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Max Von Sydow - Swedish Actor Who Cut A Striking Figure In American Films

Actor Max von Sydow is from Sweden. Since 2002, he has also become a citizen of France. He has made several cinematic appearances in both European and American productions, speaking Swedish, English, Norwegian, Danish, German, French, Italian, and Spanish, among other languages.

Author:Paolo Reyna
Reviewer:Iram Martins
Jan 26, 2023
Actor Max von Sydowis from Sweden. Since 2002, he has also become a citizen of France. He has made several cinematic appearances in both European and American productions, speaking Swedish, English, Norwegian, Danish, German, French, Italian, and Spanish, among other languages.

Quick Facts About Max Von Sydow

Name Max von Sydow
Date of Birth-Death DayApr 10, 1929 - Mar 8, 2020
Place of BirthLund
ProfessionActor, Voice Actor, Film director, Musician
Height6 ft 4 in (1.94 m)
Net Worth$16 Million

Early Life Of Max Von Sydow

Carl Wilhelm von Sydow, an ethnologist, and professor, and Baroness Maria Margareta Rappe, a schoolteacher, welcomed Max von Sydow into the world on April 10, 1929, in Lund, Sweden. He attended Lund Cathedral School when he was younger.
On a field trip with his class, Von Sydow witnessed a performance of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream," which piqued his interest in acting. Von Sydow then founded an amateur theater company with his fellow students.
He afterward performed two years of military service for Sweden. After that, von Sydow attended the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm to further his studies before making his theatrical debut in a performance of Goethe's "Egmont."

The Career Of Max Von Sydow

Max von Sydow made his professional film debut in 1949 when he was a Dramaten student in the Alf Sjöberg-directed movie "Only a Mother." He had an appearance in the 1951 Sjöberg film "Miss Julie," which was based on the play of the same name by August Strindberg. In 1954, he was given the Royal Foundation of Culture Award.
A year later, he relocated to Malmö and started performing on stage at the Malmö Municipal Theatre, working with his role model, Ingmar Bergman. International acclaim was bestowed upon the director-actor team for von Sydow's chess game scene in "The Seventh Seal" with Death personified (1957).
Additionally, they worked together on films like "Wild Strawberries" (1957) and "The Virgin Spring" (1960). Despite substantial Hollywood offers, Von Sydow remained to perform on stage and in films in Scandinavia. He ultimately made the transition to American film and gained further notoriety by playing Jesus in George Stevens' all-star epic "The Greatest Story Ever Told" (1965).
After the triumph of "The Greatest Story Ever Told," he relocated to Los Angeles and started making more frequent appearances in American projects while still finding time to work in Swedish movies. He appeared in the highly acclaimed Swedish film "The Emigrants" by Jan Troell and the American murder thriller "The Kremlin Letter" (1969), directed by John Huston (1971).
He was nominated for two Golden Globes for his leading performances in the 1966 movies "Hawaii" and "The Exorcist" (1973). He received the KCFCC Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1975 for his performance as a hired assassin from Alsace in "Three Days of the Condor." In the middle of the 1970s, Von Sydow moved to Rome in order to take part in a number of Italian movies.
It was around this time that he met the renowned Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni. When he came back to the US in the late 1970s, he made cameos in movies including "Conan the Barbarian" (1982), "Strange Brew" (1983), "Dune" (1984), and "Hannah and Her Sisters," as well as "Flash Gordon" (1980). In 1985, he was on the jury at the 35th Berlin International Film Festival.
For his performance of Lassefar Karlsson in the 1987 Danish epic movie "Pelle the Conqueror," which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor.
The Danish-Swedish drama film "Katinka," which was directed by von Sydow and was his only production, was released in 1988. It was based on a Herman Bang novel.Two Guldbagge Awards were given to the film in the Best Director and Best Film categories. He received the Australian Film Institute's Best Actor Award for his portrayal of the title character in the 1990 Australian movie "Father."
He was nominated for a Saturn Award for his performance in the movie "Needful Things" and won the Best Actor prize at the 1992 Tokyo International Film Festival for his work in the movie "The Silent Touch." One of his best performances is his depiction of Nobel Prize–winning author Knut Hamsun in Jan Troell's 1996 biopic "Hamsun," for which he received his third Swedish Guldbagge Award.
He received praise from critics for his performance as an old lawyer in Scott Hicks' 1999 movie "Snow Falling on Cedars," which was adapted from David Guterson's book of the same name. The neo-noir sci-fi thriller "Minority Report," which Steven Spielberg directed and in which he co-starred with Tom Cruise, was his highest-earning movie.
In the 2003 European TV rendition of the "Ring of the Nibelung" story, which established a new rating record, Von Sydow portrayed the mentor figure Eyvind. Throughout his career, Von Sydow had roles in several TV episodes and telefilms. He took on the same role the following year in "Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King," the US adaptation of the program.
In the box office-dominant buddy police action comedy "Rush Hour 3," he costarred with Jackie Chan. He participated in the same year's biographical drama film "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," directed by Julian Schnabel, which took home prizes at the Cannes Film Festival, the Golden Globes, the BAFTA, and the César Awards.
He played Cardinal von Walburg in the historical drama "The Tudors" on Showtime in 2009. He had appearances in the Martin Scorsese movie "Shutter Island" and the Ridley Scott movie "Robin Hood" the following year.
In 2011, he provided narration and voice acting for the wildly famous video game "The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim," and in 2014, he had a special appearance on the animated comedy "The Simpsons."
In the 2015 movie "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," directed by J. J. Abrams, he portrayed Lor San Tekka. He portrayed Three-Eyed Raven in the HBO series "Game of Thrones," which premiered in 2016.
Max Von Sydow Smiling In Formal Clothing
Max Von Sydow Smiling In Formal Clothing

