The Franco-Swedish actor passed away yesterday, his wife Catherine announced.
Catherine von Sydow said: “It is with a broken heart and with infinite sadness that we have the extreme pain to announce the departure of Max Von Sydow on March 8, 2020.”
The French documentary filmmaker and producer has been married to Max von Sydow since 1997.
Mr von Sydow is known for roles in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as the Three Eyed Raven in Game of Thrones, for which he got a Primetime Emmy, and as Father Lankester Merrin, the priest in the Exorcist.
Tributes to the late star have come flooding in.
Tall and lanky, with sullen blue eyes, a narrow face, pale complexion and a deep and accented speaking voice, von Sydow was often typecast in Hollywood as the sophisticated villain.
He played iconic baddies such as Blofeld in the 1983 James Bond film Never Say Never Again, and as Emperor Ming in 80’s cult classic Flash Gordon.
In his 60 year career he also starred in films including Flash Gordon, Conan The Barbarian, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Shutter Island and Minority Report.
He worked with a number of iconic directors, such as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Woody Allen.
In his private life Max was born Carl Adolf von Sydow in Lund, Sweden, on April 10, 1929.
He is the son of Baroness Maria Margareta, a teacher, and Carl Wilhelm von Sydow, an ethnologist and folklore professor. His surname traces back to his father’s partial German ancestry.
He took French nationality in 2002 and was made a Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour in 2011.
Von Sydow first became interested in acting in high school, in spite of describing himself as “a shy boy”, when he started a theatre club with his friends.
Max started out as a stage actor before becoming one of Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman’s favourites.
However over the next 60 years he would earn titles in almost 200 films in a dozen different countries alongside radio and stage work.