Gustav Åbergsson

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Gustav Fredrik Åbergsson (née Åberg) (1775–1852) was a Swedish stage actor, theatre director and principal of Dramatens elevskola. He belonged to the leading actors in the Swedish theatre history, called The Hamlet of Stockholm.


Gustav Åbergsson was born to Jonas Åberg, footman and later economy master at the royal court, and Fredrika Maria Svahn. His father is thought to have been the son of Beata Sabina Straas, the first professional native actress in Sweden to perform on a public stage in 1737, although this is unconfirmed. He was a student at the French Theatre in Bollhuset, as his sister Inga Åberg, in 1786. According to legend, King Gustav III of Sweden originally placed him as a student in the Opera after having seen him in the parc of Drottningholm Palace: after discovering that they shared the same name, the king asked him to sing a song. Gustav did so and blew kisses to the audience after, and the king had kissed him on his forehead.

He debuted on the Royal Dramatic Theatre in 1788, but was not considered more than a pretty face, and performed on the Stenborg Theatre until he was finally given a contract at the royal theatre in 1798.

He changed his name from Åberg to Åbergsson, because he wanted to avoid being connected to his scandal beauty-sister, Inga Åberg.

Gustav Åbergsson was described as beautiful, with a fine figure, posture and grace and an easy manner, and was often given hero- and lover parts: "roles, which demands a beautiful body and pleasantness"; he had an easy and refined way of acting and pleased the audience: "By his attractive figure, his true way of acting and his refined manners". He made many study trips tpo Paris. In 1812, he was made prefect of the dramatic stage.

In 1819, he and his spouse played the leading parts in Romeo and Juliet, the first time this play was performed in Stockholm, though it had been performed in Norrköping already in 1776.

In 1820–23, he was director of the Segerlind Theatre in Gothenburg. After this, he was instructor and, 1828–31, principal of Dramatens elevskola. He retired in 1834.

He was married to the ballet dancer Margaretha Christina Hallongren (d. 1810) in 1793, and had a relationship with the star actress Carolina Kuhlman for several years before they married in 1815.


  • Georg Nordensvan: Svensk teater och svenska skådespelare från Gustav III till våra dagar. Första bandet 1772-1842 (Swedish theatre and Swedish actors from the days of Gustav III to our days. First book 1772-1842) (Swedish)
  • Torsten Dahl: Svenska män och kvinnor, nr 8