Michael Nyqvist dies at 56

Swedish actor had been battling lung cancer.

by Jennie Kermode

Michael Nyqvist at the Austrian premiere of Colonia at Votivkino in Vienna
Michael Nyqvist at the Austrian premiere of Colonia at Votivkino in Vienna Photo: Manfred Werner

Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist, who was known worldwide for his work in John Wick, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and the Millennium: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo films, has died at the age of 56 after a year-long battle with lung cancer.

The actor, whose given name is Rolf Åke Mikael Nyqvist but who adopted the English spelling Michael for his international work, is one of Sweden's most popular stars. He began his career in 1982 and alongside his big screen work he has appeared in a number of popular TV series. He won numerous film festival awards over the course of his career and won Best Actor at Sweden's Guldbagge awards for his work on As It Is In Heavcen, which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Film. He was nominated for a further three Guldbagges.

In 2010 Nyqvist published an autobiographical novel, Just After Dreaming, in which he described his search for his biological parents. In recent years he had become close to his Italian biological father.

His final two films, Hunter Killer and Radegund, are due for release later this year. It is not yet known whether he had completed filming on Kursk, a film about the submarine disaster that took place in 2000.

Nyqvist died quietly on Tuesday with his family around him. He is survived by wife Catharina Ehrnrooth, who works in the industry as a set designer, and children Ellen and Arthur.

Tributes have been pouring in from fans and people he worked with, including Gerard Butler, who worked with him on Hunter Killer and described him as "incredibly talented and an extraordinary human being."

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