After working as a director in Sweden for 10 years, Bergman exploded beyond the bounds of the Scandinavian country in the '50s with four award-winning films -- Smiles of a Summer Night, The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries (Oscar nominee) and The Magician. From there, his success grew, making his name known not only in international film circles, but the world-at-large. His career survived occasional failures and even a huge shift in his personal philosophy -- while his early work was steeped in the search for faith, when he stopped fearing death, salvation became a more tangible, human construct.
He will be missed, but I believe he achieved his goal: "I want to be one of the artists of the cathedral that rises on the plain. I want to occupy myself by carving out of stone the head of a dragon, an angel or a demon, or perhaps a saint; it doesn't matter; I will find the same joy in any case. Whether I am a believer or an unbeliever, Christian or pagan, I work with all the world to build a cathedral because I am artist and artisan, and because I have learned to draw faces, limbs and bodies out of stone. I will never worry about the judgment of posterity or of my contemporaries; my name is carved nowhere and will disappear with me. But a little part of myself will survive in the anonymous and triumphant totality. A dragon or a demon, or perhaps a saint, it doesn't matter!"