Max von Sydow: Death of star after a career spanning several decades

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Max von Sydow was known for his many collaborations with Ingmar Bergman before he made the leap to Hollywood .

The actor, who has died aged 90, worked with the Swedish film-maker multiple times.

Their credits included The Seventh Seal, in which he famously played chess with the figure of Death, The Magician, The Virgin Spring, Through A Glass Darkly, Hour Of The Wolf and Shame.

In the 1960s, he made the move from European to US films.

More recently, he appeared in Game Of Thrones and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Actor Max Von Sydow
Actor Max Von Sydow (Ian West/PA)

He was born Carl Adolf von Sydow, according to reports, but changed his name after deciding to act for a living.

“During my military service, I performed a sketch in which I played a flea called Max. So when critics kept misspelling my name, I decided to change it and thought, ‘Ah! Max!’,” he later told The Guardian.

He attended the acting academy at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm.

“I didn’t dream of becoming a movie actor when I was a boy, I wanted to go to the theatre,” he later told The Wall Street Journal.

“I was very impressed by the first theatre I was introduced to … and it made an enormous impression on me.”

The actor made his film debut in the Swedish film Only A Mother in 1949.

He was Oscar nominated twice – for best actor for his role in Pelle The Conqueror (1987) and for supporting actor for Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close (2011).

He was also acclaimed for his role in The Diving Bell And The Butterfly (2007) and played sinister James Bond super-villain Ernst Blofeld in 1983 movie Never Say Never Again.

Hollywood credits included The Exorcist, Minority Report, Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island and Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood.

Other titles included Hawaii, The Kremlin Letter, Three Days Of The Condor and Woody Allen’s Hannah And Her Sisters,

He appeared in Star Wars: The Force Awakens as Lor San Tekka and Game Of Thrones as the Three-eyed Raven, for which he was nominated for an Emmy.

Von Sydow was previously married to actress Christina Inga Britta Olin and tied the knot with second wife Catherine Brelet in 1997.

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