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It was over 60 years ago when Max Von Sydow played chess against death in Ingmar Bergmans "The Seventh Seal." Seeing as he turns 90 today and is still booking major rolls in HBO's "Game Of Thrones" and the latest "Star Wars" trilogy it appears he won that game.
Max' career is a testament to the idea that persueing a career that you enjoy really keeps you young. And what a career he's had. His first film roll came in the 1940s and he later became one of Ingmar Bergman's main cast members in many of his features shot in the 1950s and 1960s. He is also known for his roll as the title character in "The Excorcist" as well as Ming in "Flash Gordon." Moving into his tenth decade, he is more widely seen than ever with Game of Thrones being the most watched television show ever Worldwide.
A recent book called "The Longevity Project" followed the lives of 1500 Americans age 80 and over and reached some strong conclusions. It found the healthiest people were those who lived meaningful, committed lives: They worked hard, achieved much for their families, nurtured close relationships and were very persistent, responsible and conscientious. They were more dedicated to work and causes than to diet and exercise. People who still set goals for themselves and work towards them will always feel that they are needed. Max is still needed in the film world. His roll as Lor San Tekka in the new Star Wars films is extremely powerful and reminds the audience of Obi-Wan Kenobi. His acting abilities are just as vital today as they were half a century ago.