Max Von Sydow


Actor
Max Von Sydow

About

Also Known As
Carl Adolf Von Sydow
Birth Place
Sweden
Born
April 10, 1929

Biography

After his training at Stockholm's Royal Dramatic Theatre School, actor Max von Sydow became recognized as his native Sweden's foremost film star, thanks to his long-running collaboration with acclaimed director Ingmar Bergman. Both von Sydow and Bergman triumphantly emerged onto the international film scene with "The Seventh Seal" (1957), an existential meditation on death that was long ...

Family & Companions

Kerstin Olin
Wife
Actor. Married on August 1, 1951; divorced in 1996.
Catherine Brelet
Wife
Documentary filmmaker. Married in 1997.

Notes

Received the Royal Foundation of Sweden's Cultural Award in 1954.

"Nobody told me there was any idea for a sequel to 'The Exorcist', but my agent called me to tell me they were going to do it, and there was a part for me. I said, 'But I died in the first film.' 'Well,' he told me, 'this is from the early days of Father Merrin's life.' I told him I just didn't want to do it again. Then the producers doubled the price. I still said no. But I agreed to meet with [director] John Boorman. He was very sweet and asked me to read the script. So I read it and I said, 'Sorry, it's not for me.' Well, I think they doubled the price again. But this time they also gave me the script to another film which I found very interesting. My agent told me that for doing two weeks' work on 'Exorcist II', I'd get paid more than I've ever made and I'd have this other thing. I said OK." --Max von Sydow, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, c. 1990

Biography

After his training at Stockholm's Royal Dramatic Theatre School, actor Max von Sydow became recognized as his native Sweden's foremost film star, thanks to his long-running collaboration with acclaimed director Ingmar Bergman. Both von Sydow and Bergman triumphantly emerged onto the international film scene with "The Seventh Seal" (1957), an existential meditation on death that was long after considered to be one of the greatest foreign films ever made. The actor and director continued their collaboration for the next several years, churning out complicated and often surreal films like "The Magician" (1958) and "The Virgin Spring" (1960) that earned international accolades and awards. When von Sydow crossed the Atlantic to appear in Hollywood films, however, he was initially consigned to playing stern, unsympathetic characters. He finally had a breakthrough playing the titular role in "The Exorcist" (1973), playing the immortal Father Merrin in a film that forever cemented von Sydow into cinema history. Following this, he was able to branch out and explore a variety of compelling roles, which culminated in an Academy Award nomination for his performance in "Pelle the Conqueror" (1988), which only confirmed the notion of von Sydow being Sweden's modern-day Laurence Olivier. His career spanned long after that triumph, including films ranging from medical drama "Awakenings" (1990) to science fiction thriller "Minority Report" (2002) to indie character study "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" (2007). He showed no signs of slowing down even into his 80s, appearing in Martin Scorsese's "Shutter Island" (2010), an episode of "The Simpsons" (Fox 1990- ), and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" (2015).

Born on April 10, 1929 in Lund, Sweden, von Sydow was raised by his father, Carl, a professor of Scandinavian and Irish folklore at the Royal University, and his mother, Greta, a school teacher. With no theatre in the area, von Sydow absorbed novels in his youth. But when he was 14, a modern theatre was built in nearby Malmo. The young lad was immediately taken by its magic, leading to him and his friends forming their own company where they performed all the classics. Though his parents wanted him to study law, von Sydow went ahead with acting when he attended the Royal Dramatic Theatre - or as it was known in Sweden, Dramaten - where he studied the craft from 1948-1951. After graduating, he began honing his skills in repertory theatre all around Sweden in a variety of roles. Along the way, he made the acquaintance of someone who would later propel him to stardom, director Ingmar Bergman, who was the chief director of the municipal theater in Malmo. Bergman directed von Sydow in numerous productions, including "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "Faust."

While von Sydow had already been in several features, including "Fröken Julie" (1950) and "Ingen Mans Kvinna" (1953), he attracted international attention in Bergman's existential drama "The Seventh Seal" (1957), playing a 14th century knight who challenges Death (Bengt Ekerot) to a game of chess in exchange for his life, which leads to an examination of whether or not God exists. The cornerstone of Bergman's repertory group of performers, von Sydow went on to make numerous films with the director. He had a small role in "Wild Strawberries" (1957), which he followed by playing the title character in "The Magician" (1958). Von Sydow was the mysterious Mr. Volger, a traveling magician whose supernatural performance attract the unwanted attentions of a town's local authorities, leading to a surreal encounter that confronts the enigma of life and death itself. He continued working exclusively with Bergman, appearing in "Brink of Life" (1958) and starring in "The Virgin Spring" (1960), a drama in which he played a distraught father who avenges the murder of his daughter (Birgitta Pettersson) at the hands of three goatherds.

