(Vienna) The Austrian comedian Peter Simonischek, revealed late abroad by his role of cumbersome father in the hit film Toni Erdmann, died in the night from Monday to Tuesday at the age of 76.

“I can confirm his death” which occurred in Vienna where he lived, a spokeswoman for the Austrian association of national theaters told AFP on Tuesday.

Born in Austria on August 6, 1946, Peter Simonischek owed his popularity to his interpretation of very diverse characters, whether in plays by Labiche or in the classical repertoire of the Salzburg Festival.

But it was later that this dentist’s son appeared in the spotlight of world cinema with his role as the whimsical patriarch in the comedy Toni Erdmann, international critics’ award at Cannes in 2016.

His daughter in this film was played by Sandra Hüller, who was again in the spotlight on the Croisette last week, since she played in the Palme d’or Anatomy of a fall as well as in The Zone of Interest which won the Grand Prize.

Far from his Cannes role, it is in Jedermann (every man), an allegory on the last judgment written by the Viennese poet Hugo von Hofmannsthal (1874-1929), that Peter Simonischek has acquired wide recognition.

The cult play has been performed every summer since 1920 during the Salzburg Festival and the actor interpreted for eight years, from 2002 to 2009, the title role of a wealthy bourgeois who, on the evening of his life, dialogues with death. .

Trained by the German director Peter Stein at the Schaubühne in Berlin, Peter Simonischek remained for twenty years a pillar of the troupe of the famous German scene, which collaborates with big names like Luc Bondy or Robert Wilson.

In particular, he worked on the first German-language performance of Yasmina Reza’s worldwide success, Art, in 1995.

Critics regularly hailed his “presence”, his “explosive” happiness in acting and his “transformative” abilities.

A native of Graz, he returned to Austria in 1999 where he then joined the permanent troupe of Vienna’s most famous theatre, the Burgtheater.

This did not prevent this bulimic film shooter from playing in dozens of very popular Austrian and international films and television series.

He named his biography: I am available.

He said, however, that he had become more selective with age. “When you are young, you take all the productions with joy”, said in 2012 the one who now expected from a collaboration that it brings him “joy and fulfillment”.