Michael Nyqvist, ‘John Wick’ Villain, Dead at 56

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Michael Nyqvist at the Los Angeles premiere of 'Abduction' held

Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist, who played the villain in “John Wick” and had a role in “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” has died. The actor, 56, died in Stockholm on Tuesday.

His family said in a statement that lung cancer was the cause of death.

Nyqvist spent the first year of his life in an orphanage in Stockholm. He discovered his love for acting in his senior year of high school in 1977 in Omaha, Nebraska.

The actor returned to Sweden and enrolled in ballet school, but quit shortly after to pursue his passion in theater school. But his path to stardom wasn’t an easy one.

It wasn’t until the age of 39 that Nyqvist landed his breakthrough role in the Swedish film “Together,” in which he played an abusive alcoholic husband.

He was then cast in lead roles in both film and television. One of his most notable roles was of Mikael Blomkvist, an investigative reporter, in the Swedish adaptation of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”

He also appeared in the Hollywood films “John Wick” and “Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol.”

The actor worked on two films before his death, both of which were set in submarines: “Kursk,” an historical drama, and “Hunter Killer,” a thriller in which he starred alongside Gary Oldman and Gerard Butler.

Nyqvist detailed his life in an autobiography, in which he discusses his life in an orphanage, his adoption, his stint as a foreign exchange student in Nebraska and his search for his biological parents. Nyqvist eventually located and met with both of his parents.

His biological father, Marcello, worked as a pharmacist in Florence, Italy. His biological mother was Swedish, and he met with her for an hour in a Stockholm cafe.

In addition to acting, Nyqvist wrote several books, including “Just After Dreaming.” He is survived by his wife, Catharina, and his two children.



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