The Info List - Gunn Wållgren

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Gunn Wållgren, (born Gunnel Margaret Haraldsdotter Wållgren ([vɔlɡreːn]), 16 November 1913 – 4 June 1983) was a Swedish actress.[1] Considered one of Sweden's finest and also to date most appreciated actresses, Wållgren was famous for her fragile and sensual way of acting, her warm and rich inner soulfulness, and her never failing ability of presenting an absolute presence and naturalness on stage. Her Chekhov and Ibsen
character interpretations, in particular, are considered to be unsurpassed.


1 Biography 2 Selected filmography 3 Awards 4 See also 5 References 6 External links

Biography[edit] Born and raised in Gothenburg, Sweden's second largest town, Gunn Wållgren played a lot of amateur theatre in local groups in her teenage years. She knew very early that she wanted to become an actress although her father; the stern company manager Harald Wållgren, strongly disapproved: To get the theatre ideas out of her head, he even sent her overseas on a trip to Switzerland. However, the acting dreams only increased as she strolled by the coast of Lake Constance and had only gotten worse by the time she returned. Carrying a tremendous personal shyness and insecurity (which came to define and restrict her private persona all her life) she secretly applied for the Royal Dramatic Theatre's acting school in Stockholm
(in 1934) – and was admitted on first try, at age 21.

Gunn Wållgren, 1940s

Gunn Wållgren's first major role at the Royal Dramatic Theatre
Royal Dramatic Theatre
as "premiere actress" became the playful daughter Mildred in Eugene O'Neill's beautiful play Ah, Wilderness! (a very successful and long-running production) in 1936. Winning the critics' and the audience's heart in her part she received an immediate contract with the Royal Dramatic Theatre
Royal Dramatic Theatre
after her graduation from drama school in 1937. Even though she came to work at different theatres all her life, she always returned to the national stage. Some master performances by Wållgren on stage include her Sorel Bliss in Noël Coward's Hay Fever in 1937, Celia in Shakespeare's As You Like It
As You Like It
1938 (directed by Alf Sjöberg), the strong portrayal of Curley's wife in the original Swedish staging of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men in 1940, Iphigenia in Goethe's Iphigenia in Tauris
Iphigenia in Tauris
1941, her Ophelia
in the classic 1942 staging of Hamlet
(opposite Lars Hanson
Lars Hanson
in the title role), Mary Grey/ Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc
in Joan of Lorraine by Maxwell Anderson
Maxwell Anderson
in 1948, Catherine Sloper in The Heiress by Ruth and Augustus Goetz in the 1950/51 season, Indra's daughter in the Olof Molander-staging of Strindberg's A Dream Play
A Dream Play
1955, Nina in Chekhov's The Seagull
The Seagull
1955, Masha in Chekhov's Three Sisters 1958, Isabella in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure
Measure for Measure
1958, Nora in Ibsen's A Doll's House
A Doll's House
1962, Gerda in Strindberg's Storm 1964, Mrs. Alving in Ibsen's Ghosts
196?, the grand portrayal of Madame Liubov Andreievna Ranevskaya in The Cherry Orchard by Chekhov in 1967, Martha Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace in 1970, the title role of Agnes in Kent Andersson's 1972 play, Lena in Fugard's Boesman and Lena 1977; and the role of Ethel Thayer in Sista sommaren (play based on the Oscar-winning film On Golden Pond, starring Katharine Hepburn in the same part) in 1981. Her film debut came with Sonja in 1943, but her break-through came with Kvinnor i fångenskap the same year, where Wållgren portrayed a young prisoner on the run. Being "of the theatre" Gunn Wållgren filmed sporadically during her life. But whenever she turned to the big screen she was "The Actress". Ranked absolutely equivalent to Ingrid Bergman
Ingrid Bergman
back in Sweden
at the time, both in beauty and in talent (in Sweden
even considered some notches higher than Bergman as an actress) she delivered electrifying performances in films such as Flickan och djävulen (The Girl And The Devil) (opposite Stig Järrel) 1944, Var sin väg (Each To His Own Way) 1946, Medan porten var stängd (While The Door Was Locked) 1946 (written & directed by Hasse Ekman), Kvinna utan ansikte (Woman Without A Face) 1947 (with an early script by Ingmar Bergman), Glasberget (Mountain Of Glass) 1953 (directed by Hasse Ekman) and Klänningen (The Dress) 1964 (directed by Olof Molander
Olof Molander
with script by Vilgot Sjöman), among others. Her supporting part in Gunnel Lindblom's debating drama Sally och friheten (1981) (Sally and Freedom), about a woman dealing with the painful memories and reality of an abortion, later in life rendered her Sweden's most prestigious film award, the Guldbagge Award
Guldbagge Award
(the Golden Beetle), for Best Actress. She was highly praised everywhere for her warm and sober portrayal of the grandmother – the immediate centre of the Ekdahl family - in Ingmar Bergman's colourful film Fanny och Alexander
Fanny och Alexander
(1982). The role was to be her very last, as shortly after the shooting finished she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Her condition deteriorated quickly and she died on 4 June 1983; ten months later Bergman's film was awarded with 4 Oscars, one for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. Gunn Wållgren
Gunn Wållgren
was married to 1) Erik "Hampe" Faustman (actor and film director) 1941-49 and; 2) Per-Axel Branner
Per-Axel Branner
(stage director) 1954-75 (his death). She had two daughters (from her marriage with Faustman); Susanne and Elaine. Selected filmography[edit]

