Max von Sydow Has Passed Away

2020/03/09 14:41:14 +00:00 | Derek Anderson

With more than 160 acting credits to his name (according to IMDb), including one of the most iconic horror movie characters of all time, Max von Sydow was one of the most prolific actors of his or any other generation, and we're deeply sad to report that the great actor has passed away at the age of 90.

According to multiple reports, including The Hollywood Reporter, Sydow passed away in his Provence, France home on Sunday, March 8th. His wife, Catherine von Sydow, confirmed his passing, saying (via THR), "It's with a broken heart and with infinite sadness that we have the extreme pain of announcing the departure of Max Von Sydow on March 8, 2020."

A dynamic performer, Sydow brought roomfuls of characters to life over an acting career that included eight decades, with his first acting credit being 1949's Only a Mother.

Sydow made an indelible mark on cinema with his performance as Antonius Block in The Seventh Seal and was nominated for Academy Awards for his respective roles in Pelle the Conqueror (1987) and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011), but it is his portrayal of Father Merrin in William Friedkin's The Exorcist (based on William Peter Blatty's novel of the same name) that forever cemented him as an icon in the eyes of horror fans.

You could argue that Merrin's scenes with Linda Blair's Regan are still some of the most memorable and quotable moments in horror film history (or just film history in general), as Father Merrin and Regan transfixed viewers with a spiritual showdown that thrills, chills, and shocks just as much now as it did upon the movie's initial release in 1973.

Following The Exorcist, Sydow gave horror and sci-fi fans more performances to treasure, playing Doctor Paul Novotny in Dreamscape, Doctor Kynes in Dune, Lor San Tekka in Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, Three-Eyed Raven in Game of Thrones, and the sinister antique store owner Leland Gaunt in Needful Things, based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King.

With an enigmatic smile and a glint in his eye, Sydow expertly walked the line between charming and creepy in Needful Things, believably bringing unfathomable evil to the town of Castle Rock. Sydow also voiced Vigo in Ghostbusters II and appeared as Dr. Naehring in Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island.

A performer who was as impactful as he was prolific, Sydow's acting will no doubt live on to inspire generations of future actors and filmmakers, and our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time.

Source: THR
  • Derek Anderson
    About the Author - Derek Anderson

    Raised on a steady diet of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Derek has been fascinated with fear since he first saw ForeverWare being used on an episode of Eerie, Indiana.

    When he’s not writing about horror as the Senior News Reporter for Daily Dead, Derek can be found daydreaming about the Santa Carla Boardwalk from The Lost Boys or reading Stephen King and Brian Keene novels.