Ming the Merciless, Max Von Sydow, Passes Away at 90

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Ming the Merciless, Max Von Sydow, Passes Away at 90

BOND VILLAIN, MING THE MERCILESS ACTOR MAX VON SYDOW DIES AT 90

So this just sucks to hear.  And I know, believe me I know, there’s a lot of bad and scary news out there right now.  But I don’t want to miss out on recognizing this loss.  Max Von Sydow was an actor who brought a ton of disturbing panache to every role he played.  Kids these days likely only know of him from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  And as much as pulp generational gaps give me a sad face, that one hurts.  I discovered his brilliance in the classic, Flash Gordon movie as Ming the Merciless.  Sure, it was campy.  But it was campy all the way.  But I knew Sydow’s face every time I saw it thereafter.

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SYDOW APPEARED IN ELEVEN DIRECTOR GIANT INGMAR BERGMAN FILMS

So what else might you have seen Sydow in?  Nothing much, just Hannah and Her Sisters.  And that Seventh Seal flick.  But he was up for Best Actor in 1998 for his work in Pelle the Conqueror, too.  Oh, and Best Supporting Actor for Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close in 2011.  I still have to see that last one.  So what else did he do?  Nothing much.  Just 11 films with the director giant, Ingmar Bergman.  Waaay back he turned down a role in the Sound of Music.  But he did finally cross the pond to be Jesus in The Greatest Story Ever Told in 1965.

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KIDS THESE DAYS MAY ONLY KNOW SYDOW FOR STAR WARS, OR GAME OF THRONES

And once someone like Sydow crosses the pond, we never let them go.  He was just too good.  Personally, I’ve never recovered from seeing The Exorcist by accident as a kid.  And yes, Sydow was in that, too.  He brought a damaged gravitas to an already overwhelming story.  What else?  Oh, a bond film, of course.  He played the classic Bond villain, Ernest Blofeld, in Sean Connery’s Never Say Never Again.  Dang, I almost forgot his Emmy nom for HBO’s Red King in 1990!  But kids these days might also know Max Von Sydow from his role as the Three-Eyed-Raven in 3 episodes of Game of Thrones.  Well, you get the idea.  The man who played Ming the Merciless shall forever be remembered.

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