Exorcist and Game Of Thrones star Max von Sydow dies
Game Of Thrones and The Exorcist star Max von Sydow has died, aged 90.
In a statement on behalf of his wife, Catherine, the star’s agent Jean Diamond said: “It is with a broken heart and with infinite sadness that we have the extreme pain of announcing the departure of Max von Sydow, March 8, 2020.”
Born Carl Adolf von Sydow in Sweden on April 10 1929, the actor had a varied career that spanned more than seventy years and included two Oscar nominations – best actor for Pelle The Conqueror in 1989, and best supporting actor for his role in 2011’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.
He also received a Primetime Emmy nomination in 2016 for his role as the Three-Eyed Raven in Game Of Thrones.
Other films on his CV of more than 100 movies and TV series include Conan The Barbarian, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Shutter Island and Minority Report, and in recent years he had lent his voice to animated comedy The Simpsons.
He worked with a number of Hollywood’s biggest directors, such as Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Woody Allen and Steven Spielberg, during his extensive career, taking in everything from arthouse dramas to major blockbusters.
However, he was most noted for his many collaborations with Swedish film-maker Ingmar Bergman, starting with The Seventh Seal in 1957.
In the film he played knight Antonius Block, and scenes of the star playing chess with the figure of Death became renowned in cinematic circles.
He also went on to star in other Bergman films including Wild Strawberries, The Virgin Spring and Hour Of The Wolf.
Before his big-screen career took off, von Sydow studied at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, and he made his film debut in 1949, in Swedish drama film Only A Mother.
His last film role was in Kursk: The Last Mission, the 2018 dramatisation of the Kursk submarine disaster. Echoes Of The Past, about the massacre of Kalavryta by Nazi troops on 13 December 1943, is yet to be released.
Director Edgar Wright is among those paying tribute to the actor, describing him as “an iconic presence” on Twitter.
Max Von Sydow, such an iconic presence in cinema for seven decades, it seemed like he’d always be with us. He changed the face of international film with Bergman, played Christ, fought the devil, pressed the HOT HAIL button & was Oscar nominated for a silent performance. A god. pic.twitter.com/klhJ9RusdQ
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) March 9, 2020
Tribeca, which runs the Tribeca Film Festival, also paid tribute, sharing photographs of the actor on social media.
“Do it, do it, do it. Watch good actors. See what they are doing and how they are doing it. You have to practically participate, I think, in order to develop yourself.”
Rest in peace, Max von Sydow, a film titan and one of the greatest actors to ever illuminate the screen. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/BqEGesjOta
— Tribeca (@Tribeca) March 9, 2020
Von Sydow held French citizenship, and died at home in France. Details of the cause of his death have not been announced.