Hans Gruber is the leader of a group of international thieves. He is a former member of the West German Volksfrei movement. He had a classical education.
During the events of Die Hard (1988) played by Alan Rickman
Hans goes to the 30th floor of the Nakatomi building, along with Franco, Alexander, Marco, Uli, Fritz and James. They then shoot in the air to get the attention of the party goers. Hans demands to know which among the people is Takagi. Takagi steps forward and is taken away by Hans. Takagi is brought to his office and Hans tells him, he wants the system key code so he can steal the $640,000,000 in bonds in the building vault. Takagi refuses to give the code and Hans shoots him in the head. John McClane, who was watching from the other room, runs away, but Karl and Hans hear him. After Hans sent him to kill John, Hans finds the body of Tony in the elevator. After killing Heinrich, John uses a walkie talkie to taunt Hans. Karl tells Hans that John has the detonators. Holly Gennero McClane is taken in front of Hans and she requests that Ginny be allowed to lay on a couch and people allowed to go the restroom. Hans asks Holly her name and she uses her maiden name. The channel on the TV in the office Hans is in breaks for a report by Thornburg who describes what is going on at Nakatomi Plaza.
Capt. Mitchell and his SWAT team get ready to enter the building and Hans tells the others to get ready. Rivers and his team advance on the building and the terrorists shoot out the police spot lights. Alexander and James fire the missile launcher at the police APC, stopping it in its tracks. After Hans tells Alexander to shoot the APC one more, John takes a block of C4 and puts it on a chair and drops it down the elevator chute. The explosion blows out most of the lower floors, killing Alexander and James. Ellis gets the attention of Fritz and he is brought before Hans. Ellis tells Hans he can help him by bringing him John. Ellis tells Hans details about John including his full name and that he is a cop Ellis tells John he told Hans that they were old friends and then tells him to surrender and to hand over the detonators or Hans will kill him. John yells that Ellis isn't his friend and Hans shoots Ellis for no longer being useful. Hans radios the police and gives a list of demands to Dwayne T. Robinson including the release of numerous international revolutionaries. Hans asks for an update on the locks from Theo and then tells Karl to hunt down John. As Hans is checking on the roof explosives, he is found by John and acts like he is a hostage. Hans notices John doesn't have any shoes on and radios Karl and Fritz where he is at. John figures out there must be more explosives and the elevator doors open and Karl, Fritz and Franco get out. John kills Fritz and then Franco and Hans tells Karl to shoot the glass panes in the room. John runs to an elevator, but in the process is forced to walk barefoot over glass and Hans recovers the detonators.
Just as Hans is about to have the Hostages brought to the roof, Thornburg's interview with Lucy McClane goes live and he figures out Holly is married to John. Uli takes the Hostages up towards the roof. Hans, Theo and Eddie gather the bonds from the vault and Hans remotely detonates the explosives. As Kristoff is running off with a bag of bonds, John hits him with the butt stock of his weapon, knocking him unconscious. He walks into the hallway and Hans pulls Holly in front of him and puts a gun to her head. Hans orders John to put down his gun and as Hans is about to shoot him, John starts laughing and pulls a gun he taped to his back and shoots Hans and then Eddie in the forehead. Hans falls out a window, but grabs Holly by her wrist and watch. John unlocks the watch and Hans falls to his death.