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Ingmar Bergman Dies at 89

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The legendary film director Ingmar Bergman died early this morning at his home in Sweden. He was 89 years old.

Born into a middle-class family in Uppsala, Bergman struggled with issues of faith, mortality, and identity throughout his life; these themes would echo through his films, including classics such as Persona, Wild Strawberries, Fanny and Alexander, and The Seventh Seal.

Bergman is remembered most for his visionary style and his complicated portrayals of love and sexuality (Scenes from a Marriage). His life often imitated his art, as he had relationships with and even married some of his leading actresses; his liaison with Liv Ullman produced a daughter, Linn, but the two never wed. He won three Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film over the course of his career, and influenced American directors like Woody Allen and Robert Altman. He was a master of celluloid iconography and contributed many indelible images (playing chess with the Grim Reaper, anyone?) to the canon and to pop culture.

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He died at his home at Faro, an isolated, boggy island off the coast of Gotland, which provided the setting for some of his greatest works, including Persona and The Passion of Anna.

AP Photo/Expressen Pressens Bild by Jonte Wentzell