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Liv Ullmann
Ullman in 2014
Born (1938-12-16) 16 December 1938 (age 84)
Occupation(s)Actress, director, screenwriter
Years active1957–Present
Hans Jakob Stang
(m. 1960; div. 1965)
Donald Richard Saunders
(m. 1985; div. 1995)
PartnerIngmar Bergman (1965–1970)
ChildrenLinn Ullmann

Liv Johanne Ullmann (born 16 December 1938)[1] is a Norwegian actress.[2] Recognised as one of the greatest European actresses of all time, Ullmann is known as the muse and frequent partner of filmmaker Ingmar Bergman.[3][4][5] She acted in many of his films, including Persona (1966), Cries and Whispers (1972), Scenes from a Marriage (1973), The Passion of Anna (1969), and Autumn Sonata (1978).

Ullmann won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama in 1972 for the film The Emigrants [6] and has been nominated for another four.[6] In 2000, she was nominated for the Palme d'Or for her second directorial feature film, Faithless.[7][2] She has received two BAFTA Award nominations,[8] and two nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress, for The Emigrants [9] and Ingmar Bergman's Face to Face.[9] On March 25, 2022, Ullmann was presented with an Honorary Academy Award in recognition of her "bravery and emotional transparency that has gifted audiences with deeply affecting screen portrayals".[9][10][11]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Watch This! - Liv Ullmann Recommends...
  • Persona Official Trailer #1 - Liv Ullmann Movie (1966) HD
  • Liv & Ingmar - A Love Story - OFFICIAL TRAILER - DOCUMENTARY 2012
  • Liv Ullmann (Tribute)
  • Liv Ullmann – A Road Less Travelled's new clip official Cannes Film Festival 2023 - 2/2


Early life

Ullmann was born in Tokyo, Japan, the daughter of Norwegian parents, Erik Viggo Ullmann (1907–1945), an aircraft engineer who was working in Tokyo at the time, and Janna Erbe (née Lund; 1910–1996).[12]

Her grandfather was sent to the Dachau concentration camp during World War II for helping Jews escape from the town where he lived in Norway; he died in this camp.[13] When she was two years old, the family moved to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where her father worked at the Norwegian air force base on Toronto Island (in Lake Ontario) during the Second World War.[14] The family moved to New York, where four years later, her father died after a lengthy hospitalization from head injuries due to being struck by an airplane propeller, his death affecting her greatly.[14][15] Her mother worked as a bookseller, while raising two daughters.[16] They eventually moved to Norway, settling in Trondheim.[17]


Ullmann with her mother Janna in 1959
Ullmann with director Ingmar Bergman in 1968

Ullmann began her acting career as a stage actress in Norway during the mid-1950s. She continued to act in theatre for most of her career and became noted for her portrayal of Nora in Henrik Ibsen's play A Doll's House.

She became better known once she started to work with Swedish movie director Ingmar Bergman. She later acted, with acclaim, in 10 of his movies, including Persona (1966), The Passion of Anna (1969), Cries and Whispers (1972), and Autumn Sonata (1978), in the last of which her co-actress Ingrid Bergman resumed her own Swedish cinema career. She co-acted often with Swedish actor and fellow Bergman collaborator Erland Josephson, with whom she made the Swedish television drama Scenes from a Marriage (1973), which was also edited to feature-movie length and distributed theatrically. Ullmann acted with Laurence Olivier in A Bridge Too Far (1977), directed by Richard Attenborough.

Nominated more than 40 times for awards, including various lifetime achievement awards, she won the best actress prize three times from the National Society of Film Critics, three times from the National Board of Review, received three awards from the New York Film Critics Circle, and a Golden Globe. During 1971, Ullmann was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for the movie The Emigrants, and again during 1976 for the movie Face to Face.

