Sydow, Max von

Sydow, Max von,

1929–, Swedish actor, b. Lund as Carl Adolf von Sydow. He studied at the school of the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm (1948–51), then worked with director Ingmar BergmanBergman, Ingmar
(Ernst Ingmar Bergman) , 1918–2007, Swedish film and stage writer, director, and producer. Acclaimed by many as the greatest director of the second half of the 20th cent., Bergman made about 60 films in all.
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 at the Malmö Municipal Theatre (1955–60), before moving to Stockhom and joining the Royal Dramatic Theatre (1960–62). Von Sydow appeared in many Bergman films, including The Seventh Seal (1957), in which he famously portrayed a medieval knight who plays a game of chess with death, Wild Strawberries (1957), The Magician (1958), The Virgin Spring (1960), Through a Glass Darkly (1961), Winter Light (1963), Shame (1968), and The Passion of Anna (1969). Usually cast in the role of a brooding, serious and often stern character, he has played priests, missionaries, an artist, the devil, and Jesus (in The Greatest Story Ever Told, 1965). Among his other films with other directors are Hawaii (1966), The Emigrants (1971) and its sequel, The New Land (1972), The Exorcist (1973), Three Days of the Condor (1975), Hannah and Her Sisters (1985), and Hamsun (1996), in which he played the Norwegian poet and novelist. He also has appeared in a number of television productions.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sydow, Max Von


(real name Carl Adolf von Sydow). Born Apr. 10,1929, in Lund. Swedish actor.

In 1951, von Sydow graduated from the school of the Royal Dramatic Theater in Stockholm and subsequently performed in theaters in the provinces and in Stockholm. In 1949 he made his debut in a motion picture. His first roles, Nils in Only a Mother (1949) and the drunken carter in Miss Julie (1951), revealed his mastery of character portrayal. His best work was done in the films of the director I. Bergman: the knight Antonius Blok in The Seventh Seal (1956), the magician Vogler in The Magician (1958), the knight Tore in The Virgin Spring (1959), the physician Martin in Through a Glass Darkly (1961), the fisherman Jonas Persson in The Gift (1962), the artist Johan in Hour of the Wolf (1967), and the musician in Shame (1968). Von Sydow’s heroes are tormented over the meaning of existence and in tense, dramatic conflicts remain true to high moral principles. In the 1970’s, von Sydow appeared in the Swedish film The Emigrants and the American film The Exorcist.


Sosnovskii, I. “Maks fon Siudov.” In the collection Aktery zarubezh-nogokino, fasc. 7. Moscow, 1972.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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