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Actor Max von Sydow dies in France at age 90
[PARIS] Swedish-born actor Max von Sydow, who starred in several classic films by Ingmar Bergman and later appeared in major Hollywood productions throughout his long career, has died in France at the age of 90, his wife said Monday.
"It is with a broken heart and with infinite sadness that we have the extreme pain of announcing the departure of Max von Sydow" on Sunday, the statement sent to AFP said.
With chiseled features and piercing eyes, von Sydow became a recognisable face - if not a household name - during an extraordinarily varied career.
Most recently he appeared in blockbusters like Star Wars: The Force Awakens as well as the hit television series Game of Thrones.
His career began in the early 1950s on the theatre stages of Stockholm and then Malmo, where he met the man who would help forge his career, the Swedish director Ingmar Bergman.
It is von Sydow's collaboration with Bergman in arthouse films - now seen by many critics as all-time cinema classics - that will likely be most remembered from his varied career.
In one of the most memorable scenes in the history of cinema, he played the knight who has a chess game with death on a lonely beach in The Seventh Seal, from 1957.
Von Sydow appeared in numerous other Bergman films, notably The Virgin Spring, Through a Glass Darkly as well as the English-language The Touch in which he starred alongside American actor Elliott Gould.
He also worked with fellow Scandinavian acting great Liv Ullmann on Jan Troell's 1971 masterpiece The Emigrants about a group of impoverished Swedes moving to the United States which received several Oscar nominations.
One of his final roles was as a stern Russian admiral in Thomas Vinterberg's 2018 English-language film about the 2000 Kursk Russian submarine disaster.
He took French citizenship in 2002 and renounced his Swedish nationality.