von Sydow, Max

von Sydow, Max, 1929–2020, Swedish actor, b. Carl Adolf von Sydow. He worked with director Ingmar Bergman at the Malmö Municipal Theatre (1955–60) before moving to Stockhom and joining the Royal Dramatic Theatre (1960–62). Von Sydow appeared in many Bergman films, including The Seventh Seal (1957), in which he famously portrayed a medieval knight who plays a game of chess with death, Wild Strawberries (1957), The Magician (1958), The Virgin Spring (1960), Through a Glass Darkly (1961), Winter Light (1963), Shame (1968), and The Passion of Anna (1969). He also appeared in a number of American films. Usually cast in the role of a brooding, serious and often stern character, he played priests, missionaries, an artist, the devil, and Jesus (in The Greatest Story Ever Told, 1965). Among his other films with other directors are Hawaii (1966), The Emigrants (1971) and its sequel, The New Land (1972), The Exorcist (1973), Three Days of the Condor (1975), Hannah and Her Sisters (1985), Hamsun (1996), in which he played the Norwegian poet and novelist, Minority Report (2002), The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007), and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). He also appeared in a number of television productions.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Theater: Biographies