Hollywood star Max von Sydow dies aged 90

Hollywood star Max von Sydow has died at the age of 90.

The actor, known for roles in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Game Of Thrones, The Exorcist and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close – and for his many collaborations with Swedish film-maker Ingmar Bergman, died at his home in France on Sunday.

A statement issued by van Sydow's agent Jean Diamond, on behalf of his wife Catherine, said: "It is with a broken heart and with infinite sadness that we have the extreme pain of announcing the departure of Max von Sydow."

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Max Von Sydow, from Sweden attends a photo call during the San Sebastian film Festival, in San Sebastian, Spain, Sunday Sept. 24, 2006. (AP Photo/EFE, Juan Herrero) ** LATIN AMERICA, CARIBBEAN AND SPAIN OUT **
***FILE PHOTO*** Max Von Sydow Has Passed Away at 90. HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Max von Sydow at the Premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. Credit: David Edwards/MediaPunch /IPX
En esta foto del 10 de septiembre de 2016, Max von Sydow y su esposa, Catherine Brelet, llegan a la ceremonia de los Premios Emmy a las Artes Creativas en el Teatro Microsoft en Los Angeles. Von Sydow, conocido entre los seguidores del cine independiente por su trabajo con el director sueco Ingmar Bergman y por los cinéfilos del mundo como el sacerdote en el clásico del terror “El exorcista”, falleció el domingo 9 de marzo del 2020. Tenía 90 años. (Foto por Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, Archivo)
***FILE PHOTO*** Max Von Sydow Has Passed Away at 90. Max Von Sydow after the final Broadway performance of "Duet for One" on January 2, 1982 at the Royale Theatre in New York City. Credit: Walter McBride/MediaPunch /IPX
***FILE PHOTO*** Max Von Sydow Has Passed Away at 90. Max Von Sydow after the final Broadway performance of "Duet for One" on January 2, 1982 at the Royale Theatre in New York City. Credit: Walter McBride/MediaPunch /IPX
Photo by: Michael Germana/STAR MAX/IPx 2020 3/9/20 Max Von Sydow has passed away. STAR MAX File Photo: 12/6/11 Catherine Brelet and Max Von Sydow at the premiere of "Sherlock Holmes: A Game ofF Shadows" in Los Angeles, CA.
Photo by: KGC-03/STAR MAX/IPx 2020 3/9/20 Max Von Sydow has passed away. STAR MAX File Photo: 12/16/15 Max von Sydow at the premiere of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens". (London, England, UK)
***FILE PHOTO*** Max Von Sydow Has Passed Away at 90. Linda Blair with Max Von Sydow. Supplied by Globe Photos/MediaPunch /IPX
***FILE PHOTO*** Max Von Sydow Has Passed Away at 90. Linda Blair and Max Von Sydow at the The 31th Annual Golden Globe Awards in 1973 . Credit: 2118715Globe Photos/MediaPunch /IPX
Max von Sydow, right, and Catherine Brelet arrive before the 84th Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)
Christopher Plummer and Max von Sydow arrive before the 84th Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Director Martin Scorsese, right, with his 'Academy Fellowship' award, presented by actor Max von Sydow, left. backstage at the BAFTA Film Awards 2012, at The Royal Opera House in London, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)
En esta foto del 10 de febrero de 2012, el actor Max von Sydow posa con motivo de la presentación del filme "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" durante el Festival Internacional de Cine de Berlín. Von Sydow, conocido entre los seguidores del cine independiente por su trabajo con el director sueco Ingmar Bergman y por los cinéfilos del mundo como el sacerdote en el clásico del terror “El exorcista”, falleció el domingo 9 de marzo del 2020. Tenía 90 años. (AP Foto/Gero Breloer, Archivo)
Actor Max von Sydow, right, and Catherine Brelet arrive on the red carpet for the film Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close during the 62nd edition of International Film Festival Berlinale, in Berlin Friday, Feb. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Actor Max Von Sydow, left, from Sweden, speaks after receiving the "Donostia" award for his lifetime career at the San Sebastian film festival, in San Sebastian, Spain, Sunday Sept. 24, 2006. (AP Photo/EFE, Juan Herrero) ** LATIN AMERICA, CARIBBEAN AND SPAIN OUT **
Actor Max Von Sydow, from Sweden, waves while arriving to the San Sebastian Film Festival, in San Sebastian, Spain, Saturday Sept. 23, 2006. (AP Photo/EFE, Juan Herrero) ** LATIN AMERICA, CARIBBEAN AND SPAIN OUT **
Swedish actor Max Von Sydow arrives with his wife (name not known) at the Festival Palace on Monday May 13, 1996, to attend the screening of Danish movie "Breaking the Waves" which was presented today to the jury of the 49th International Film Festival in Cannes, French Riviera.(AP PHOTO/Remy de la Mauviniere) <%% 0 PICTURE_OK HEADER_OK 0 4 %%>
Max Von Sydow, seen here during an interview, plays the role of a German Jesuit priest in an NBC drama that tells the personal tradegies suffered by the explosion of the first nuclear bomb, December 1990, Los Angeles, Calif. “Hiroshima: out of he Ashes,” commemorates the 45th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. (AP Photo/Bob Galbraith)
Swedish actor Max von Sydow arrives with his wife, actress Kerstin Olin, at the Shrine Civic Auditorium for the 61st annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles, Ca., March 29, 1989. Von Sydow is nominated in the best actor category for his performance in the foreign film "Pelle the Conqueror." (AP Photo/Lennox McLendon)
Swedish Actor Max Von Sydow is shown, March 1988. (AP Photo)
FILE - In this Oct. 2, 1982 file photo, Swedish-born actor Max Von Sydow poses in Los Angeles. Max von Sydow, the self-described “shy boy”-turned-actor who played the priest in the horror classic “The Exorcist,” has died, it was reported on Monday, March 9, 2020. He was 90. He was known to art house audiences through his work with Swedish director Ingmar Bergman. But it was his role as the devil-evicting priest in William Friedkin's controversial 1973 film "The Exorcist" that brought him to international attention. (AP Photo/Wally Fong, File)
Actor Max Von Sydow appears before a solidarity sign on a pre-taped U.S. government sponsored program entitled "Let Poland Be Poland" to show support for Poland's Solidarity movement, Jan. 31, 1982, in New York. This picture was photographed off a TV monitor at the New York studios of Reeves Teletape. This program, produced by the U.S. International Communication Agency, was beamed by satellite to 20 affiliates of the European Broadcasting Union and 30 other countries, in a total of 39 languages. (AP Photo/David Bookstaver)
Actors Max von Sydow, center, with his wife Christina Olin are pictured at a dinner-dance at the St. Regis Hotel in New York, Dec. 19, 1976, prior to the premiere of the film "Voyage of the Damned." (AP Photo/MN)
Max von Sydow, second from right, smiles with Maria Schell, center, during a reception in New York following the premiere of "Voyage of the Damned," Dec. 19, 1976. Ms. Schell and von Sydow star in the film. At left is von Sydow's wife Christina Olin. (AP Photo/MN)
Max von Sydow as Father Merrin performs exorcism on Linda Blair as Regan McNeil in scene from movie "The Exorcist", photo on black
Jason Miller and Max von Sydow as Father Karras and Father Merrin in scene from movie "The Exorcist", photo
Max von Sydow as Father Merrin prepares to enter house in scene from movie "The Exorcist", photo
Max von Sydow as Father Merrin from movie "The Exorcist", photo on black
Swedish born actor Max Von Sydow is photographed at a premiere of the movie "The Bible" in New York City on Sept. 28, 1966. (AP Photo)
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Von Sydow, who was born in Sweden and held French citizenship, had a varied career that spanned more than six decades and saw him appear in more than 100 films and TV series.

