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Michael Nyqvist, Swedish star of original 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,' dies at 56

Michael Nyqvist, Swedish star of original 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,' dies at 56
Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace in the 2009 Swedish version of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." (Knut Koivisto / Music Box Films)

Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist, who starred in the original "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" films and often played villains in Hollywood movies such as "John Wick," has died after a year-long battle with cancer.

Nyqvist's representative Jenny Tversky confirmed the actor's death Tuesday. Nyqvist was 56.

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"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.

Nyqvist is perhaps best known worldwide for originating the role of Mikael Blomkvist in the Swedish "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" series opposite Noomi Rapace. Daniel Craig played the role in the American adaptation.

In Hollywood, Nyqvist played a broad range of memorable roles, including the mob boss who terrorizes Keanu Reeves in "John Wick" and Tom Cruise's foe in "Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol."

"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 slate of yet-to-be released films, 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.

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