RIP Max von Sydow

The great Max von Sydow has finally lost his game of chess. What an incredible life and career.

RIP Leto I

He’ll always be Brewmeister Smith to me. I know he had many more prestigious and interesting roles but I first saw him in Strange Brew and I love him for the odd choices he made.

“What the stink are they doing in there!”

Oh nooooooo! Man he added a great deal to everything he was in. Very interesting actor. The first star wars sequel was the last thing I saw him in, but he seemed prolific.

No is right. He did somehow manage to keep
the game going for a very long time.

RIP. A good run at 90 yrs. I first recall seeing him as Emperor Ming in Flash Gordon.


von Sydow was in everything. I don’t know whether his passion was for acting or for paychecks, but during his heyday as a Hollywood actor he appeared with a frequency that made Michael Caine look like a slacker (Caine has 17 IMDB credits between 1975 and 1985; von Sydow has 37.)

Which gives him an extremely varied legacy as an actor. He was in arthouse classics, and Hollywood blockbusters, and biblical epics (playing Jesus opposite Claude Rains, Charlton Heston, Sidney Poitier, and Pat Boone), and horror movies, and goofy comedies (like Strange Brew and Ghostbusters II,) and kids’ movies and spy movies and campy movies (like Flash Gordon) and very, very serious movies.

And really, for an actor, what kind of legacy could be better? Audiences were always happy to see him, he always did great work, and he’s known to generations of viewers. Even those who would rather die than watch anything in black and white, let alone Bergman, and think of The Exorcist as some dusty old movie their parents thought was scary know von Sydow as That Guy in The Force Awakens or Game of Thrones, or the fella who taught them to Fus Ro Dah in Skyrim.

Brilliant career. So many wonderful roles. But I will always remember him as Ming the Merciless.

Oh yeah, I forgot Skyrim. Also the head Judge in Judge Dredd. So many juicy roles!

His IMDB page is ridiculously long.

So much on it. Don’t forget Minority Report or Shutter Island

Really great point - he worked, and what he did, he did well. He didn’t seem to look down on any role, nor phone it in. Dude voiced Vigo the Carpathian in Ghostbusters 2 (uncredited) and then returned to voice the painting of Vigo in the 2009 video game!

Wow. For years I would occasionally google von Sydow to make sure he was still alive and then marvel at the fact. Nothing lasts forever!

So goes a legend. From timeless masterpieces (The Seventh Seal) to strong modern dramas (Hannah And Her Sisters) to top-grade schlock (Flash Gordon). One of a kind.


“Not to blast her into space?”
“Er, until such time as you grow weary of her.”
“I do.”

This and Ming the Merciless. RIP sir.

Noooo, not that guy from The Force Awakens.

Damnit. RIP, sir.

“You’ve worn a stillsuit before.”

I remember him as the assassin in Three Days of the Condor.

A long and storied career. RIP

Rest in peace to a screen legend. Adore him in Hour of the Wolf and his other Bergman classics. I just watched him in the thriller Three Days of the Condor a couple of days ago where he gets the best line of the film.

Von Sydow always seemed ancient because one of the biggest roles of his career was playing 79-year-old priest Lankester Merrin in The Exorcist. Von Sydow was 44 when he took that role.

In the clip MrTibbs posted of Three Days of the Condor – one of my favorite sleeper 70s movies ever – he’s 46, but looks like he could be anywhere from 50-60 years old.

Three Days of the Condor was one of my favorite movies growing up. It was the most watchable aged film I’d seen, I think I must have been near ten or so, and it’s older than I am.