuccessful.
The film told the story of Hitler’s final days as he deteriorated in his Berlin bunker and watched on as his forces lost the Second World War. It was a critical success, raking in more than £71m worldwide.
In an interview years after the film’s release, Ganz admitted it was not an easy decision to take on such a divisive role.
He said: “It took me about a month. My first reaction was I was interested immediately because, as actors say, it’s a challenge. It was really one. But I thought, you know, you are tackling something quite difficult and if it’s going to be seen by many people throughout the world you will be identified with the one who played Hitler and that’s not easy.
“But I was not scared to get closer to that decade of the time historically and I was not scared to get close to Hitler.”
More recently, Ganz played the voice of death in Lars von Trier’s disturbing thriller, The House That Jack Built.
In the past he had also starred in major productions, such as The Boys From Brazil,The Manchurian Candidate, and 2008 blockbuster, Unknown, alongside Liam Neeson.
Prior to his death, the father-of-one had been bestowed the honour of becoming the holder of the Iffland-Ring, an accolade to the German-speaking actor judged to be the ‘most significant and worthy’.
The ring is passed on from one actor to another, but it is not known who Ganz had intended to give the the ring to..
Rest in peace.