Contrary to everyone’s belief, acting legend Max von Sydow was not an immortal being who would continue to bring his commanding charisma and grade A serious face to cinema long after we’re all gone. Because sadly, he died yesterday in Paris. He was 90.
Max’s wife of over 20 years, Catherine von Sydow, released a statement confirming that we are now living in a world without Max von Sydow in it.
“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.”
No cause of death is known right now, and I hear some people going, “Well, his cause of death is that he was 90 years old.” Shut up, because MvS was supposed to live until infinity and beyond.
Max, who was born in Lund, Sweden studied acting at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm before moving to Malmö, which is where he met his future mentor Ingmar Bergman in 1955. Max brought his acting skills to several Bergman productions at the Malmö Municipal Theatre before bringing his acting skills to eleven Bergman films including Wild Strawberries, The Virgin Spring, The Magician, and The Seventh Seal, where he played chess (*in the voice of RuPaul*) FOR HIS LIFE against Ezra Miller’s fashion icon Death.
Starring in several Bergman films put Max on the movie acting map, so he moved to Hollywood in the mid-60s and went on to do The Greatest Story Ever Told (where he played Jesus), Hawaii, and in 1973, he played the title character in The Exorcist and should’ve won Oscar solely for the way he took a baby diarrhea attack to the face.
Max played Father Merrin again in Exorcist II: The Heretic. And from there he starred in Conan the Barbarian, Dune, Hannah and Her Sisters, Pelle the Conqueror, Awakenings, A Kiss Before Dying, Needful Things, Judge Dredd, What Dreams May Come, Snow Falling on Cedars, Minority Report, Rush Hour 3, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Shutter Island, Robin Hood, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And he will last be seen in Echoes Of The Past, which doesn’t have a release date yet. And on TV, he was in The Tudors and Game of Thrones, and his voice once graced an episode of The Simpsons.
Max von Sydow got two Oscar nominations. He got a Best Actor nom in 1989 for Pelle the Conqueror and a Best Supporting Actor nom in 2012 for Extremely Loud.
And while Max had a truly illustrious acting career, I’m sure he’ll tell you that his two favorite roles of all-time are Brewmester Smith in Strange Brew:
And THIS iconically glamorous performance for the ages:
Rest in peace, Max von Sydow. You are now in heaven, teaching the angels how to skoal with style.
Skoal to Max Von Sydow – one of the all time greats pic.twitter.com/H8OwXbhbV2
— Larry Karaszewski (@Karaszewski) March 9, 2020