Ullmann made her New York City stage debut in 1975 also in A Doll's House. Appearances in Anna Christie and Ghosts followed, as well as the less than successful musical version of I Remember Mama. This show, composed by Richard Rodgers, experienced numerous revisions during a long preview period, then closed after 108 performances. She also featured in the widely deprecated musical movie remake of Lost Horizon during 1973. In 1977, when she appeared on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre in Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie, The New York Times said that she "glowed with despair and hope, and was everything one could have wished her to have been" in a performance "not to be missed and never to be forgotten", with her "grace and authority" that was "perhaps more than Garbo...born for Anna Christie:--Or more properly, Anna Christie was born for her."[18]

In 1980, Brian De Palma, who directed Carrie, wanted Liv Ullmann to play the role of Kate Miller in the erotic crime thriller Dressed to Kill and offered it to her, but she declined because of the violence.[19] The role subsequently went to Angie Dickinson. In 1982, Ingmar Bergman wanted Ullmann to play Emelie Ekdahl in his last feature film, Fanny and Alexander, and wrote the role with this in mind.[20] She declined it, feeling the role was too sad. She later stated in interviews that turning it down was one of the few things she really regretted.[20]

Princess Juliana of the Netherlands and Liv Ullmann at the Four Freedoms Award ceremony in Middelburg on 23 June 1984

During 1984, she was chairperson of the jury at the 34th Berlin International Film Festival,[21] and during 2001 chaired the jury of the Cannes Film Festival. She introduced her daughter, Linn Ullmann, to the audience with the words: "Here comes the woman whom Ingmar Bergman loves the most". Her daughter was there to receive the Prize of Honour on behalf of her father; she would return to serve the jury herself during 2011. She published two autobiographies, Changing (1977) and Choices (1984).

Ullmann's first film as a director was Sofie (1992); her friend and former co-actor, Erland Josephson, starred on it. She later directed the Bergman-composed movie Faithless (2000). Faithless garnered nominations for both the Palme d'Or and Best Actress category at the Cannes Film Festival.

In 2003, Ullmann reprised her role for Scenes from a Marriage in Saraband (2003), Bergman's final telemovie. Her previous screen role had been in the Swedish movie Zorn (1994).

In 2004, Ullmann revealed that she had received an offer in November 2003 to play in three episodes of the American television series, Sex and the City.[22] She was amused by the offer, and said that it was one of the few programs she regularly watched, but she turned it down.[23] Later that year, Steven Soderbergh wrote a role in the movie Ocean's 12 especially for her, but she also turned that down.[24]

During 2006, Ullmann announced that she had been forced to end her longtime wish of making a film based on A Doll's House. According to her statement, the Norwegian Film Fund was preventing her and writer Ketil Bjørnstad from pursuing the project. Australian actress Cate Blanchett and British actress Kate Winslet had been cast intended in the main roles of the movie. She later directed Blanchett in the play A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams, at the Sydney Theatre Company in Sydney, which was performed September through October 2009, and then continued from 29 October to 21 November 2009 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., where it won a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Non-resident Production as well as actress and supporting performer for 2009. The play was also performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Brooklyn, New York. Ullmann narrated the Canada–Norway co-produced animated short movie The Danish Poet (2006), which won the Academy Award for Animated Short Film at the 79th Academy Awards during 2007.

In 2008, she was the head of the jury at the 30th Moscow International Film Festival.[25]

During 2012, she attended the International Indian Film Academy Awards in Singapore, where she was honored for her Outstanding Contributions to International Cinema and she also showed her movie on her relationship with Ingmar Bergman.[26] In 2013, Ullmann directed a film adaptation of Miss Julie. The film, released in September 2014, stars Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell, and Samantha Morton.[27] It was widely praised by the Norwegian press.

In March 2022 it was announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that Ullmann would receive the Academy Honorary Award.[28][29] John Lithgow presented her with the statue at the Governors Awards saying, "For those few who claim that she never would've been called one of our greatest actors without Ingmar Bergman, I would answer, Bergman would probably never been called one of our greatest filmmakers without Liv Ullman".[30]

Personal life

Marriages, relationships and children

Ullman has been married and divorced twice. Her daughter is from a relationship with Swedish director Ingmar Bergman.

