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Michael Nyqvist, who starred as Mikael Blomkvist opposite Noomi Rapace in the original Swedish film version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and its sequels, died Tuesday after battling lung cancer, his family said. He was 56.
“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,” a family statement read.
Nyqvist also appeared in John Wick, toplined by Keanu Reeves, and as the villain nuclear scientist in Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol opposite Tom Cruise.
The role of Mikael Blomkvist in the American big-screen adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, based on Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy, was played by Daniel Craig.
Nyqvist also starred in Colonia, opposite Daniel Bruhl and Emma Watson, and played Captain Sergi Andropoyov in the Donovan March-directed submarine-set action-thriller Hunter Killer.
He also appeared in the 2016 Sundance selection Frank and Lola, which starred Michael Shannon and Imogen Poots. On the TV front, Nyqvist starred opposite Dominic Monaghan in 100 Code, the Sweden-U.S. series created by Bobby Moresco.
Born Rolf Ake Mikael Nyqvist on Nov. 8, 1960, in Stockholm, he was educated at the School of Drama in Malmo. He apparently caught the acting bug when, at age 17, he traveled to Omaha, Nebraska, for one year as an exchange student.
After starring in mostly Swedish theater and movie productions during the 1980s and early 1990s, including in the role of the police officer Banck in the first series of Beck films made in 1997, Nyqvist had a career breakthrough with the 2000 Swedish dramedy Together, directed by Lukas Moodysson.
He then played the lead role in the 2002 Swedish romantic comedy-drama The Guy in the Grave Next Door, directed by Kjell Sundvall. A year later, Nyqvist starred in the Swedish film As It Is in Heaven, which was nominated for an Academy Award in the best foreign film competition.
He is survived by his wife, Catharina, and their children, Ellen and Arthur.