RIP to a legend. https://www.theguardian.com/film/20...g5sZA1AZTEto3cuWRmGPkXnek-W-SGrgJK7TKeGE0Nlgs Max von Sydow, star of The Exorcist and The Seventh Seal, dies aged 90 The veteran actor, best known for his collaborations with Ingmar Bergman, as well as roles in Star Wars and Hannah and Her Sisters, has died. Sydow’s most iconic role was in Bergman’s The Seventh Seal (1957), in which he plays chess with Death. He also brought immense presence and gravity to roles such as Jesus Christ in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965), a doomed priest in William Friedkin’s The Exorcist, and an intellectually snobbish artist in Woody Allen‘s Hannah and Her Sisters (1986). More recently, he appeared in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011), Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) and on Game of Thrones as the mystical Three-Eyed Raven. The news was broken on Monday by his wife, the producer Catherine Brelet, who told Paris Match: “It is with a broken heart and with infinite sadness that we have the extreme pain of announcing the departure of Max von Sydow on 8 March 2020.” Speaking to the Guardian, Martin Scorsese – who directed him in 2011’s Shutter Island – called Von Sydow “something like a consummate actor, with a pride in his art and a dedication to his craft that I’ve encountered in very few people in my life.” He continued: “I had the chance to work with him only once and I cherished every minute of it. On the set he was remarkable, and off the set he a complete gentleman. “What he and Ingmar Bergman found together is more precious than gold. Tonight I’ll watch one of those pictures—maybe Shame, or Hour of the Wolf, or Winter Light, or The Seventh Seal—and find myself shocked, surprised and awed all over again.” Thomas Vinterberg, who directed von Sydow in his final film, Kursk (2018), told the Guardian that “for us Scandinavians Max is a legend”. He recalled Von Sydow’s final day of shooting, when, “after his last shot, everyone stood up and applauded this warm and impressive man, continuously. When he left the set, it continued in the street. “It was as if he was celebrated for his whole career, and it just went on and on. Both [co-star] Colin Firth and I were very moved by this, and it became the last time I saw him. It’s as if an era ends with Max. I will miss him.” Born into a wealthy family in Lund on the Swedish coast, Von Sydow studied at the country’s national drama school before meeting Bergman in 1955. The pair initially worked together on theatrical productions, but rapidly made a series of cinematic landmarks that cemented both men’s careers. The Seventh Seal was made in the same year as Wild Strawberries; Brink of Life, Rabies and The Magician followed in 1958. Other key collaborations included The Virgin Spring (1960) and Winter Light (1963). The Greatest Story Ever Told was von Sydow’s first large-scale US production, but it was 1973’s The Exorcist – riffing off a lifetime playing wracked men of God – that catapulted Von Sydow to international acclaim. The actor’s wackier side was showcased as Ming the Merciless in 1980’s Flash Gordon; his second foray into Hollywood fantasy was 1982’s Conan the Barbarian. He worked with David Lynch on 1984’s Dune, and picked up considerable acclaim for a moving role in Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters (1986). The 1987 Swedish domestic drama Pelle the Conqueror earned him his first Oscar nomination, for best actor. Von Sydow continued to work through his 70s and 80s, combining substantial roles in Europe – including as the father in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly – with chewy supporting work in Hollywood productions such as Minority Report (2002), and, in 2011, Shutter Island, Robin Hood and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. This last title won Von Sydow his second Oscar nomination, this time as supporting actor, for playing a mute man whose cloistered existence is disrupted by the friendship of a boy who has lost his father on 9/11. Speaking to Hadley Freeman around the time of the film’s release, Von Sydow was wry about the new form of typecasting his ninth decade was bringing. “As you get older,” he said, “you get offered old characters and very often old people die in the middle of the script. It’s sad, but it’s not very interesting.” He proceeded to win a new generation of admirers for cameos in The Simpsons, in the first of the new Star Wars trilogy, 2015’s The Force Awakens, and as the Three-Eyed Raven in season six of Game of Thrones. Von Sydow was married twice, to the actor Christina Inga Britta Olin from 1951-1979; they had two sons. In 1997, he married Brelet and in 2002 became a citizen of her native France.