Following two more films with Bergman - "Through a Glass Darkly" (1961) and "Winter Light" (1963) - von Sydow made his debut in the United States playing Jesus in George Stevens' "The Greatest Story Ever Told" (1965). Though it fared poorly at the box office, the film opened the door for von Sydow to perform in more American films. Seizing upon his long, somber face and imposing physicality, Hollywood initially typecast him in stern and unsympathetic roles, casting him as a knuckle-cracking Nazi in "The Quiller Memorandum" (1966), a stiff-necked minister in "Hawaii" (1966) and a Russian strongman in "The Kremlin Letter" (1970) - none of which set the box office aflame. Returning to working in his native Sweden, he forged another lasting association when he teamed up with director Jan Troell in "Here Is Your Life" (1966) and made his American television debut as Otto Frank in an adaptation of "The Diary of Anne Frank" (1967). He next rejoined his collaboration with Bergman for another memorable series of films, including "Hour of the Wolf" (1968), the director's only gothic horror film in which von Sydow played a painter who is haunted by demons while spending a summer in seclusion with his pregnant wife (Liv Ullmann).

The trio of von Sydow, Ullmann and Bergman reunited for "Shame" (1968), a compelling drama about two musicians who escape to an island from their unnamed country which is embroiled in civil war, only to run into trouble when a plane of soldiers crashes on the island, leading to betrayal and misery. After "Made in Sweden" (1969), von Sydow joined forces with Ullmann and Bergman once again for "The Passion of Anna" (1970), playing a reclusive ex-convict who has a stormy affair with a woman grieving over the deaths of her husband and son. In "The Touch" (1971), he was a seemingly happy husband whose wife (Bibi Andersson) has a clandestine affair with a mysterious intruder (Elliott Gould), while next starring again opposite Ullmann in Jan Troell's "The Emigrants" (1971), a historical drama that depicted a Swedish family emigrating to Minnesota in the 19th century in search of more fertile soil. The film's sequel, "The New Land" (1972), picked up where its predecessor left off and focused on the family losing all they had gained in the New World.

Von Sydow finally earned his due in America when he used his imposing presence to his advantage in William Friedkin's "The Exorcist" (1973), playing the immortal Father Merrin, who is brought in by another priest (Jason Miller) to exorcise the Devil from a little girl (Linda Blair). Von Sydow delivered an iconic performance that transcended generations and lived on in cinematic history, thanks to his famous line "The power of Christ compels you" as he tried to drive the devil out of the child. With his newfound recognition, von Sydow began landing Hollywood roles with greater frequency, while remaining wedded to the films of his native land. He played Alsatian hit-man Joubert in Sydney Pollack's "Three Days of the Condor" (1975), appeared in the preposterous sequel "Exorcist II: The Heretic" (1977), even though his character was killed in the first installment, and playfully chewed the scenery as Ming the Merciless in "Flash Gordon" (1980), even though the film itself was long remembered for being campy to a fault. In "Victory" (1981), he was the commander of a German prisoner of war camp who puts together a team of Allied soldiers (Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine and Pelé) to play an exhibition game against the Nazis without realizing the prisoners are planning their escape.

Finding more work within the American studio system, von Sydow had numerous co-starring roles, including as King Osrik in "Conan the Barbarian" (1982) and as the arch-villain Blofeld in Sean Connery's return to the James Bond franchise, "Never Say Never Again" (1983). That same year, he played an evil owner of Elsinore Brewery who plots to take over the world by controlling beer drinkers with a secret additive, only to run into problems courtesy of hosers Bob and Doug McKenzie (Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas). After giving some heft to the otherwise flimsy psychological thriller "Dreamscape" (1984), von Sydow made a few appearances on the small screen, playing the Philistine governor in "Samson and Delilah" (ABC, 1984) and King John of Portugal in the two-part miniseries "Christopher Columbus" (CBS, 1985). Following a turn as the Apostle Peter in the Italian-made "Quo Vadis" (1985), he delivered a stellar supporting turn as Barbara Hershey's artist-lover in Woody Allen's "Hannah and Her Sisters" (1986).

