Max von Sydow Biography, Life, Interesting Facts


Max von Sydow

Birthday :

April 10, 1929

Also Known For :

Film Actor, Theater Actor

Birth Place :

Lund, Skån, Sweden

Zodiac Sign :


Childhood and Early Life

Swedish actor Max von Sydow was born Carl Adolf von Sydow in Lund, Sweden on the 10 April 1929 to Margareta Rappe and Carl Wilhelm von Sydow. His mother was a teacher and his father a university professor.

His father had some German ancestry on his paternal side. Von Sydow became interested in acting when he was in his teens and was in an acting club with other students in high school.



Max von Sydow was a pupil at Lund Cathedral School, did his national service and then studied drama at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm (1948-1951).


Rise to Fame

Max von Sydow made his screen debut in Only A Mother (1949), followed by Miss Julie (1951) both directed by  Alf Sjoberg. Von Sydow relocated to Malmo, Sweden in 1955. He was introduced to the film director Ingmar Bergman and worked under his direction at the Malmo Municipal Theatre.  He starred in more than a dozen films directed by Ingmar Bergman including The Seventh Seal (1957), The Magician (1958) and The Virgin Spring (1960).



Max von Sydow's international film debut was in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) where he portrayed Jesus. That was followed up by The Quiller Memorandum (1966), The Emigrants (1971), The Exorcist (1973), Three Days of the Condor (1975), Flash Gordon (1980), Never Say Never Again (1983), Dune (1984), Hannah and Her Sister (1986), The Conqueror (1987), Awakeniings (1990), Minority Report (2002) and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011).

Von Sydow also voice acted on video games including Ghostbusters: The Video Game (2009). Max von Sydow made numerous appearances on television from 1957 onwards including television films and guest starring on various television shows. In 2016, he appeared in three episodes of the television hit show Games of Thrones as Three-Eyed Raven.


Awards and Achievements

Max von Sydow won two Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nominations, the first for Pelle the Conqueror (1987) and the second for Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011). For Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011) he was also nominated for a Boston Society of Film Critics Best Supporting Actor, the San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor and the Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Films he acted in which were nominated for an Academy Award: Best Picture includes The Emigrants (1971), The Exorcist (1973), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), Awakenings (1990) and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011).


Personal Life

Max von Sydow first wife was Christina Olin (m.1951 - div.1979). They had two sons, Henrik and Clas.  He later married French filmmaker Catherine Brelet (1997). They have two sons Cedric and Yban. Von Sydow lives in France and is now a French citizen.

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