Ullman was married to Norwegian psychiatrist Hans Jakob Stang from 1960 until 1965. The 25-year old Ullman's life changed focus when she met 46-year old Ingmar Bergman. Their relationship quickly moved into an affair which lasted from 1965 to 1970.[31] Writer Linn Ullmann (b. 1966) is their daughter.

Following an affair with the actor John Lithgow,[32] Ullman married Boston real estate developer Donald Saunders in 1985, and they remained together after their 1995 divorce.[33][34]

Honors and causes

She is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador,[35] and has traveled widely for the organization. She is also co-founder and honorary chair of the Women's Refugee Commission.

In 2005, King Harald V of Norway made Ullmann a Commander with Star of the Order of St. Olav.[36]

She received an honorary degree, a Doctorate of Philosophy, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in 2006.[37]


In addition to Norwegian, Ullmann speaks Swedish, English, and other European languages.[38]



As actress

Year Title Role Director Notes
1957 Fools in the Mountains Hotel Guest (uncredited extra) Edith Carlmar
1959 The Wayward Girl Gerd
1962 Tonny Kari Nils R. Müller
Per Gjersøe
1962 Kort är sommaren
1965 De kalte ham Skarven Wilfred Breistrand
Erik Folke Gustavson
1966 Persona Elisabet Vogler Ingmar Bergman
1968 Hour of the Wolf Alma Borg
Shame Eva Rosenberg
1969 An-Magritt An-Magritt Arne Skouen
1969 The Passion of Anna Anna Fromm Ingmar Bergman
1970 Cold Sweat Fabienne Martin Terence Young
1971 The Emigrants Kristina Jan Troell
1971 The Night Visitor Ester Jenks László Benedek
1972 The New Land Kristina Jan Troell
1972 Cries and Whispers Maria (and her mother) Ingmar Bergman
1972 Pope Joan Pope Joan Michael Anderson
1973 Scenes from a Marriage Marianne Ingmar Bergman
1973 40 Carats Ann Stanley Milton Katselas
1973 Lost Horizon Katherine Charles Jarrott
1974 Zandy's Bride Hannah Lund Jan Troell
1974 The  Abdication Queen Kristina Anthony Harvey
1975 Leonor Leonor Juan Luis Buñuel
1976 Face to Face Dr. Jenny Isaksson Ingmar Bergman
1977 The Serpent's Egg Manuela Rosenberg
1977 A Bridge Too Far Kate ter Horst Richard Attenborough
1978 Autumn Sonata Eva Ingmar Bergman
1979 Players Tennis Spectator Anthony Harvey Uncredited
1980 Richard's Things Kate Morris Anthony Harvey
1984 The Wild Duck Gina Henri Safran
1984 The Bay Boy Mrs. Campbell Daniel Petrie
1984 Dangerous Moves Marina Fromm Richard Dembo
1986 Let's Hope It's a Girl Elena Mario Monicelli
1987 Gaby: A True Story Sari Luis Mandoki
1987 Farewell Moscow Ida Nudel Mauro Bolognini
1988 The Girlfriend María Jeanine Meerapfel
1989 The Rose Garden Gabriele Fons Rademakers
1991 Mindwalk Sonia Hoffman Bernt Amadeus Capra
1991 Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes Narrator George Levenson Voice; Short film
1992 The Long Shadow Katherine Vilmos Zsigmond
1992 The Ox Mrs. Gustafsson Sven Nykvist
1994 Drømspel Ticket Seller Unni Straume
2006 The Danish Poet Narrator Torill Kove short film
2008 I et speil, i en gåte Grandmother Jesper W. Nielsen
2009 Sinna mann Mother Anita Killi Voice; English version
2012 Zwei Leben (Two Lives) Åse Judith Kaufmann
2012 Liv & Ingmar Self Dheeraj Akolkar Documentary

As director

Year Film Distribution
1992 Sofie Pathé
1995 Kristin Lavransdatter HVE Entertainment
1996 Private Confessions Television movie
2000 Faithless AB Svensk Filmindustri
2014 Miss Julie Columbia TriStar


