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Michael Nyqvist, "Dragon Tattoo" star, is dead at 56

Michael Nyqvist dies

LOS ANGELES -- Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist, who originated the role of Mikael Blomkvist in the Swedish "The Girl with the Dragon" tattoo films, has died at 56. 

The actor was was also known for his roles as villains in Hollywood movies like "John Wick." Nyqvist's representative Jenny Tversky said Tuesday that he died after a year-long battle with lung cancer.

"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 his part 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 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.

Colleague Gerard Butler paid tribute to Nyqvist in a touching Twitter video. 

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