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Game of Thrones and Star Wars actor Max von Sydow dies aged 90

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Max von Sydow. (Ian West/PA Wire)

Max von Sydow. (Ian West/PA Wire)

Ian West

Max von Sydow. (Ian West/PA Wire)

Hollywood star Max von Sydow has died at the age of 90.

The actor, known for roles in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Game Of Thrones, The Exorcist and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, died at his home in France on Sunday.

A statement issued by van Sydow's agent, Jean Diamond, on behalf of his wife Catherine said: "It is with a broken heart and with infinite sadness that we have the extreme pain of announcing the departure of Max von Sydow."

Von Sydow, who was born in Sweden and held French citizenship, had a varied career that spanned more than six decades.

He was nominated for two Oscars throughout his illustrious career - best actor for Pelle The Conqueror in 1989 and best supporting actor for his role in 2011's Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.

He starred in films including Flash Gordon, Conan The Barbarian, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Shutter Island and Minority Report.

He also played sinister James Bond super-villain Ernst Blofeld in 1983's Never Say Never Again.

During his extensive film career he worked with a number of heavyweight directors, such as Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Woody Allen and Steven Spielberg.

However, he was most noted for his many collaborations with Swedish film-maker Ingmar Bergman.

Von Sydow's first Bergman movie was in 1957 - The Seventh Seal, in which he played knight Antonius Block. The scenes of him playing chess with the figure of Death would become renowned in cinematic circles.

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Isaac Hempstead-Wright as Bran Stark and Max von Sydow as the Three-Eyed Raven – photo Helen Sloan/HBO

Isaac Hempstead-Wright as Bran Stark and Max von Sydow as the Three-Eyed Raven – photo Helen Sloan/HBO

Isaac Hempstead-Wright as Bran Stark and Max von Sydow as the Three-Eyed Raven – photo Helen Sloan/HBO

He also went on to star in other Bergman films including Wild Strawberries, The Virgin Spring and Hour Of The Wolf.

Before his big-screen career took off, von Sydow studied at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, and he went on to work with Bergman at the Malmo Municipal Theatre in the 1950s.

He received a Primetime Emmy nomination in 2016 for his guest role in Game Of Thrones as Three-Eyed Raven.

Belfast Telegraph