It's a bittersweet loss for the cinematic community. While Mühe, a veteran of German theater, wracked up 60 film and television credits over his career, and found considerable TV success with Letzte Zeuge, Der, Others was his true breakout role. The film won him acting awards from the Bavarian Film Awards, Copenhagen International Film Festival, European Film Awards, German Film Awards and German Film Critics Association Awards. I was lucky enough, like Martha Fischer, who reviewed Others for Cinematical at last year's TIFF, to see Mühe during the fest's screenings. During the Q&A, he talked about his work on the picture, and how he was watched by the Stasi in the days before unification -- something that definitely helped to bring his performance to a higher level in the film.
As Martha said at the end of her review: "both Mühe and The Lives of Others are unforgettable." I can only imagine what he would have accomplished with more time on screen. His final film, Nemesis, which he starred in with his wife, is currently in post-production.