‘Exorcist’ Star Max Von Sydow Doesn’t Let Age Define His Roles

  • Variety
‘Exorcist’ Star Max Von Sydow Doesn’t Let Age Define His Roles
Max von Sydow turned 90 this month, which is a milestone for most people, but age has always seemed incidental to the actor. When he played the elderly, frail Father Merrin in “The Exorcist,” von Sydow was 44 — meaning he was the same age Bradley Cooper is today.

In the 1950s, von Sydow had his big breakthrough in a trio of Ingmar Bergman films — “The Seventh Seal,” “Wild Strawberries” and “The Magician” — while still in his 20s, but with the wisdom and sadness of the world in his eyes. Von Sydow has appeared in such fan favorites as “Game of Thrones,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Rush Hour 3” and David Lynch’s “Dune.” But to most, he’s synonymous with his 11 films for Bergman and “The Exorcist.” In A.D. Murphy’s enthusiastic Variety review of the latter on Dec. 24, 1973, he said of von Sydow, “His performance is one of controlled dedication.
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