Gunnar Björnstrand

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Gunnar Björnstrand
File:Gunnar Björnstrand, Swedish actor.JPG
Born Knut Gunnar Johanson
(1909-11-13)13 November 1909
Stockholm, Sweden
Died 26 May 1986(1986-05-26) (aged 76)
Djursholm, Sweden
Nationality Swedish
Occupation Actor
Years active 1931–1983
Spouse(s) Lillie Björnstrand (m. 1935–86)

Knut Gunnar Johanson (13 November 1909 – 26 May 1986) was a Swedish actor known for his frequent work with writer and director Ingmar Bergman.

Björnstrand was born Knut Gunnar Johanson in Stockholm as son of actor Oscar Johanson and Ella Mauléon. After his education at the Royal Dramatic Theatre's acting school, he made several appearances in theatre, film and radio. Björnstrand's first collaboration with Ingmar Bergman was the 1941 theatre production of August Strindberg's The Ghost Sonata. His first major film role was in Hampe Faustman's Natt i hamn in 1943. After signing a contract with Svensk Filmindustri, he was offered mainly parts in comedies, including Bergman's Smiles of a Summer Night (1955). In 1957, however, he appeared in two dramatic roles for Bergman, in The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries. He regularly starred in other films by Bergman until 1968, when his work for the director became infrequent. He also played major roles at the Stockholm Stadsteater and in private theaters. In later years, due to the consequences of a stroke, Björnstrand avoided long-term contracts, and focused on theatre and television work. His last film was Bergman's Fanny and Alexander (1982): since he was suffering from memory loss at the time, the production was a difficult one for him. Björnstrand died in Stockholm in 1986.

In 1983 he won the Ingmar Bergman Awardat the 19th Guldbagge Awards.[1]

Björnstrand was married to actress and writer Lillie Björnstrand. They had three daughters, Kristina, Gabrielle and Veronica Björnstrand. Veronica has also acted on stage and TV.

Björnstrand was also politically active and participated in protests against the Vietnam War.[2]

Selected filmography


  1. "Gunnar Björnstrand". Swedish Film Institute. 9 March 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Gunnar Björnstrand at the website of the Ingmar Bergman Foundation.

External links