Year Title Role Notes
1963 Onkel Vanja (TV)
1965 Smeltedigelen Mary Warren (TV)
1966 En hyggelig fyr Mabel (TV)
1966 Måken Sonja (TV)
1967 Cocktailselskapet Celia (TV)
1975 Trollflöjten Woman in Audience (TV)
1979 Fruen fra havet Ellida Wangel (TV)
1983 Jenny Jenny (TV)
1983 Jacobo Timerman: Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number Mrs. Jacobo Timerman (TV)
1988 Gli indifferenti [it] Maria Grazia (TV)
1994 Zorn Emma Zorn (TV)
2003 Saraband Marianne (TV); Directed by Ingmar Bergman
2011 Lang dags ferd mot natt Mary Tyrone (TV)


Year Title Role Venue
1975 A Doll's House Nora Helmer Vivian Beaumont Theatre, Broadway
1977 Anna Christie Anna Christopherson Imperial Theatre, Broadway
1979 I Remember Mama Mama Majestic Theatre, Broadway
1982 Ghosts Mrs. Helen Alving Brooks Atkinson Theatre, Broadway
2019 Liv Herself
2021 American Moth Grieghallen

Awards and recognition

Year Award Category Project Result Ref
1968 National Society of Film Critics Award Best Actress Hour of the Wolf Won
Guldbagge Award Best Actress Won [39]
1968 National Board of Review Award Best Actress Shame Won
1971 Academy Awards Best Actress The Emigrants Nominated [9]
Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama Won [6]
1972 National Board of Review Award Best Actress The New Land Won
1972 New York Film Critics Circle Award Best Actress Cries and Whispers Won
1973 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Actress in a Leading Role Scenes from a Marriage Nominated [8]
Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama Nominated [6]
National Society of Film Critics Award Best Actress Won
New York Film Critics Circle Award Best Actress Won
David di Donatello Awards Best Foreign Actress| Won [40]
1973 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy 40 Carats Nominated [6]
1974 David di Donatello Awards David Special Award Won [40]
1976 Academy Awards Best Actress Face to Face Nominated [9]
British Academy of Film and Television Arts British Academy Film Award for Best Actress Nominated [8]
Golden Globe Awards Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama Nominated [6]
National Board of Review Award National Board of Review Award for Best Actress Won
New York Film Critics Circle Award New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress Won
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award Best Actress Won
1978 David di Donatello Awards Best Foreign Actress Autumn Sonata Won [40]
1986 David di Donatello Awards David di Donatello Award for Best Actress Let's Hope It's a Girl Nominated [40]
1987 David di Donatello Awards Best Actress Farewell Moscow Nominated [40]
1988 San Sebastián International Film Festival Best Actress The Girlfriend Won
1989 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama The Rose Garden Nominated [6]
1992 Montreal World Film Festival Special Grand Prize of the Jury Sofie Won
Montreal World Film Festival Won
Montreal World Film Festival Won
1996 Chicago International Film Festival Gold Hugo Private Confessions Nominated
2000 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or Faithless Nominated [7][41]
2000 Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Director Best Director Nominated
Goya Award Best European Film Nominated
2021 Academy Awards Academy Honorary Award Won [9]


