Gunnar Björnstrand

Born - Nov 13, 1909   |   Died - May 24, 1986   |   Genres - Drama

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Biography by Hal Erickson

The son of a Swedish actor, Gunnar Björnstrand tried his hand at several professions before settling into the family business. After playing a bit part in the 1931 film The False Millionaire, Björnstrand joined Stockholm's Royal Dramatic Theatre, where he met another aspiring actor named Ingmar Bergman. When Bergman matriculated into a director, he cast Björnstrand prominently in such film classics as Sawdust and Tinsel (1953), Smiles of a Summer Night (1955), The Seventh Seal (1957), Wild Strawberries (1958), Persona (1966) and Fanny and Alexander (1976). Gunnar Björnstrand's Bergman films led him to steady employment with several other prominent Scandinavian and European directors, including Gustav Molander and Mai Zetterling.