Gösta Cederlund

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Gösta Cederlund
Born (1888-03-06)6 March 1888
Stockholm, Sweden
Died 4 December 1980(1980-12-04) (aged 92)
Years active 1907–1975
Spouse(s) 1). Ingeborg Elisabeth Magni (1914–1930) (her death); 2). Anna-Lisa Ryding (1932–1980) (his death).

Gösta Cederlund, Gustaf ("Gösta") Edvard Cederlund, (6 March 1888 – 4 December 1980) was a Swedish actor and film director.

Cederlund was one of Sweden's most popular and appreciated male character actors in Swedish films in the 1930s-1950s, appreciated for his naturalness as an actor and comedy play. With his 130-plus film roles in his life he's also still the record holder of most roles for a single male actor on film in Sweden.


Born in Stockholm, the son of painter and carpenter E.H. Cederlund and Ida Matilda Ullman, Gösta Cederlund made his professional stage debut in 1907 at Svenska teatern (Swedish Theatre; Sweden's national stage in Stockholm between 1875–1925). The following years he was part of the origibal ensemble at Strindberg's legendary theatre Intima teatern, where he performed in a number of the original stagings of Strindberg's plays (in smaller parts). Eventually as a young actor he turned to the silent screen in Sweden where he early on got to play small parts of arrogant farm workers and fighting school boys in some pioneer Swedish silent films; first appearing on screen in Tösen från Stormyrtorpet in 1917. Later on film during the talkies era, in 1930s-1950s, he got to show his strength as a character actor in notable supporting parts when he got to play the good middle aged and middle class men; often portraying middle-aged newspaper editors or doctors in Swedish films. But there are exceptions: his icy performance as the cynical banker in director Hasse Ekman's masterpiece Flicka och hyacinter (Girl with Hyacinths) 1950 and his tormented old actor in Nattens ljus (Light in the Night) (1957).


Among his most appreciated film roles we find his Professor Hagstam in films Vi två (1939) and Vi tre (1940), the stern Detective Inspector Lilja in the crime drama Ett brott (A Crime, 1940), Markel in drama Doktor Glas (1942) (based on the success novel of Hjalmar Söderberg), navy captain Göran Bergsten in comedy Blåjackor (Sailors, 1945), his doctor Hellsten in Hasse Ekman's drama Var sin väg (Each to His Own Way, 1948), Margaretha's daddy in Sickan Carlsson comedy Skolka skolan (1949), his tight lord with the monocle in early Swedish musical comedy Greven från gränden, starring Nils Poppe (1949), and, naturally, his tossy but heart-warm school teacher "Pippi" in Torment (Swedish: Hets) (1944), directed by Alf Sjöberg; internationally known as Ingmar Bergman's film script debut. The film's key-scene in the map-room where his teacher confronts the school's great antagonist Caligula - the sadistic teacher in Latin - about his teaching methods is one of strongest and most nerving scenes of the film (and considered one of the best classic scenes all-time in Sweden).


In the 1950s and 1960s Gösta Cederlund was notably part of the Swedish Television's Theatre ensemble (TV-teatern) where he acted in several classic plays. When Alf Sjöberg staged Shakespeare's Hamlet for television in 1955 he gave a particularly strong and touching portrayal of Polonius; Ophelia's father, a performance that earned much critical acclaim.

Film director work

Besides acting, Gösta Cederlund was also employed as film director for Swedish Film Industry (SF) the year 1943 where he among other films directed the very controversial Kungsgatan (1943), based on a book by the Swedish working-class writer Ivar Lo-Johansson, a film dealing with the subject of prostitution and, with it, the sexually transmitted diseases in the cities. It was upon its release followed by a vivid national debate and was also banned from many cinemas (today, film-historically in Sweden, it's considered as one of the most important and bravest Swedish films made in the 1940s). Cederlund was also successfully Managing Director of several theatre's during his life including the Swedish Theatre in Helsinki, Finland, 1923–25, Lorensbergsteatern (the Lorensberg Theatre) in Gotheburg 1926 and the Helsingborg City Theatre 1926-30 (on this post a predecessor to Ingmar Bergman who later came to lead the theatre in the 1940s).

The last years of his life he worked at the new established modern Stockholm City Theatre (Stockholms stadsteater), appearing in key roles in several challenging stage plays throughout the late 1960s and in the 1970s, by the new dramatic writers of these decades, in plays by a.o. Bertolt Brecht and Samuel Beckett. He made his last film role as the old caretaker in film Monismanien 1995 (1975), at age 87. He died in 1980.

Selected filmography

External links