Website last updated: 7-5-2024

Swedish actor Max von Sydow celebrates 90th birthday

By: Anders Frejdh
Max von Sydow Never Say Never Again
Birthday for the internationally acclaimed Swedish actor Max von Sydow, two times nominated for an Academy Award. Max portrayed Ernst Stavro Blofeld in Never Say Never Again (1983) directed by Irvin Kershner.

With this page, From Sweden with Love would like to celebrate the famed actor.

"Grattis på födelsedagen Max, vi är mycket stolta över dig!"

About Swedish actor Max von Sydow

Max von Sydow was born in a middle-class family in Lund, where his father was an ethnologist. When he was in high school, he and a few fellow students started a theatre club which encouraged his interest in acting. After conscription he began to study at the Royal Dramatic Theatre's acting school (1948-1951).

His first role was as "Nils the crofter" in Alf Sjöberg's Bara en mor (1949). After graduation he worked at the city theatres in Norrköping and Malmö. His work in the movies by Ingmar Bergman made him well-known internationally, and he started to get offers from abroad. His career abroad began with The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) and Hawaii (1966). Since then, his career includes very different kind of characters, like Emperor Ming in the 1980 film Flash Gordon (co-starring Timothy Dalton) or the artist Frederick in Hannah and Her Sisters (1986).
In 1987 he made his directing debut with Vid vägen (1988). He has become one of Sweden's most admired and prolific actors.

Max appeared in two films as a leading villain, in which plots include the use of eye replacement surgery as a means of fooling security eye scanners. First as Blofeld in Never Say Never Again and then as Lamar Burgess in Minority Report (2002).

In an interview with Moviefone (December 2011), Max admitted he turned down the role of Dr. No in the first James bond film with the same title:

"Yes, I was offered Dr. No. [Laughing] And I turned it down!" Asked if he regret his decision he said: "Do I regret it? No. I don't. Well, of course, I didn't know what James Bond was at that time. And, of course, I didn't know what was going to happen [laughs] in the future. But, then, after many years, I was offered to be in Never Say Never Again."

Asked if there were any pressure with working on NSNA (a remake of Thunderball (1965) (1965) not sanctioned by United Artists) Max said: "No. Not really. But there were big problems like, "What can we do?" and "What can we not do? What are we allowed to do? What is legally correct to do?" But this thing came out and it was not a bad film."

Max von Sydow and Ingmar Bergman made 13 movies together:
Ansiktet (1958), Beröringen (1971), Herr Sleeman kommer (1957), Jungfrukällan (1960), Nattvardsgästerna (1963), Nära livet (1958), En passion (1969), Rabies (1958), Det sjunde inseglet (1957), Skammen (1968), Smultronstället (1957), Såsom i en spegel (1961) and Vargtimmen (1968).

Co-Head of jury at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1985.

Max is one of a very few actors to be nominated for an Academy Award for a role in a foreign language film for Pelle the Conqueror (1987). His performance as Lasse Karlsson in the film was ranked no 57 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time in 2006.

In January 2012, he received his second nomination for an Academy Award when he was nominated to Best Supporting Actor for his role as "The Renter" in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011).

He is fluent in a number of languages including Swedish, English, Italian and French.

Max received French citizenship in 2002, he currently lives in Paris with his second wife, Catherine Brelet.

Photo above:
Max von Sydow at Hotel Martinez in Cannes, France. © Joël Villy. All rights reserved.

Read more about the acclaimed career of Swedish actor Max con Sydow on IMDB:



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