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Biography

Norwegian actress and director. Born in Tokyo, Japan.-Liv Ullmann's father was an international aircraft engineer, which explains how Liv came to be born in Tokyo and to spend her childhood in Toronto and New York. Her father died in 1944, and after the war her mother moved back to Norway with her two daughters. Liv showed an interest in acting from an early age, attending stage school in London in the mid 1950s and getting selected for leading roles such as Anne Frank and Ophelia on her return to Norway. After three minor roles in various films, her fourth was a...

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Biography

Norwegian actress and director. Born in Tokyo, Japan.

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Liv Ullmann's father was an international aircraft engineer, which explains how Liv came to be born in Tokyo and to spend her childhood in Toronto and New York. Her father died in 1944, and after the war her mother moved back to Norway with her two daughters. Liv showed an interest in acting from an early age, attending stage school in London in the mid 1950s and getting selected for leading roles such as Anne Frank and Ophelia on her return to Norway. After three minor roles in various films, her fourth was a Swedish film with a Danish director, Bjarne Henning-Jensen's Short Is the Summer (Kort är sommaren, 1962) based on Knut Hamsun's "Pan", in which Liv played opposite Bibi Andersson. Having seen the film, Ingmar Bergman was taken with the similarity between the two women and cast them together in Persona (1966). Liv quickly became Bergman's muse both in film and in real life. Despite her Norwegian origins, Liv Ullmann was perhaps the major star of Swedish films of the 1960s and 1970s.

She made a total of twelve films and television series with Bergman, including many classics such as Cries and Whispers (Viskningar och rop, 1973) Scenes from a Marriage (Scener ur ett äktenskap, 1974), Face to Face (Ansikte mot ansikte, 1976), which won her an Oscar nomination, Autumn Sonata (Höstsonaten, 1978) and finally Saraband (2003). She opens her heart about these years of love, conflicts and friendship in the Norwegian film Liv & Ingmar (Dheeraj Akolkar, 2012).

She also played Kristina in Jan Troell's film versions of Vilhelm Moberg's "The Emigrants" novels, The Emigrants (Utvandrarna, 1971) and The New Land (Nybyggarna, 1972). She herself counts her experiences on these films as some of her most rewarding and the role as one of her most significant: it won her both a Golden Globe and her first Oscar nomination.

Her successes led to tempting offers from abroad, and between 1970-1990 she played a number of very different leading roles in more than 20 international films. They were undoubtedly financially rewarding and the source of much acclaim, yet none of the films has had an impact on cinema history and Liv Ullmann herself is of the opinion that they did not present her to her best advantage.

In 1982 an opportunity to direct an episode film in Canada, Love, gave her a taste for changing sides, and ten years later she managed to persuade Nordisk Film in Copenhagen to back her as a director. Based on a Danish novel, Sofie (1992), was an unexpected success which won several international awards. In 1995 Liv Ullmann was able to follow this up with a Norwegian film version of Sigrid Undset's "Kristin Lavransdotter". The film was a major success in Norway despite its rather lukewarm critical reception.

During this period Ingmar Bergman was beginning to scale back his own filmmaking and asked Liv to return to Sweden to film his screenplay Private Confessions (Enskilda samtal, 1998), which was about his mother, plus his strongly autobiographical Faithless (Trolösa, 2000). Both films were positively received and screened at festivals around the world.

Liv Ullmann has continued to act on the stage occasionally, including the musical theatre both in Norway and the US in the title role of "Mother Courage". She played Nora in "A Doll's House" and as recently as 2011 she played the mother in "A Long Day's Journey into Night'. She has also written two autobiographical volumes, "Changing"(1976) and "Tidal Waters" (1984), and her daughter with Bergman, Linn Ullmann, is now a distinguished author.

Bengt Forslund (2012)

(translated by Derek Jones)

Awards

The Guldbagge Award 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award
Prize Bergen 2000 (Aamot-statyetten, KKL:s hederspris)
David di Donatello Award Italien 1979 Autumn Sonata (roll)
National Society of Film Critics 1976 Face to Face (årets bästa skådespelerska)
National Board of Review 1976 Face to Face (bästa skådespelerska)
Prize Los Angeles 1976 Face to Face (Los Angeles kritikernas förenings pris till årets bästa skådespelerska)
Bambi 1975 Scener ur ett äktenskap (bästa utländska skådespelarprestation)
David di Donatello Award 1975 Scener ur ett äktenskap (roll)
Circle Prize New York 1974 Scener ur ett äktenskap (bästa skådespelerska)
National Society of Film Critics 1974 Scener ur ett äktenskap (bästa kvinnliga huvudroll)
National Board of Review 1973 The New Land (roll)
National Society of Film Critics 1973 The New Land (roll)
Prize 1973 (amerikanska kvinnliga journalisters pris)
1973 (Peer Gynt-priset)
Golden Globe Hollywood 1973 The Emigrants (bästa skådespelerska)
Independent Film Importers and Distributors of America 1973
National Board of Review 1973 Cries and Whispers (roll)
Academy Award Nomination Los Angeles 1973 The Emigrants (bästa kvinnliga skådepelare 1972/Best Actress in a Leading Role 1972)
Prize Stockholm 1972 The Emigrants (1971års SF-stipendium för hennes roll)
Circle Prize New York 1972 Cries and Whispers (bästa skådespelerska)
New York 1972 The Emigrants (bästa skådespelerska)
The Guldbagge Award Stockholm 1969 Best Actress in a Leading Role Shame
National Board of Review 1968 Hour of the Wolf (bästa skådespelerska)
Chaplin Magazine Award Stockholm 1968 Shame (roller i denna film och i Vargtimmen)
National Society of Film Critics 1968 Shame (bästa skådespelerska)
Chaplin Magazine Award Stockholm 1968 Hour of the Wolf (roller i denna film och i Skammen)
National Board of Review 1968 Shame (bästa skådespelerska)

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