Max Von Sydow


Born: 10 April 1929
Birthplace: Lund, Sweden
Best known as: Gaunt Swede who was The Exorcist
Swedish actor Max von Sydow is known as the knight who plays chess with Death in Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal (1957) and the priest who rescues little Linda Blair from evil in The Exorcist (1973). Von Sydow trained for the Swedish stage and made his film debut in 1949. He gained international recognition for his performance in Bergman films during the 1950s, including Wild Strawberries (1957), The Magician (1958) and The Virgin Spring (1959). His first role in an American movie was as Jesus Christ in 1965's The Greatest Story Ever Told (co-starring John Wayne), and since then he has appeared in dozens of movies, usually as a taciturn villain or authority figure. His many movie roles have included: A frosty hit man (1975's Three Days of the Condor, with Robert Redford); an Asian supervillian (1980's Flash Gordon); a cynical artist (1986's Hannah and Her Sisters, by Woody Allen); a devilish shopkeeper (1993's Needful Things, with Ed Harris); and a shadowy government boss (2002's Minority Report, by Steven Spielberg). His performance in 1988's Pelle the Conqueror earned him several international awards as well as an Oscar nomination as best actor.

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