In a personal and creative triumph, von Sydow delivered one of his finest onscreen roles, playing a humble old Swedish widower struggling for survival alongside his son as immigrants to Denmark in Bille August's "Pelle the Conqueror" (1988), the Oscar-winning Best Foreign Film that earned him the first Academy Award nomination of his long career. Stepping behind the camera for the first time, von Sydow made an unspectacular directing debut with "Katinka" (1988), adapted from Herman Bang's novel Along the Road". In a return to his beginnings on the stage, he delivered a performance as Prospero in a London production of "The Tempest" (1988). Back on the small screen, he appeared in several made-for-television movies, including "Red King, White Knight" (HBO, 1989) and "Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes" (NBC, 1990), in which he played Father Siemes, who helps survivors after the 1945 nuclear bombing. In the turkey, "A Kiss Before Dying" (1991), he played a wealthy businessman whose daughter becomes the victim of murder at the hands of an ingratiating schemer (Matt Dillon).

Following a trip to the sci-fi realms of Wim Wenders' cyberpunk noir "Until the End of the World" (1991), von Sydow renewed his association with Bergman, playing the heroine's father in August's "The Best Intentions" (1992), which he preceded by playing a priest who urges a farmer who kills his estate owner's ox to feed his family for the winter in "The Ox" (1992), directed by Bergman's long-time cinematographer Sven Nykvist. He next played a devilish antiques store owner in a big screen adaptation of Stephen King's "Needful Things" (1993), after which he played Judge Fargo in the blockbuster Sylvester Stallone vehicle "Judge Dredd" (1995). On the small screen once again, he appeared in the based-on real-life serial killer drama "Citizen X" (HBO, 1995), followed by a turn as an aging priest and mentor to a woman (Pernilla August) who admits infidelity to her husband (Samuel Fröler) in "Private Confessions" (1996), written by Ingmar Bergman and directed by actress Liv Ullmann. He next played Norwegian hero and Nobel Prize-winning novelist Knut Hamsun who sided with the Nazis in "Hamsun" (1996).

After a supporting role in the Rutger Hauer thriller "Hostile Waters" (HBO, 1997), he was a wise guide who leads a distraught man (Robin Williams) across the River Styx after his death in the Technicolor fantasy "What Dreams May Come" (1998). He followed this role by playing the defense attorney for a Japanese-American man (Rick Yune) on trial for the murder of his close friend (Eric Thal) in "Snow Falling on Cedars," which he followed by a portrayal of the biblical King David in the two-part miniseries "Solomon" (PAX TV, 2000). Maintaining a steady presence on the screen, von Sydow was a wizened old druid in the aptly named historical epic "Druids" (2001), a casino owner who loses everything in "Intacto" (2002) and the corrupt director of the futuristic pre-crime unit in Steven Spielberg's compelling actioner, "Minority Report" (2002). Going back in time a couple thousand years, he co-starred as a pagan king in the German-made sword-and-sorcery epic "Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King" (2004).

Following the low-key "Autumn Hearts: A New Beginning" (2007), von Sydow was a French ambassador who becomes the victim of a car bombing in the action comedy sequel "Rush Hour 3" (2007). Von Sydow next played the father of a 16th century Puritan (James Purefoy) who travels the world vanquishing evil in "Solomon Kane" (2009), while joining the cast of "The Tudors" (Showtime, 2007-2010) for the third season, playing the fierce and moral Cardinal von Waldburg, who becomes a potent critic and adversary to King Henry VIII (Jonathan Rhys Meyers). After supporting roles as a physician at an institution for the criminally insane in Martin Scorsese's "Shutter Island" (2010) and Sir Walter Loxley in Ridley Scott's "Robin Hood" (2010), von Sydow starred opposite Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock in "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" (2011). He played a man who accompanies a 10-year-old boy (Thomas Horn) on a quest to find a lock box in New York City after the boy's father died on 9/11. Von Sydow's wordless performance earned widespread critical praise, as well as an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Katinka (1988)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

