COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Max von Sydow, the self-described “shy boy”-turned-actor recognized to artwork home audiences via his work with Swedish director Ingmar Bergman and later to moviegoers in every single place when he performed the priest within the horror basic “The Exorcist,” has died. He was 90.
His agent Jean Diamond stated Monday the actor, who was born in Sweden however turned a French citizen in 2002, died the day past in France.
“It is with a broken heart and with infinite sadness that we have the extreme pain of announcing the departure of Max von Sydow,” Diamond stated.
From his 1949 display debut within the Swedish movie “Only a Mother,” von Sydow starred in near 200 movie and TV productions, remaining lively effectively into his 80s. He obtained two Academy Award nominations — for finest actor in 1988 for his gripping portrayal of an impoverished farmer in “Pelle the Conqueror,” and finest supporting actor in 2012 for his position as a mute in “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.” More just lately, he obtained an Emmy nomination for his work because the Three-Eyed Raven in HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”
The Swede was a mainstay of practically a dozen basic, angst-ridden movies by Bergman, together with “Wild Strawberries,” “Shame” and the 1957 launch “The Seventh Seal,” by which he featured in considered one of Bergman’s most memorable scenes, because the medieval knight who performs a sport of chess in opposition to the grim reaper.
Actress Inga Landgre, 92, who appeared with him in “The Seventh Seal ”instructed Sweden’s information company TT that “there was a sense of security in his radiance” including, “his presence was his strength.”
Von Sydow made his Hollywood debut as Jesus within the 1965 movie “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” however gained widespread worldwide fame because the devil-evicting priest in William Friedkin’s controversial 1973 movie “The Exorcist.”
Tall and lanky, with sullen blue eyes, a slim face, pale complexion and a deep and accented talking voice, von Sydow was typically typecast in Hollywood as the subtle villain.
“What I as an actor look for is a variety of parts. It is very boring to be stuck in more or less one type of character,” he as soon as stated in an interview.
In 1980, von Sydow starred because the evil emperor Ming the Merciless in “Flash Gordon.” He turned down the position because the sinister Dr. No within the first James Bond movie with the identical identify, however later appeared because the cat-stroking villain Ernst Blofeld within the 1983 “Never Say Never Again,” starring Sean Connery as Bond.
He additionally performed a tormented painter in Woody Allen’s “Hannah and Her Sisters” and portrayed the satan in “Needful Things,” a 1991 horror movie based mostly on a novel by Stephen King. In 2015, he appeared briefly within the blockbuster “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
While his characters had been typically sinister, tormented or evil, the soft-spoken von Sydow stated he turned an actor to beat his personal shyness.
“I was a very shy boy when I was a kid,” he stated in an Associated Press interview. “When I began appearing in an newbie group in highschool, though I wasn’t conscious of it on the time, I all of a sudden received a device in my hand that was great. I was allowed to specific all types of unusual issues that I by no means dared to specific earlier than. Now I may do it with the character as a defend, as a protection, and as an excuse.
“I think that for many years I used my profession as some kind of a mental therapy.”
Von Sydow was born April 10, 1929, right into a household of teachers within the southern Swedish metropolis of Lund. He was baptized Carl Adolf von Sydow, however later modified his first identify to Max, saying his given identify was “not a good name” after World War II.
Although his household was not inquisitive about theater, he stated his father was a grasp of telling journey tales that fueled his creativeness as a baby. He determined he wished to be an actor and shaped a theater society together with his buddies after seeing his first play, William Shakespeare’s ”A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” at age 14.
He studied on the Royal Dramatic Theater in Stockholm and acted in small municipality theaters in Sweden for eight years — an expertise he later described as essential for his profession.
“I’m very grateful to the schooling I had in Sweden because in order to learn acting you have to work, work, work,” he stated. “I think I owe very much to those years.”
It was throughout this era he first met Bergman. In addition to “The Seventh Seal,” he would star in 10 different Bergman movies, together with “The Magician,” “The Virgin Spring” and “Wild Strawberries,” and develop an in depth relationship with Sweden’s most well-known moviemaker.
“I can’t say exactly what influence he’s had on me, but it must be enormous,” he stated of Bergman. “We did most of that work when we were much younger. We were free — he hadn’t yet become world famous and I was just a regular stage actor with a few film roles to my credit. We worked hard and had a lot of fun.”
Von Sydow married Swedish actress Christina Olin in 1951 and had two sons, Clas and Henrik. The couple later divorced and he married French filmmaker Catherine Brelet in 1997, with whom he had two extra sons, Yvan and Cedric.
___ Former AP author Malin Rising contributed biographical materials.
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