Max Von Sydow's Career In Television

In the Swedish television movie "Mr. Sleeman is Coming," Von Sydow made his debut on the small screen in 1957. He played Otto Frank in the television movie "The Diary of Anne Frank" ten years later.
Von Sydow returned to television movies in the 1980s after spending little time on the small screen in the 1970s, making appearances in "Samson and Delilah," "Le Dernier Civil," "Kojak: The Belarus File," and "Red King, White Knight." He also appeared in episodes of a number of miniseries at that time, such as "The Last Place on Earth," "Quo Vadis?" and "Christopher Columbus."
Von Sydow continued to make appearances in television movies throughout the 1990s. "Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes," "Uncle Vanya," "Citizen X," "Private Confessions," and "Hostile Waters" were among his filmography credits.
He also played the Biblical David in the "Solomon" miniseries. Although Von Sydow didn't work as much in the 2000s, he did appear in the television movies "Nuremberg" and the miniseries "Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King." He played Cardinal von Walburg in a recurring role in 2009 in the historical drama "The Tudors."
In 2016, Von Sydow played the Three-Eyed Raven in the HBO fantasy series "Game of Thrones." It served as his last on-screen appearance. He was nominated for an Emmy for his performance.

Max Von Sydow's Personal Life And Death

Max von Sydow married Christina Inga Britta Olin, an actress, in 1951. They were married and had two boys, Clas and Henrik, before divorcing in 1979. In 1997, over 20 years later, von Sydow married Catherine Bracelet, a French director, and adopted her two adult sons, Yvan and Cédric.
After this marriage, he moved to Paris, gave up his Swedish citizenship, and became a citizen of France. At the end of March 2020, Von Sydow passed away in his Provence, France, residence. He was ninety years old.

Some Interesting Facts About Max Von Sydow

  • Aries is Max von Sydow's zodiac sign.
  • He has four kids.
  • One sibling, Axel Ulrik Bertil von Sydow, is his only child.
  • Pelle the Conqueror was one of his favorite movies.
  • Max von Sydow was born in Lund, Sweden.

Max Von Sydow's Net Worth

The Swedish-French actor Max von Sydow had a fortune of $16 million at the time of his death. He earned a significant sum of money by appearing in several well-known movies.

People Also Ask

What Number Of Languages Was Max Von Sydow Fluent In?

Von Sydow spoke Italian, French, Swedish, Danish, and English fluently.

Who Is Max Von Sydow's Father?

Max von Sydow's father is Carl Wilhelm von Sydow.

What Day Did Max Von Sydow Get His Start?

His birth date is April 10, 1929.


Countless movies and TV series have included Max von Sydow. Sadly, the world lost such a treasure in 2020, but he will always be remembered and will always serve as an example for younger generations to follow.
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Paolo Reyna

Paolo Reyna

Paolo Reyna is a writer and storyteller with a wide range of interests. He graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Media Studies. Paolo enjoys writing about celebrity culture, gaming, visual arts, and events. He has a keen eye for trends in popular culture and an enthusiasm for exploring new ideas. Paolo's writing aims to inform and entertain while providing fresh perspectives on the topics that interest him most. In his free time, he loves to travel, watch films, read books, and socialize with friends.
Iram Martins

Iram Martins

Iram Martins is a seasoned travel writer and explorer with over a decade of experience in uncovering the world's hidden gems. Holding a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Management from the University of Lisbon, Iram's credentials highlight his authority in the realm of travel. As an author of numerous travel guides and articles for top travel publications, his writing is celebrated for its vivid descriptions and practical insights. Iram’s passion for cultural immersion and off-the-beaten-path adventures shines through in his work, captivating readers and inspiring wanderlust. Outside of his writing pursuits, Iram enjoys learning new languages, reviewing films and TV shows, writing about celebrity lifestyles, and attending cultural festivals.
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