Kursk (2018)
The Letters (2015)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
Solomon Kane (2012)
Branded (2012)
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011)
Robin Hood (2010)
Shutter Island (2010)
Un homme et son chien (2009)
The Final Inquiry (2008)
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)
Rush Hour 3 (2007)
Emotional Arithmetic (2007)
Heidi (2005)
Minority Report (2002)
Intacto (2002)
Sleepless (2001)
Vercingetorix (2001)
Nuremberg (2000)
Snow Falling on Cedars (1999)
What Dreams May Come (1998)
Their Frozen Dream (1998)
Voice
Jerusalem (1997)
Private Confessions (1997)
Hostile Waters (1997)
Hamsun (1996)
Judge Dredd (1995)
Atlanten (1995)
Narrator
Citizen X (1995)
Time Is Money (1994)
The Best Intentions (1992)
The Silent Touch (1992)
Europa (1991)
Narrator
The Ox (1991)
Until the End of the World (1991)
A Kiss Before Dying (1991)
Una Vita Scellerata (1990)
The Bachelor (1990)
Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes (1990)
Awakenings (1990)
Father (1990)
Quo Vadis (1989)
Red King, White Knight (1989)
Pelle the Conqueror (1987)
Duet For One (1986)
The Wolf At The Door (1986)
The Second Victory (1986)
Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
Kojak: The Belarus File (1985)
Il Pentito (1985)
Code Name: Emerald (1985)
Samson and Delilah (1984)
Dreamscape (1984)
Dune (1984)
Strange Brew (1983)
Never Say Never Again (1983)
Circle of Passions (1983)
Target Eagle (1982)
Ingenjor Andrees Luftfard (1982)
She Dances Alone (1982)
Narrator
Conan The Barbarian (1982)
Victory (1981)
Death Watch (1980)
Flash Gordon (1980)
Hurricane (1979)
Brass Target (1978)
March Or Die (1977)
Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)
Voyage Of The Damned (1976)
The Context (1976)
Le Desert des tartares (1976)
Foxtrot (1976)
Three Days of the Condor (1975)
Joubert
Trompe L'oeil (1975)
Aegget ar Lost (1975)
Cuore Di Cane (1975)
The Ultimate Warrior (1975)
Steppenwolf (1974)
Embassy (1973)
The Exorcist (1973)
Father Merrin
Ingmar Bergman (1972)
Himself
Appelkriget (1972)
The Night Visitor (1971)
Salem
The Touch (1971)
Dr. Andreas Vergerus
The Kremlin Letter (1970)
Kosnov
The Passion of Anna (1970)
Andreas Winkelman
Here's Your Life (1968)
Smålands-Pelle
Shame (1968)
Jan Rosenberg
Hour of the Wolf (1968)
Johan Borg
Hawaii (1966)
Abner Hale
The Quiller Memorandum (1966)
Oktober
The Reward (1965)
Scott Swenson
The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
Jesus
The Swedish Mistress (1964)
Married man
Winter Light (1963)
Jonas Persson
Through a Glass Darkly (1962)
Martin, the husband
The Virgin Spring (1960)
The Magician (1958)
Brink of Life (1958)
The Seventh Seal (1958)
Antonius Block
Wild Strawberries (1957)

Cast (Special)

World of Film (1993)
The 15th Annual People's Choice Awards (1989)
Himself
The 61st Annual Academy Awards Presentation (1989)
Himself
George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey (1984)
Himself
The American Film Institute Salute to John Huston (1983)
Himself

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King (2004)
Solomon (2000)
East of the Sun, West of the Moon (1991)
Narrator
Christopher Columbus (1985)

Life Events

1947

Served in Swedish Quartermaster Corps

1949

Made feature acting debut in "Bara en Mora/Only a Mother"

1955

Brought to Malmo Stadsteater by Bergman, who was the chief director of the municipal theater in Malmo

1956

First film for director Ingmar Bergman, "The Seventh Seal"

1958

Played the title role in Bergman's "The Magician"

1960

Starred in Bergman's "The Virgin Spring" as a distraught father who avenges the murder of his daughter

1965

First U.S. film, playing Jesus in George Stevens' "The Greatest Story Ever Told"

1966

First film with director Jan Troell, "Here Is Your Life"

1966

Portrayed a knuckle-cracking Nazi in "The Quiller Memorandum"

1967

Made U.S. TV debut as Otto Frank in an adaptation of "The Diary of Anne Frank" (ABC)

1968

First film with Liv Ullmann, Bergman's "Shame"

1970

Acted in John Huston's "The Kremlin Letter"

