Dieter Laser, known for playing a deranged surgeon in the controversial 2009 horror film “The Human Centipede,” has passed away at 78.
On Thursday, the German actor’s Facebook page released a statement saying he died February 29.
Per TMZ, Laser’s wife, Inge, also confirmed his passing, adding that he died in Berlin. His cause of death has yet to be revealed.
Laser appeared in more than 60 films and television series throughout his career, and even picked up the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role trophy at the 1975 German Film Awards for playing the lead role in “John Glückstadt.”
However, most know him from “The Human Centipede” where he portrayed “Josef Heiter,” who kidnaps three tourists and joins them surgically.
The writer and director of the film, Tom Six, paid his respects to Laser on Twitter, calling him a “unique human being and an iconic actor.”
I’m totally shocked Dieter passed away. He was a force of nature, an unique human being and an iconic actor. I’m so damn proud we created pop culture together. Wished we could have made many more movies. RIP my friend, you will live forever on screen! pic.twitter.com/ERGEsY5aZV— Tom Six (@tom_six) April 9, 2020
Per pictures on his Facebook page, Laser would often go to horror film events dressed as his iconic character, and would sign autographs and take pictures with fans.
The Kiel, Germany, native also appeared in “The Human Centipede 3,” but as William “Bill” Boss, a psychopathic prison warden.
Our condolences go out to his family during this difficult time.