Max von Sydow death: Mia Farrow, David Walliams and more honour The Exorcist and Star Wars actor

Actor has died aged 90 in France

Clémence Michallon
New York
Monday 09 March 2020 18:08
Max von Sydow stars in The Exorcist as Father Lankester Merrin

The world of cinema is honouring Max von Sydow in the wake of the Exorcist actor’s death.

Von Sydow, who was born in Sweden but became a French citizen in 2002, died in France on Sunday aged 90.

He rose to worldwide fame as priest Lankester Merrin in director William Friedkin's 1973 The Exorcist, ​with later roles in Flash Gordon, Never Say Never Again, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and the HBO hit fantasy drama Game of Thrones.

Mia Farrow, who starred with Von Sydow in Woody Allen’s 1986 film Hannah and her Sisters, shared a photo of her former co-star with cinematographer Sven Nykvist on Twitter on Monday, writing: “Two great artists. Two true gentlemen. We were working on Bora Bora.

“I picture Max in heaven wearing his white linen suit, w Sven, Ingmar Bergman, Bibi Andersson, laughing & loving each other.”

David Walliams posted an image of Von Sydow as Ming the Merciless in Flash Gordon, calling him “delightfully sinister” in the role.

Seth Meyers retweeted a photo of the actor in the 1983 Canadian comedy Strange Brew and wrote: “This was the first Max Von Sydow film I ever saw. Being a kid, I just assumed he was a famous Canadian comedian. Turns out he was a lot more!”

Filmmaker Kevin Smith, who directed the 1994 buddy comedy Clerks, tweeted: ”The legendary actor who gave us both Brewmeister Smith [from Strange Brew] and Ming the Merciless [from Flash Gordon] has finally laid down his King in the eternal chess match.

“Farewell, Max von Sydow. You were in many much more respected movies than Strange Brew and Flash Gordon but I loved you for those flicks first.”

Baby Driver director Edgar Wright wrote: ”Max Von Sydow, such an iconic presence in cinema for seven decades, it seemed like he’d always be with us. He changed the face of international film with Bergman, played Christ, fought the devil, pressed the HOT HAIL button & was Oscar-nominated for a silent performance. A god.”

Additional reporting by agencies

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