1971

Co-starred with Ullmann in Jan Troell's two-part "The Emigrants" (1971) and "The New Land" (1972)

1971

Last film with Bergman as director, "The Touch"

1972

Appeared in the documentary film "Ingmar Bergman"

1973

Battled the Devil as Father Merrin in William Friedkin's "The Exorcist"

1975

Played Alsatian hit-man Joubert in Sydney Pollack's "Three Days of the Condor"

1977

Made Broadway debut in "The Night of the Tribades"

1977

Reprised Father Merrin for "Exorcist II: The Heretic"

1980

Portrayed Ming the Merciless in "Flash Gordon"

1981

Played the commander of a German prisoner of war camp in "Victory," co-starring Sylvester Stallone and Michael Caine

1982

Starred in Troell's "The Flight of the Eagle," about a foolhearty but heroic real-life balloon expedition to the North Pole

1983

Appeared as the arch-villain Blofeld in the James Bond film "Never Say Never Again"

1986

Delivered an excellent turn as Barbara Hershey's artist-lover in Woody Allen's "Hannah and Her Sisters"

1988

Made feature directing and screenwriting debut with "Katinka"; shot by Bergman's cameraman Sven Nykvist

1988

Played a humble old Swedish widower struggling for survival alongside his son in Bille August's "Pelle the Conqueror"; earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actor

1990

Starred as Father Siemes in the NBC movie "Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes"

1992

Played a priest in "The Ox"; directed by Bergman's long-time cinematographer Sven Nykvist

1992

Re-teamed with Bille August for "Best Intentions"; scripted by Bergman

1993

Portrayed a devilish antique store owner in "Needful Things"

1995

Re-teamed with Stallone as Judge Fargo in "Judge Dredd"

1996

Appeared in the based-on-real-life serial killer drama "Citizen X" (HBO)

1997

Acted the role of an aging priest and mentor in Liv Ullman's "Private Confessions"; written by Ingmar Bergman

1998

Guided a distraught man (Robin Williams) across the River Styx in "What Dreams May Come"

1999

Acted in Scott Hicks' "Snow Falling on Cedars," playing a defense attorney for a Japanese-American man on trial for the murder of his close friend

2002

Cast as the corrupt director of the futuristic pre-crime unit in Steven Spielberg's sci-fi thriller "Minority Report"

2003

Played the mentor character Eyvind in the German-made sword-and-sorcery epic "Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King"

2007

Played a French ambassador in the action comedy sequel "Rush Hour 3"

2009

Joined the cast of "The Tudors" (Showtime) for the third season, playing Cardinal Von Waldburg

2010

Played a physician at a hospital for the criminally insane in Martin Scorsese's "Shutter Island"

2010

Cast as Sir Walter Loxley opposite Russell Crowe in Ridley Scott's adaptation of "Robin Hood"

2011

Cast opposite Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock in the 9/11 drama "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"