On the cover of Filmjournalen, 1947

On stage: as Indra's daughter in A Dream Play by August Strindberg, The Royal Dramatic Theatre, 1955

1982 - Fanny and Alexander 1981 - Sally and Freedom 1978 - Strandvaskeren 1977 - The Brothers Lionheart 1976 - Förvandlingen (aka Kafka's The Metamorphosis) (TV-theatre) 1974 - Rulle på Rulseröd (mini series) 1972 - The Man Who Quit Smoking 1970 - Söderkåkar (mini series) 1970 - Frida och hennes vän (mini series) 1969 - Miss and Mrs Sweden 1967 - Gengångare (aka Ibsen's Ghosts) (TV-theatre) 1967 - Fadren (aka Strindberg's The Father) (TV-theatre) 1966 - Tartuffe (TV-theatre) 1966 - Kvinnas man (TV-theatre) 1966 - Asmodeus (TV-theatre) 1964 - Klänningen (aka The Dress) 1953 - Glasberget 1951 - The Nuthouse 1948 - Each to His Own Way 1947 - Woman Without A Face 1946 - While the Door Was Locked 1946 - Begär 1945 - Resan bort 1945 - Brott och straff (Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment 1944 - Kejsarn av Portugallien (Selma Lagerlöf's The Emperor of Portugallia) 1944 - Flickan och djävulen 1943 - Ordet 1943 - Sjätte skottet 1943 - Kvinnor i fångenskap 1943 - The Word 1943 - Sonja


The Eugene O'Neill
Eugene O'Neill
Award (1959) The Swedish Theatre Critics' Award (1962) The Guldbagge Award
Guldbagge Award
for Best Actress (1981)[2]

See also[edit]

The Gunn Wållgren
Gunn Wållgren


^ "Gunn Wållgren". Swedish Film Database. Retrieved 2011-05-15.  ^ " Sally och friheten (1981)". The Swedish Film Database. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gunn Wållgren.

Gunn Wållgren
Gunn Wållgren
on IMDb Gunn Wållgren
Gunn Wållgren
at Find a Grave Complete list of Gunn Wållgren's stage work at the Royal Dramatic Theatre (in Swedish)

v t e

Guldbagge Award
Guldbagge Award
for Best Actress in a Leading Role


Ingrid Thulin
Ingrid Thulin
(1963/64) Eva Dahlbeck
Eva Dahlbeck
(1964/65) Christina Schollin
Christina Schollin
(1965/66) Bibi Andersson
Bibi Andersson
(1966/67) Lena Nyman
Lena Nyman
(1967/68) Liv Ullmann
Liv Ullmann
(1968/69) Anita Ekström (1969/70) Monica Zetterlund
Monica Zetterlund
(1971/72) Harriet Andersson
Harriet Andersson
(1972/73) Inga Tidblad (1973/74) Lis Nilheim (1974/75) Margaretha Krook
Margaretha Krook
(1975/76) Birgitta Valberg (1976/77) Lil Terselius
Lil Terselius
(1977/78) Sif Ruud
Sif Ruud
(1978/79) Gunn Wållgren
Gunn Wållgren
(1980/81) Sunniva Lindekleiv, Lise Fjeldstad, Rønnaug Alten
Rønnaug Alten
(1981/82) Malin Ek, Kim Anderzon
Kim Anderzon
(1982/83) Gunilla Nyroos
Gunilla Nyroos
(1984) Malin Ek (1985) Stina Ekblad
Stina Ekblad
(1986) Lene Brøndum (1987) Lena T. Hansson (1988) Viveka Seldahl (1989) Malin Ek (1990)


Gunilla Röör
Gunilla Röör
(1991) Pernilla August
Pernilla August
(1992) Helena Bergström
Helena Bergström
(1993) Suzanne Reuter (1994) Gunilla Röör
Gunilla Röör
(1995) Ghita Nørby
Ghita Nørby
(1996) Johanna Sällström (1997) Alexandra Dahlström
Alexandra Dahlström
(1998) Katarina Ewerlöf
Katarina Ewerlöf
(1999) Lena Endre
Lena Endre
(2000) Viveka Seldahl (2001) Oksana Akinshina
Oksana Akinshina
(2002) Ann Petrén
Ann Petrén
(2003) Maria Kulle
Maria Kulle
(2004) Maria Lundqvist
Maria Lundqvist
(2005) Haddy Jallow (2006) Sofia Ledarp
Sofia Ledarp
(2007) Maria Heiskanen (2008) Noomi Rapace
Noomi Rapace
(2009) Alicia Vikander
Alicia Vikander
(2010) Ann Petrén
Ann Petrén
(2011) Nermina Lukac
Nermina Lukac
(2012) Edda Magnason
Edda Magnason
(2013) Saga Becker
Saga Becker
(2014) Malin Levanon
Malin Levanon
(2015) Maria Sundbom (2016) Lene Cecilia Sparrok (2017)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 67621838 LCCN: no2002108199 ISNI: 0000 0000 5338 6