He was nominated for two Oscars throughout his illustrious career – best actor for Pelle The Conqueror in 1989 and best supporting actor for his role in 2011's Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.

During his extensive film career, he worked with a number of heavyweight directors, such as Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Woody Allen and Steven Spielberg.

However, he was most noted for his many collaborations with Swedish director Bergman.

Von Sydow's first Bergman movie was in 1957 – The Seventh Seal, in which he played knight Antonius Block. The scenes of him playing chess with the figure of Death would become renowned in cinematic circles.

Max von Sydow death

He also went on to star in other Bergman films including Wild Strawberries, The Virgin Spring and Hour Of The Wolf after first meeting the director in the 1950s at the Malmo Municipal Theatre in Sweden.

Prior to carving out a name for himself in the Swedish theatre, von Sydow studied at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, and he made his film debut in 1949 in Swedish drama film Only A Mother.

After years of appearing in European films, von Sydow went to America to play Jesus Christ in George Stevens's epic The Greatest Story Ever Told in 1965.

It was his first English language film and launched his Hollywood career.

He went on to appear in films including Flash Gordon, Conan The Barbarian, Dune, Hannah And Her Sisters, Shutter Island and Minority Report.

He also played sinister James Bond super-villain Ernst Blofeld in 1983's Never Say Never Again.

In recent years, von Sydow lent his voice to animated comedy The Simpsons, and he appeared in three episodes of Game Of Thrones in 2016 as Three-Eyed Raven.

He was nominated for a Primetime Emmy for his guest role in the hit fantasy drama series.

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