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Max von Sydow, Exorcist Star and Oscar Nominee, Dead at 90

Max von Sydow Photo: Tony Barson/FilmMagic

Max von Sydow, a prolific actor in international cinema and television for well over half a century, has died at the age of 90. His death was confirmed by his family “with a broken heart and infinite sadness” to the BBC. The Swedish-born von Sydow is perhaps best known for playing the chilly Father Lankester Merrin in The Exorcist, but his oeuvre is remarkably robust: He’s worked with everyone from Ingmar Bergman (13 times!), David Lynch, Woody Allen, and Martin Scorsese, while most recently enjoying a supporting role in J.J. Abrams’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Von Sydow received two Oscar nominations for his work in 1987’s Pelle the Conqueror and 2011’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, as well as a recent Emmy nomination for his portrayal of the Three-Eyed Raven in Game of Thrones. “What I as an actor look for is a variety of parts,” he previously told the BBC. “It is very boring to be stuck in more or less one type of character.” Social-media tributes have been pouring in for the actor, some of which can be read below.

Max von Sydow, Exorcist Star and Oscar Nominee, Dead at 90