MV
Max von Sydow

Max von Sydow

Max von Sydow (; Swedish pronunciation: [fɔn ˈsy̌ːdɔv] (listen) born Carl Adolf von Sydow; 10 April 1929 – 8 March 2020) was a Swedish actor. He had a 70-year career in European and American cinema, television, and theatre, appearing in more than 150 films and several television series in multiple languages. He became a French citizen and lived in France for the last decades of his life. Capable in roles ranging from stolid, contemplative protagonists to sardonic artists and menacing, often gleeful villains, von Sydow was best known for playing the 14th-century knight Antonius Block in Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal (1957), which features iconic scenes of his character challenging Death to a game of chess. He appeared in a total of 11 films directed by Bergman, among which were The Virgin Spring (1960) and Through a Glass Darkly (1961), both winners of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. He starred in a third winner, Bille August's Pelle the Conqueror (1987), a quarter-century later. Von Sydow made his American film debut as Jesus Christ in George Stevens's The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) and had major parts in the title role in William Friedkin's The Exorcist (1973), Sydney Pollack's Three Days of the Condor (1975), Mike Hodges's Flash Gordon (1980), David Lynch's Dune (1984), Woody Allen's Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), Penny Marshall's Awakenings (1990), Steven Spielberg's Minority Report (2002), Julian Schnabel's The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007), Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island (2010), and Ridley Scott's Robin Hood (2010). He later appeared in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and in HBO's Game of Thrones as the Three-eyed Raven, for which he received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination. During his career, von Sydow received two Academy Award nominations for his performances in Pelle the Conqueror (1987) and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011). He received the Royal Foundation of Sweden's Cultural Award in 1954, was made a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres in 2005, and was named a Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur on 17 October 2012.
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