Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist passed away on Tuesday after a year-long battle with lung cancer. He was only 56-years-old. His representative announced in an official statement that Michael “passed away quietly” and was surrounded by those closest to him
“Michael’s joy and passion were infectious to those who knew and loved him. His charm and charisma were undeniable, and his love for the arts was felt by all who had the pleasure of working with him.”
Michael Nyqvist began his acting career in the early 1980s at the Malmö Theatre Academy, one of Sweden’s leading theaters. After playing a series of small roles, he finally got his first big break in 2009 when he played the role of Mikael Blomkvist in the original Swedish Dragon Tattoo trilogy: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. Daniel Craig took on Nyqvist’s role in the subsequent Hollywood version of the film.
After that, Michael Nyqvist was recognized by Hollywood producers and he starred in several action blockbusters. In 2011, Michael Nyqvist appeared opposite Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible–Ghost Protocol as the movie’s main villain. In 2014, Michael took on the infamous role of Viggo Tarasov, the dreaded mafia boss in John Wick starring Keanu Reeves.
According to The Guardian, Michael has just wrapped up two big-budgeted movies before his untimely death. One is a suspense thriller entitled Hunter Killer starring Gerard Butler and Gary Oldman. The other is a “submarine disaster” movie entitled Kursk, starring Colin Firth and Matthias Schoenaerts. Both films are still in production and will have a posthumous release.
Michael Nyqvist’s other notable works include the romantic movie Frank & Lola (2016), and the Pierce Brosnan thriller, I.T.(2016). He also appeared on the ABC series Zero Hour. The show ran from February to August 2013, but was canceled after only one season.
Aside from being an established stage and film actor, Michael was also a published writer. He has written a memoir, an autobiography entitled Just After Dreaming, where he detailed his experiences growing up in an orphanage as a child. He also wrote about how he spent most of his childhood–and later a part of his adult life–trying to find his biological parents.
Michael Nyqvist is survived by his wife, Catharina Ehrnrooth, and their two children.
[Featured Image by Joerg Koch/Getty Images]