Max von Sydow
Max von Sydow was born Carl Adolf von Sydow on April 10, 1929 in Lund, Skåne, Sweden, to a middle-class family. He is the son of Baroness Maria Margareta (Rappe), a teacher, and Carl Wilhelm von Sydow, an ethnologist and folklore professor. His surname traces back to his father's partial German ancestry. When he was in high school, he and a few fellow students, including Yvonne Lombard, 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), together with Lars Ekborg, Margaretha Krook and Ingrid Thulin. 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 (especially Le septième sceau (1957), that includes the iconic scenes in which he plays chess with Death) made him well-known internationally, and he started to get offers from abroad. His career abroad began with him playing Jesus in La plus grande histoire jamais contée (1965); Hawaï (1966) and Le secret du rapport Quiller (1966). Since then, his career includes very different kind of characters, like Karl Oskar Nilsson in Les émigrants (1971); Father Lankester Merrin in L'exorciste (1973); Joubert the assassin in Les 3 jours du condor (1975), Emperor Ming in Flash Gordon (1980); the villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the Jamais plus jamais (1983); Liet-Kynes in Dune (1984) the artist Frederick in Hannah et ses soeurs (1986); Lassefar in Pelle le conquérant (1987), for which he received his first Academy Award nomination; Dr. Peter Ingham in L'éveil (1990); Lamar Burgess in Minority Report (2002) and The Renter in Extrêmement fort et incroyablement près (2011), which earned him his second Academy Award nomination. He has become one of Sweden's most admired and professional actors and is the only male Swedish actor to receive an Oscar nomination. Max has been nominated twice: for Pelle le conquérant (1987) in 1988 and for Extrêmement fort et incroyablement près (2011) in 2012. He received the Guldbagge Award for Best Director in his directing debut, the drama film Ved vejen (1988). In 2016, he joined the sixth season of the HBO series Game of Thrones (2011) as the Three-eyed Raven, which earned him his Primetime Emmy Award nomination.