Remembering Max Von Sydow
Celebrating a Legend Through Pictures
One of the great stars of international cinema, Max Von Sydow, passed away yesterday at the age of 90. He first gained notoriety in a number of films directed by the Swedish master Ingmar Bergman, including "The Seventh Seal" and "The Virgin Spring." The American film industry soon beckoned, and his Hollywood career began with the twin epics "The Greatest Story Ever Told" and "Hawaii" in the mid-1960s. Here are some photographic highlights from this brilliant actor's career, which spanned more than 70 years.
Few movies have so perfectly captured the trials and accomplishments of migration to America than Swedish director Jan Troell's "The Emigrants" (1972). This epic takes place in the mid-1800s and follows a family of poor Swedish farmers (led by Von Sydow) who undertake the long and dangerous journey over land and sea to find a better life in the United States. "The Emigrants" was a critical and commercial hit, and became only the third foreign-language movie to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.
The saga of the Nilsson family continued in the even more impressive sequel, "The New Land" (1973). These two films, which have a combined running time of over 6-1/2 hours, are among the greatest film achievements of their era.
By far, Max Von Sydow's best-known role was that of Father Merrin, the title character of the horror classic "The Exorcist" (1973). Though only in his early 40s at the time of filming, he was able to convincingly portray (with a little help from Dick Smith's old-age makeup) an elderly and ailing priest.
Max Von Sydow had the good fortune to appear in this photograph (seen below) from "The Exorcist" - one of the most iconic images in movie history.
Though mostly known for his dramatic skills, Max Von Sydow was also rather adept at comedy, as he showed in his villainous role of Brewmeister Smith in "Strange Brew" (1983).
Max Von Sydow's most acclaimed performance in the latter part of his career was a silent role as The Renter in "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" (2011). He only communicates with hand signals and note pads. This garnered him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, the second nomination of his career.