Primarily known to American audiences for playing the plucky investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist in the film adaptations of author Stieg Larsson's "Millennium Trilogy" crime novels, Michael Nyqvist was already a huge star in Sweden prior to achieving international acclaim in the States. After landing numerous small roles in Swedish television shows throughout the '90s, Nyqvist drew praise for his role as detective John Banck on the popular crime series, "Beck" (1997- ). His sterling performance on the series soon led to meatier film roles, including a breakout performance in the 2000 Swedish drama, "Together." The film was a hit in Sweden, but it would be another four years before Nyqvist's acting work would reach acclaim on a worldwide scale. That came in 2004 when he portrayed a chronically ill conductor in "As It Is In Heaven." The Academy Award-nominated film thrust Nyqvist into the international spotlight, and over the next several years he continued to expand his fan base in America with riveting performances in such big budget action thrillers as "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" and "Abduction" - both of which were released in 2011. Born in Stockholm in 1960, Michael Nyqvist spent the early days of his youth living a relatively normal life. When he was still a toddler, however, the people he assumed to be his parents informed Nyqvist that he was adopted. His birth parents gave him up shortly after his birth, and for a brief period Nyqvist resided in an orphanage. The thought of knowing he was given up at birth haunted Nyqvist for most of his adult life, yet not enough to deter him from pursuing his love of acting. Nyqvist took his very first acting classes while living in Omaha, NE as a foreign exchange student. It was there that the young actor learned to harness the emotional trauma from his past and use it in his performances. Upon returning to Sweden, however, Nyqvist briefly took up ballet before quitting to pursue acting full time. He began landing small roles in Swedish television shows and made-for-TV movies throughout the early '90s, before landing his first big break in 1997 after being cast as the lead on the television series "Beck." Nyqvist played detective John Banck on seven episodes of the popular Swedish cop show, all the while becoming a household name in his native country. Although he had appeared in features before, it was Nyqvist's performance as an emotionally troubled husband in the 2000 drama "Together" that made him a bona fide film star in Sweden. The film was an international hit, and earned Nyqvist a Best Actor nomination at the 2001 Guldbagge Awards, Sweden's version of the Oscars. Nyqvist earned another Guldbagge Award nomination for his performance in 2004's "As It Is In Heaven." That film went on to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film at the 2005 Academy Awards, thus further establishing Nyqvist's already growing status as one of the most important film actors to come out of Sweden in generations. Upon appearing as the cunning magazine journalist Mikael Blomkvist in 2009's "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," Nyqvist skillfully brought to life one of the most revered characters in modern crime fiction. Nyqvist reprised his role as Blomkvist in the final two film adaptations of the "Millennium Trilogy," before appearing as the villain in two Hollywood action thrillers in 2011: "Abduction" and "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol." In 2013 Nyqvist appeared as a series regular on the mystery series, "Zero Hour" (ABC, 2013). The show, however, was cancelled after three episodes due to low ratings. Nyqvist continued working streadily on both sides of the Atlantic, moving easily from musical drama "The Girl from Nagasaki" (2013) and indie drama "Days and Nights" (2013) to big-budget thriller "John Wick" (2014). Well-received roles in romantic comedy "Paris Follies" (2014), historical thriller "Colonia" (2015) and love triangle story "Frank and Lola" (2016) followed, as did a key supporting part in historical miniseries "Madiba" (BET 2017). Michael Nyqvist died of lung cancer on June 27, 2017. He was 56.
Cast (Feature Film)
Appeared as John Banck on the Swedish cop show, "Beck"
Breakout film performance in "Together"
Achieved international success for playing the role of Mikael Blomkvist in "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
Portrayed the lead villain opposite Tom Cruise in "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol"