Image: Reliable, fatherly figure Best known for: Playing Father Merrin in The Exorcist Early life: Max von Sydow was born April 1929 in Lund, Sweden. While at high school he started a theatre club with fellow students. He honed his craft at the Royal Dramatic Theatre's acting school and made his film debut in 1949 Swedish offering Bara en mor (aka Only a Mother). In 1957 he starred in landmark Ingmar Bergman movie The Seventh Seal. A string of international films followed, including The Greatest Story Ever Told (in which he played Jesus) and American epic Hawaii. Career: In 1973 Max was cast in The Exorcist, which became one of his biggest hits to date. He didn't land another career-defining role until 1980 when he played Ming the Merciless in a much loved version of Flash Gordon. A string of hit-and-miss movies followed, including Conan the Barbarian, Never Say Never Again, Dune and Hannah and Her Sisters. He also turned his hand to directing in 1988 with the movie Ved vejen. In recent years he made a return to the world of blockbusters with Minority Report and Rush Hour 3, and also added dramatic weight to TV series The Tudors.
Love life: Is married to film production assistant Catherine Brelet. He has two children from his first marriage (to Christina Olen) and two from his marriage to spotlight on...MAX VON SYDOW Upcoming projects include the films Truth & Treason, Ridley Scott's Robin Hood and Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island.
Brelet. Don't mention: Exorcist II: The Heretic. The 1977 sequel was savaged by the critics.
Quote: "Acting is such a weird profession. It's such a futile thing. Even when it's there on film, there's nothing really to it." Tonight: The Exorcist, Five, 10pm.