Born in Lund, Skåne, Sweden in 1929 as Carl Adolf von Sydow, world renowned actor Max von Sydow has passed away just a month shy of his 91st birthday. Most horror fans of our generation know him best from his role as Father Merrin in 1973’s The Exorcist but van Sydow was already a star at that point having made a name for himself as Antonius Block in his friend Ingmar Bergman’s 1957 film The Seventh Seal.
Over a magnificent career that began in 1949, the sheer number of films that Max von Sydow has been a part of is staggering, as is the number of awards he’s amassed. Some notable film entries, other than what was mentioned above, include The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965), Hawaii (1966), The Diary of Anne Frank (1967), Flash Gordon (1980), Conan the Barbarian (1982), Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015), Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011), Awakenings (1990), Pelle the Conqueror (1987) , and many, many more.
Writer/Director Edgar Wright composed a tweet today that is a fitting tribute:
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.
Rest in peace, sir.