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Michael Nyqvist, Star of the Original ‘Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,’ Dies at 56

Michael Nyqvist
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THR reports that Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist has died. He was just 56 years old. According to a statement released by his family, he passed away on Tuesday after a battle with lung cancer. It also read:

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.

Most American audiences were first introduced to Nyqvist’s work when he starred in the original Swedish film adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. When the Stieg Larsson source material took off in the United States, the Swedish movie trilogy became a surprise hit, playing both in arthouse theaters and on various streaming platforms. Nyqvist starred in all three films as Mikael Blomkvist, the role portrayed in the American remake by David Fincher.

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Nyqvist parlayed The Dragon Tattoo’s success into a busy Hollywood career, mostly as sinister villain types. He was the lead bad guy in the first John Wick, squaring off against Keanu Reeves, and he tussled with Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol:

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Sadly, Nyqvist’s American career was interrupted almost as quickly as it began. Back home in Sweden, his big break came in the 2000 film Together by Lucas Moodysson (which is very much worth watching if you’ve never seen it). Nyqvist leaves behind an impressive artistic legacy, and many sad what-ifs about the roles he could have played if his life wasn’t cut so tragically short.

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