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Iconic Actor With 'Deep Sense of Nordic Angst' Dead at 90

Max von Sydow was best known for his roles in 'The Seventh Seal,' 'The Exorcist'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2020 8:21 AM CDT

(Newser) – He played a chess game against Death in The Seventh Seal, took on the role of an ill-fated priest in The Exorcist, and, most recently, appeared in Game of Thrones as the Three-Eyed Raven. Now, his 65-year career has come to a close: Reps for Max von Sydow confirm the acting legend has died at the age of 90, per Deadline. "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 March 8, 2020," reads a statement from his widow, Catherine von Sydow. The cause of his death isn't being released at the request of his family, one of his agents tells the New York Times. The Swedish-born actor, who the Times notes "not only radiated power but also registered a deep sense of Nordic angst," was perhaps best known for his collaborations with fellow Swede Ingmar Bergman.

Bergman directed von Sydow in The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, and The Virgin Spring, which won an Academy Award in 1961 for best foreign film. Von Sydow became more widely known to American audiences thanks to his role in The Exorcist, followed by starring turns in Flash Gordon, Hannah and Her Sisters, and Minority Report, among many other films and TV series. More recent appearances include his Game of Thrones stint, as well as roles in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Simpsons. Per the Independent, von Sydow gave up his Swedish citizenship in 2012 and became a French citizen. "Sweden is the only place I feel less and less at home," he told the Times in 1983. Fans of the iconic actor will get one more chance to see him on the big screen: He'll appear posthumously in the upcoming Echoes of the Past. (Read more obituary stories.)

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