Siegfried Rauch, the actor who played Erich Stahler, the fictional protagonist to Steve McQueen’s character Michael Delaney in the legendary racing movie “Le Mans,” has died at the age of 85.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the German died as a result of a fall at his home in Bavaria.
As Ferrari driver Stahler, Rauch added tension and drama to “Le Mans” through his steely portrayal as the film’s anti-hero and acted in a number of films centered on World War II, including “Patton,” “The Eagle Has Landed” and “The Big Red One,” among others.
In the 2015 documentary “Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans,” Rauch was interviewed at his home where he revealed a common bond they shared and one of the more poignant observations about the late American super star.
“Steve always did it different,” Rauch said. “We were talking about reading. I said, ‘I don’t like reading too much. I read my scripts…’ ‘I don’t like it too much, either,’ he said. ‘I only read one book in my life,’ he said. ‘A book about Alexander the Great. And I was very impressed by one sentence,’ he said. ‘I conquered the world, but I didn’t conquer myself.’
“Who are you, especially as an actor, you ask yourself. Who are you really? Sometimes I had the feeling [McQueen] was always searching for something.”
Rauch is survived by his wife and two sons.