Sweden has a thriving film industry and has produced many successful actors and directors. Many of these talented human beings have made the go to Hollywood, where they went on to star in some of the most well-known productions known to the public. These are just a hardly any of the huge names who owe their lineage and training to the snowy mountains of Stockholm.
Actresses Who Broke Millions of Hearts – Ingrid Bergman was born in Stockholm in 1915, and was an orphan by the age of thirteen. She received a scholarship to the Royal Dramatic Theater College, the alma mater of silent film star Greta Garbo, and went to Hollywood shortly after graduating. Intending to only do one American film (and unable to speak English) she won so many accolades from her first performance in David O Selznick’s ‘Intermezzo’ that she stayed in the nation. She went on to star in ‘Casablanca’ opposite Humphrey Bogart; the production has been called one of the best movies of all age. She continued acting fair up until her death in 1982.
Ann-Margret Olsson, another Stockholm native, went to the U.S when she was five and showed an early talent in dance, appearing in theatrical productions all throughout her childhood. She had a recording career with RCA in the 1960s and made her film debut in ‘A Pocketful of Miracles’ in 1961, charming the hearts of American filmgoers all over the nation. Her role in ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ made her a teen star, and movies with the likes of Elvis Presley and Dean Martin soon followed. This tempestuous redhead was envied by every teenage girl and desired by every high college boy, and has continued her acting career to this day.
The Strong and the Talented – For action movie fans, the designation ‘Dolph Lundgren’ is on par with the likes of Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Seagal, and Van Damme. Despite holding a degree in chemical engineering, this Swedish muscle male rose to fame through his martial arts skills; he holds a 3rd-level black belt in karate, and broke through to American audiences after portraying Ivan Drago in ‘Rocky IV’. This led to roles in ‘Masters of the Universe’ (1987), ‘The Punisher’ (1989) and nearly 40 other action movies. In 2009, a collection of thieves broke into a house and tied up the woman who was sleeping there, intending to rob the estate; they fled in dread when they realized that the lady was Anette Qviberg, Lundgren’s then wife.
Recent Academy Award Nominee Max von Sydow was born to a wealthy family in Lund, Sweden. He studied acting at the Royal Dramatic Theater in Stockholm and met with well-known Swedish director Ingmar Bergman in 1955. This partnership was highly fruitful, leading to roles in distinct films, including the earth-well-known ‘The Seventh Seal’. That film includes a sequence in which von Sydow, as knight Antonius Block, plays chess with Death. He played Jesus in the epic 1965 movie ‘The Greatest Tale Ever Told’, the success of which prompted a go to Los Angeles. Later roles included Father Merrin in ‘The Exorcist’, Lamar Burgess in ‘Minority Report’, and recently The Renter in ‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’.
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