Videos

Movie Clip

Virgin Spring, The - Odin, Come To My Aid! Contrasting faiths in one household, stepdaughter Ingeri (Gunnel Lindblom) summoning a Norse god, parents Tore (Max von Sydow) and Mareta (Birgitta Valberg) a Christian one, opening Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring, 1960.
The Virgin Spring (1960) — (Movie Clip) She Lay Dead Max Von Sydow as stern feudal farmer Torè awaits his daughter, late from delivering candles to their church, not knowing she’s been raped and murdered by the nastiest of three goat-herders (Tore Isedal, with Axel Düberg and young Ove Porath) whom he barely offers shelter, Birgitta Valberg his wife, in Ingmar Bergman’s bitter The Virgin Spring, 1960, the director’s first feature with cinematographer Sven Nykvist.
Virgin Spring, The (1960) - Until She's Been Tamed Mother Mareta (Birgitta Valberg) waking pampered Karin (Brigitta Pettersson), they converse and are joined by father Tore (Max von Sydow), early in Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring, 1960.
Brass Target (1978) - In Case They Have To Bury Me On location, Lake Geneva, for the introduction of Max Von Sydow as assassin Shelley, found by crooked American officer McCauley (Patrick McGoohan), looking to have General Patton (George Kennedy, photo) knocked off before he finds out who stole the Allied gold shipment, in Brass Target, 1978.
Night Visitor, The (1971) - I'm The Insane One Trevor Howard as the never-named “Inpsector” is visiting asylum inmate and innocent-but-framed murderer Salem (Max Von Sydow), who insists he couldn’t have escaped to commit revenge murders, though we know he did, in the English-language Swedish-made thriller released by Warner Bros., The Night Visitor, 1971.
Magician, The (1958) - Weak Vessels And Weak Souls Detained in a provincial town, Max Von Sydow (Vogler, title character) with his troupe (Ingrid Thulin, Ake Fridell), is grilled by the doctor (Gunnar Bjornstrand), who doesn’t believe he’s mute, Toivo Pawlo the cop, Erland Josephson and Gertrud Fridh the friendlier hosts, in Ingmar Bergman’s The Magician, 1958.
Hour Of The Wolf (1968) - Some Caution Is Advised Alma (Liv Ullmann) is secretly reading excerpts from the diary of her painter husband Johan (Max von Sydow) when she learns of his violent encounter with the curator Heerbrand (Ulf Johansson) in Ingmar Bergman's Hour of the Wolf, 1968.
Greatest Story Ever Told, The (1965) -- Your Brother Will Rise Again Jesus (Max Von Sydow) has traveled to Bethany, where Martha (Ina Balin) can't see why he didn't prevent her brother Lazarus' death, Magdalene (Joanna Dunham) among observers as director George Stevens frames the renowned miracle, in The Greatest Story Ever Told, 1965.
Seventh Seal, The (1956) - I'm In Dull Company Distracted from his chess game with Death, returned crusader Block (Max Von Sydow) has watched but not yet met dazzling young mother and actor Mia (Bibi Andersson) and her anxious husband Jof (Nils Poppe), discussing their prospects together, in Ingmar Bergman’s celebrated The Seventh Seal, 1957
Seventh Seal, The (1957) - You Drew Black Returning Crusader Antonius Block (Max Von Sydow) awakens to a visit from Death (Bengt Ekerot), and proposes a game of chess, opening Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal, 1957.
Seventh Seal, The (1957) - With Loathing And Horror Antonius Block (Max Von Sydow) the returning crusader, comes upon a chapel and confesses, not recognizing the priest (Bengt Ekerot), in Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal, 1957.
Seventh Seal, The (1957) - God Is Punishing Us The penitents arrive in the village, interrupting the actors, Block (Max Von Sydow), Jons (Gunnar Bjornstrand) et al watching, and a monk (Anders Ek) with a tirade, in Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal, 1957.

Trailer

Family

Carl Wilhelm von Sydow
Father
Professor of ethnology (Scandinavian and Irish folklore).
Greta von Sydow
Mother
Claes Wilhelm von Sydow
Son
Mother, Christina Olin.
Per Henrik von Sydow
Son
Mother, Christina Olin.

Companions

Kerstin Olin
Wife
Actor. Married on August 1, 1951; divorced in 1996.
Catherine Brelet
Wife
Documentary filmmaker. Married in 1997.

Bibliography

Notes

Received the Royal Foundation of Sweden's Cultural Award in 1954.

"Nobody told me there was any idea for a sequel to 'The Exorcist', but my agent called me to tell me they were going to do it, and there was a part for me. I said, 'But I died in the first film.' 'Well,' he told me, 'this is from the early days of Father Merrin's life.' I told him I just didn't want to do it again. Then the producers doubled the price. I still said no. But I agreed to meet with [director] John Boorman. He was very sweet and asked me to read the script. So I read it and I said, 'Sorry, it's not for me.' Well, I think they doubled the price again. But this time they also gave me the script to another film which I found very interesting. My agent told me that for doing two weeks' work on 'Exorcist II', I'd get paid more than I've ever made and I'd have this other thing. I said OK." --Max von Sydow, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, c. 1990

"I stayed with the National [Royal Dramatic Theatre] in Stockholm until the mid-70s, and then suddenly I started working in films only. For 14 years I was away. It was too long a time. With this perspective, I regret it. I didn't plan to stay away. Sometimes you forget about time, so you think that that's something you can do later. And you realize that, boy, if you want to do it you better do it now, because later might be gone quicker than you think."I'm going back in January for a season at the National. It's important to me to work in my own language every now and then. I love English, but you can never learn to master a foreign language if you're not brought up with it, and I will never be 100% free. I think English is a fantastic, rich and musical language, but of course your mother tongue is the most important for an actor." --von Sydow to LOS ANGELES TIMES, August 27, 1993