See also


  1. ^ Larsen, Svend Erik Løken (30 August 2017). "Liv Ullmann". Archived from the original on 22 December 2017. Retrieved 11 December 2018 – via Store norske leksikon.
  2. ^ a b "Liv ULLMANN - Festival de Cannes". 13 August 2023. Archived from the original on 13 August 2023. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  3. ^ Holden, Stephen (12 December 2013). "A Filmmaker's Hold on His Muse". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 28 May 2020. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  4. ^ Solway, Diane (October 2009). "Liv the Life". W Magazine. Archived from the original on 14 September 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  5. ^ Hattenstone, Simon (3 February 2001). "A Lifelong Liaison". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Liv Ullmann". Golden Globes. Archived from the original on 13 August 2023. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  7. ^ a b "TROLOSA". Festival de Cannes (in French). Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  8. ^ a b c "BAFTA Awards Search | BAFTA Awards". Archived from the original on 13 August 2023. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Academy Awards Search | Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences". Archived from the original on 13 August 2023. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  10. ^ Beckett, Lois (26 March 2022). "'This is going to be cherished': Samuel L Jackson and Elaine May receive honorary Oscars". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 March 2022.
  11. ^ ABC News 06/24/21 Honorary Academy Award Recipients Announced
  12. ^ "Liv Ullmann Biography (1939— )". Retrieved 15 August 2010.
  13. ^ Hattenstone, Simon (3 February 2001). "A Lifelong Liaison". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 10 June 2021. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  14. ^ a b Jones, Donald (10 May 1986). "Unravelling Little Norway's Big Secrets". Toronto Star. p. M03.
  15. ^ Ouzounian, Richard (9 September 2014). "TIFF: Liv Ullmann spent 'worst and best times of my life' in Toronto". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 3 August 2020. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  16. ^ "The Bergman connection". The Daily Telegraph. 12 February 2000. Archived from the original on 14 September 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  17. ^ Marcus, J. S. (17 September 2010). "Liv Ullmann's Return to the Stage". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  18. ^ Barnes, Clive (15 April 1977). "Theater: Liv Ullman's 'Anna Christie'". The New York Times.
  19. ^ "Dressed to Kill (1980)". Archived from the original on 30 June 2018. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  20. ^ a b "NRK TV – Se Viggo på lørdag". 18 September 2013. Archived from the original on 25 November 2020. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  21. ^ "Berlinale: 1984 Juries". Berlin International Film Festival. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2010.
  22. ^ "Sex og singelliv for Liv Ullmann". 21 November 2003. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  23. ^ "Sex og singel-Liv". 20 November 2003. Archived from the original on 24 September 2016. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  24. ^ "Eventyrlig Liv". 15 September 2012. Archived from the original on 24 September 2016. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  25. ^ "30th Moscow International Film Festival (2008)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 21 April 2013. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  26. ^ "Honoured to Share the Dais with Shabana Azmi, Liv Ullmann: Hassan". Mid-Day. Archived from the original on 9 June 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  27. ^ Boehm, Mike (1 February 2013). "Jessica Chastain to star in Liv Ullmann's film of 'Miss Julie'". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 21 June 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
  28. ^ Willis, Courtney (26 March 2022). "Samuel L. Jackson, Danny Glover honored at Governors Awards". The Grio. Retrieved 26 March 2022.
  29. ^ Bahr, Lindsay (24 March 2022). "Liv Ullmann has given out many Oscars. Now she gets her own". Associated Press. Retrieved 26 March 2022.
  30. ^ "John Lithgow honors Liv Ullmann at the 2022 Governors Awards". Youtube. Retrieved 16 June 2022.
  31. ^ "Liv Ullmann On Love, Passion, Isolation and Friendship in Doc 'Liv & Ingmar'". Film at Lincoln Center. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 28 September 2022.
  32. ^ "The Record". Archived from the original on 27 August 2019. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  33. ^ "An Independent Woman".
  34. ^ "A Tale as Complex as the Lives Behind It". Los Angeles Times. 11 February 2001. Retrieved 28 September 2022.
  35. ^ "Unicef People". UNICEF. Archived from the original on 25 November 2020. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  36. ^ [dead link]"People: Liv Ullmann, Sharon Stone, Seal". International Herald Tribune. 13 May 2005.
  37. ^ "Honorary Doctors". Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Archived from the original on 23 June 2019. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  38. ^ Liv, Ullmann (2006). Liv Ullmann: interviews. Long, Robert Emmet (1st ed.). Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 157806824X. OCLC 61458361.
  39. ^ "Skammen (1968)". Swedish Film Institute. 2 March 2014. Archived from the original on 4 September 2015.
  40. ^ a b c d e "Accademia del Cinema Italiano - Premi David di Donatello". Archived from the original on 13 August 2023. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  41. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Faithless". Cannes Film Festival. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2009.
  42. ^ "FIAF Award". Archived from the original on 3 July 2021. Retrieved 29 January 2021.

Further reading

External links

Preceded by Recipient of the Arts Council Norway Honorary Award
Succeeded by
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