the exorcist max von sydow
[Photo via Warner Bros]

Horror legend Max von Sydow passed away Sunday in France at the age of 90. The Swedish-born actor was best known for his role as Father Merrin in 1973’s The Exorcist.

A representative at Diamond Management shared a statement, which read, “It is with a broken heart and with infinite sadness that we have the extreme pain of announcing the departure of Max.” No cause of death has been revealed at this time.

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In addition to The Exorcist, von Sydow appeared in Ingmar Bergman’s 1957 fantasy film The Seventh Seal. This marked one of his first roles early on in his career.

Nearly 15 years later, the actor took on the role of saving the demonically possessed 12-year-old Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair). von Sydow portrayed Father Lankester Merrin who performs an exorcism in the 1950s. Years later, he’s recruited to assist Father Damien Karras in exorcising Pazuzu from Regan. The actor appears on the iconic horror film’s poster, which captures his arrival at the MacNeil home.

the exorcist poster

Following the role, the actor appeared in Exorcist II: The Heretic, Flash Gordon, Conan The Barbarian, Ghostbusters II, Minority Report and Rush Hour 3.

In recent years, he’s had roles in Shutter Island, Robin Hood, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Game of Thrones. The actor’s most recent role was as Vladimir Petrenko in The Command, which was about the Kursk submarine disaster.

von Sydow has one role in post-production, according to iMDB. He will appear in the starring role in Echoes Of The Past, which is about the 1943 massacre in Kalavryta by Nazi troops.

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Tributes began to pour in for the actor, including Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Baby Driver).

Max Von Sydow, such an iconic presence in cinema for seven decades, it seemed like he’d always be with us,” Wright tweeted. “He changed the face of international film with Bergman, played Christ, fought the devil, pressed the HOT HAIL button & was Oscar nominated for a silent performance. A god.

Kevin Smith also chimed in with praise, tweeting, “The legendary actor who gave us both Brewmeister Smith and Ming the Merciless has finally laid down his King in the eternal chess match. Farewell, Max von Sydow. You were in many much more respected movies than Strange Brew and Flash Gordon but I loved you for those flicks first.”

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Our thoughts are with Max’s family and friends at this time.