Long time actor Max von Sydow died March 8 in Provence, France home at the age of 90. No official cause of death was given.
The Swedish born actor has appeared in dozens of productions but is best know for his roles as Priest in “The Exorcist” and as the Three Eyed Raven in the award winning television series “The Game of Thrones”.
He made his film debut in 1949 in “Only a Mother”; a film from his native land of Sweden. It wasn’t until 1965 that Max made his Hollywood debut as Jesus in “The Greatest Story Ever Told”. He turned down the role of Dr. No in the James Bond film “Dr. No”, but accepted the role of bad guy Ernst Blofeld in “Never Say Never Again” – Sean Connery’s last film as Bond. He also played “Flash Gordon” villain Ming the Merciless. He has appeared in several of Ingmar Bergman’s films.
His other roles include “The Seventh Seal”, “Hawaii”, “The Diary of Anne Frank”, “Three Days of the Condor”, “Footloose”, “Conan the Barbarian”, “Dune”, as the Apostle Peter in “Quo Vadis?”, King John of Portugal in the television mini series “Christopher Columbus”, “Hannah and Her Sister”. The voice of the narrator in “Europa”, “Needful Things”, “Rush Hour 3”, “The Tudors”, “Robin Hood”, “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”, “The Simpsons”, “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens”, and his final role in 2018 as Vladimir Petrenko in “The Command”. He is also scheduled to appear in “Echoes of the Past” as Nikolas Andreou which is currently in post production.
Often choosing not to appear outside of Europe, Max appeared as himself in documentaries, talk shows, and award shows.
He was born Carl Adolf von Sydow on April 10, 1929 in Lund, Sweden. A very shy child, he became interested in acting at age 14 after seeing a performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. His first acting experience came while at the Royal Dramatic Theater in Stockholm after serving his mandatory military service.
Married and divorced twice, Max is survived by his sons Clas, Henrik, Yvan, and Cedric.
Feature photo credit: By Georges Biard, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10095122