Hollywood legend Max von Sydow is 90


He was Jesus, God seeker, Almöhi, exorcist. Most recently, he moved into the star wars: In 60 years of movie career of Max von Sydow was the charismatic character actor. Now the actor 90 celebrates. Birthday.

A world of naked Need, from the destruction threatened: Max von Sydows film career led him to the place where they had begun in 1957, brilliant: in a fictitious middle ages. In Ingmar Bergman’s epochal Film “The seventh seal” had to do it von Sydow as the existence existentialism cher searcher for Meaning in the face of the plague, with death and the devil in person.

Recently, he appeared in the Fantasy-medieval epic “Game of Thrones” as the mysterious Oracle. It is not difficult to imagine the joy when the creators of the TV series at the moment of commitment, Max von Sydows. And, finally, to the cheers of the makeup artist. Because they had to do here little. The face of the then-87-Year-old delivers more than you ever can create.

Von Sydows “compelling presence” has already been praised at the beginning of his career. In the meantime, not only the age-depth written Furrows in his face. It is also charged with a sixty-year Film career in which he has a lot of strong, self-willed character roles played. Not infrequently, there were German characters, the embodied, the Swedish-born von Sydow. What is not entirely wrong. His mother came from the old Pomeranian nobility.

One of his early films: “Wild strawberries” from 1957

Bergman and the consequences

Was born of an actor at 10. April 1929 when Carl Adolf von Sydow in Lund, Sweden. His father was the local University Professor of Scandinavian Folklore and was the son of early familiar with the Nordic sagas and the heroic stories of Scandinavia. Even as a high school student, Max was a member of an Amateur acting group. A three-year intensive training at the acting Academy of the Royal theatre in Stockholm later provided the Foundation for his international career as a character actor.

His initial time spent von Sydow as a theatre actor at several Scandinavian stages: Helsingborg, Malmö, Stockholm. Especially the young heroes were among his Repertoire, and later entrusted him with psychologically complex roles. For the Film of the twenty-year-old Max came from Sydow 1949, when he was cast by Director Alf Sjöberg for the Film “Rya Rya – Just a mother”.

He became famous by the long-standing collaboration with Director Ingmar Bergman, whom he met in 1955 in Malmö. A total of 13 films the two of them together shot. “The seventh seal” (1957) was a great success and the breakthrough for Max von Sydow. As a knight Block, he played with the death of chess and created an icon of film history. The film critics hailed him at the time as the ideal occupation for internally torn, broken characters. And Bergman’s films made Sydow far beyond Sweden. Again and again he expressed how much this encounter had marked.

Max von Sydow co-star Liv Ullmann in “The hour of the wolf” (1967)

Career as a shady villain

The mid-1960s, Max was discovered by Sydow of Hollywood. He played important leading roles, and was often occupied for dark, shady roles. Von Sydow played Jesus in the biblical epic film “The greatest story ever told” (1965), the priest in “The exorcist” (1973) and “the most sophisticated contract killers in the movie history,” the daily newspaper “The world”, in the legendary Hollywood film “The three days of the Condor” (1975). In 1981, he was in the James Bond Film “never say never”, 007 Agent Sean Connery as a brilliant villain, Blofeld. The duel of glances between the two has gone down in film history.

The priest in the Hollywood classic “The exorcist” (1973) was one of his signature roles

Also, the Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann was his film partner, such as, for example, in “The new Land” (1972). In the Film he played a poor Swedish farmer, in the middle of the 19th century. Century to America as an emigrant. Max von Sydow was looking for new challenges. Woody Allen was his greatest favorite under the U.S. Directors, but it was only a collaboration in “Hannah and her sisters” (1985).

Of Los Angeles, the Hollywood star to Rome, and also in Italian films, he made a career. He appreciated the cooperation with European Directors. With Wim Wenders, he turned the road movie “Until the end of the world” (1990), for Director Axel Corti, he embodied the Emperor’s loyal district captain Franz von Trotta in “Radetzky March” (1994). And the main role of the controversial Nobel prize-winner Knut Hamsun in the TV film adaptation “The trial against Hamsun” earned him, in 1996, the award as the best Swedish performers.

A face painted: Max von Sydow in “Flash Gordon” (1980)

It was the Oscar nomination

Euphoric reviews in the world, an Oscar nomination and the European film prize “Felix” was awarded to Max von Sydow in 1987 for his role of the old, lowly peasants in the award-winning film “Pelle the conqueror”. A tragic figure, described by Sydow later, as his favorite role.

In 1988, the successful actor returned in the meantime, back to the stage to Sweden to play at the Royal Dramatic theatre in Strindberg’s “Mäster Olof” and other classics. But Hollywood lured him.

But in all it remained for him as an actor only in the nomination. So in 2012, when he was nominated as best male supporting actor for his role as an old mute man in “Extremely loud and incredibly close”, but without the Oscar trophy went home. The International film critics celebrated him as a “great” actor.

Oscar nomination for this role in “Extremely loud & incredibly close” (2011)

An old Swede in France

At the film festival in Cannes, Max von Sydow, in 2004, was honored for his life’s work. The coveted award, on the French Rivera awarded, is not the only thing that connects him with France. Private moved with his second love and wife, filmmaker Catherine Brelet and her two sons living in Paris von Sydow. From his first marriage he has two grown-up sons.

For Brelet was the famous Hollywood actor in the first place drawn to France, which caused a resentment In his native Sweden. For this he had abandoned in 2002, even his Swedish nationality in favour of French. The only male Swedish actor who was ever nominated for an Oscar, was thus become French.

A consolation to his countrymen: the summer spends, Max von Sydow, preferably on his old farm on the island of Gotland. There, he listens with great Passion on her favourite operas, and Italian Baroque music, and reads biographies of other famous people.