'Dragon Tattoo' star Michael Nyqvist dies at 56

Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist, who played journalist Mikael Blomkvist in the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo thrillers, died Tuesday.

Nyqvist's representative Jenny Tversky told the Associated Press Tuesday that he died after a year-long battle with lung cancer. He was 56.

In the American adaptation of the films (based on the popular fiction series by Stieg Larsson), Daniel Craig played his role, but it was Nyqvist who originated the part opposite Noomi Rapace.

In 2009, USA TODAY called the original Swedish Dragon Tattoo film "mesmerizing," noting that though Rapace projected "a hypnotic blend of steely toughness and vulnerability that keeps the viewer engaged" her co-star Nyqvist "is superb in a less showy role."

Nyqvist also often played villains in Hollywood, from the mob boss who terrorized Keanu Reeves in John Wick to Tom Cruise's foe in Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol.

"It is with deep sadness that I can confirm that our beloved Michael, one of Sweden's most respected and accomplished actors, has passed away quietly surrounded by family," Tversky said in a statement on behalf of the family.

"Michael's joy and passion were infectious to those who knew and loved him," read the family's statement. "His charm and charisma were undeniable, and his love for the arts was felt by all who had the pleasure of working with him."

Nyqvist has a number of films on the slate that are yet to come out, including Terrence Malick's World War II drama Radegund and Thomas Vinterberg's Kursk, about the 2000 K-141 Kursk submarine disaster.

He is survived by his wife, Catharina, and their children, Ellen and Arthur.

Contributing: The Associated Press

© 2017 USA TODAY


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