Today fans, friends, and his family mourn the loss of the talented Michael Nyqvist. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 56 year-old actor passed away Tuesday after a fight with lung cancer. His family put out a statement for his fans:
"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."
Born Rolf Åke Mikael Nyqvist in Stockholm, Sweden, Nyqvist was adopted at the age of one and originally grew up with no aspirations of becoming an actor, planning instead to be a hockey player.
It wasn't until the age of 17, while attending school in Omaha, Nebraska as an exchange student, that acting became his passion. At the age of 19, he was accepted into the Swedish Academic School of Drama in Malmö ground and later went on to star in many Swedish films during the '80s and '90s. After starring in Lukas Moodysson's Together in 2000, Nyqvist's career reached new heights as the movie put him on the map. Over the next few years his star continued to rise in Sweden as he starred in well-received movies like The Guy in the Grave Next Door and As it is in Heaven.
His work eventually earned him his landmark role of Mikael Blomkvist in Niels Arden Oplev's Swedish adaptation of Stieg Larsson's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo in 2009. Daniel Craig would later play the role of Mikael Blomkvist in the American adaption, but it was always Nyqvist's version that audiences remembered. Nyqvist went on to reprise the role in the Swedish sequels The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.
American fans who didn't already know him through the Dragon Tattoo series were introduced to his genius in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, in which Nyqvist played Swedish-born Russian terrorist Hendricks, a.k.a. Cobalt. In 2014 he would put on another memorable performance opposite Keanu Reeves as Viggo Tarasov, Russian mobster and father of the man who killed John Wick's dog in John Wick.
Nyqvist's next film, Hunter Killer, is scheduled to hit theaters in 2017.
He is survived by his wife, Catherina, and two children, Ellen and Arthur. As those who knew him mourn, his work will live on as a loving reminder of a man gone too soon. Thank you.