One of the strongest aspects of Tom Six's infamous and controversial The Human Centipede was the hauntingly captivating performance from German actor Dieter Laser, who played the diabolical Dr. Joseph Heiter. He later returned to the franchise to play Bill Boss in The Human Centipede III.
Sadly, we've learned the unfortunate news via Laser's Facebook page that the actor passed away at the age of 78 on February 29th, 2020.
"I’m totally shocked Dieter passed away," The Human Centipede director Tom Six wrote on Twitter today. "He was a force of nature, a 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!"
For his performance as Dr. Heiter, Dieter Laser won "Best Actor" at both the Austin Fantastic Fest and the Fright Meter Awards in 2009 and 2010, respectively. He also won a German Film Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role as the titular character in 1975’s John Glückstadt.
Laser's final on-screen appearance was in 2017's folk horror November, which is currently streaming on Shudder. His other acting credits include I Am the Other Woman (2006), Baltic Storm (2003), Big Girls Don’t Cry (2002), Suck My Dick (2001), "Lexx" (1998-2000), The Ogre (1996), Conversation with the Beast (1996), The Man Inside (1990), Don Quixote’s Children (1981), The Elixirs of the Devil (1976) and The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (1975) and Die Mutter (1971).
We extend our deepest sympathies to Laser's family, friends and fans.