Max von Sydow

Max von Sydow

90 (passed away Mar. 8th, 2020)
Apr. 10th, 1929
Born in
Lund, Skåne, Sweden
6' 4"

Max von Sydow's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
The Tudors TV Show
The Tudors

Main Movie Roles

Guest TV Roles

[none found]


Max Von Sydow, best known for roles in The Seventh Seal, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Game of Thrones, has passed away at 90. He was found dead at his home, according to his agent Jean Diamond.
Max von Sydow is a Swedish-born actor, he has also held French citizenship since 2002. He has starred in many movies and had supporting roles in dozens more. He has performed in movies filmed in many languages, including Swedish, Norwegian, English, Italian, German, Danish, French and Spanish.
In 1955, he moved to Malmö, where he met his mentor Ingmar Bergman. His first work with Bergman occurred on stage at the Malmö Municipal Theatre. Von Sydow later would work with Bergman on films such as The Seventh Seal (Det sjunde inseglet, 1957), Wild Strawberries (Smultronstället, 1957) and The Virgin Spring (Jungfrukällan, 1960). In The Seventh Seal, von Sydow is the knight who plays a chess game with Death to buy time for his companions—a scene and a film which were both international breakthroughs for actor and director alike. It was in these films where von Sydow honed and perfected his craft, evincing a brilliant talent that has made him a screen icon through a six decade screen career.
Von Sydow came to dominate the screen as he did the stage, becoming an idol of the international arthouse film scene. Critical recognition came as early as 1954 when he was awarded the Royal Foundation Culture Award. He worked profusely on both stage and screen while in Scandinavia, resisting the increasing calls from the United States to go to Hollywood.
After being seen in Bergman's Academy Award–winning films and having been first choice for the title role of Dr. No, von Sydow finally went to America after agreeing to star in the film which was to lead to much greater recognition, in the role of Jesus in George Stevens' grandly titled, all-star epic The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965). Because his talents were soon in demand in other American productions, von Sydow and his family eventually moved to Los Angeles.
From 1965, von Sydow became a regular on the American screen while maintaining a presence in his native Sweden. In 1969 he appeared in John Huston's The Kremlin Letter. Though perhaps typecast as a villain, he was rewarded in the United States with two Golden Globe nominations for Hawaii and The Exorcist in 1973. In the mid-1970s, von Sydow moved to Rome and appeared in a number of Italian films, becoming friendly with another screen legend, Marcello Mastroianni. In the U.S., he played a memorably professional Alsatian assassin in Three Days of the Condor (1975), a role which won him the KCFCC Award for Best Supporting Actor. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, von Sydow appeared in such films as Flash Gordon (1980) , Strange Brew (1983), David Lynch's Dune (1984), and Woody Allen's Hannah and Her Sisters (1986).
Two hundred years to the day since King Gustav III, who founded Dramaten, was assassinated (16 March 1792), von Sydow attended a meeting there commemorating the date, 16 March 1992; this photo was taken in the stage entrance.
Von Sydow has since won the Australian Film Institute's Best Actor Award for his title role in Father (1989), the Guldbagge Best Director Award for his only directorial foray, Katinka (Ved vejen, 1988), based on a novel by Herman Bang, and the Best Actor Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival for The Silent Touch (Dotknięcie ręki, 1993). He received international acclaim for his performance as Nobel Prize–winning novelist Knut Hamsun in Jan Troell's biopic Hamsun. He received his third Swedish Guldbagge and his second Danish Bodil for his depiction of a character often described as his King Lear. In 1996, he starred in Liv Ullmann's Private Confessions (Enskilda samtal). Back in Hollywood, he appeared in What Dreams May Come.
He was acclaimed for his role as an elderly lawyer in Scott Hicks' Snow Falling on Cedars. In 2002, von Sydow had one of his largest commercial successes, co-starring with Tom Cruise in Steven Spielberg's widely popular sci-fi thriller Minority Report. In 2003, he played mentor character Eyvind in the European TV adaptation of the Ring of the Nibelung saga. The show set ratings records and was released in the USA as Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King. In 2007, von Sydow starred in the box-office hit Rush Hour 3. He followed that with Julian Schnabel's award-winning foreign film The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, based on the memoir by Jean-Dominique Bauby.
Recently, von Sydow made his television debut on Showtime's drama series The Tudors, where he portrayed Cardinal Otto Truchsess Von Waldburg, a German-born clergyman who tries to organize the defeat of King Henry VIII. He will later be seen in Martin Scorsese's film adaptation of Shutter Island.


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