Liv Ullmann

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Liv Ullmann
Liv Ullmann 2014.jpg
BornLiv Johanne Ullmann
(1938-12-16) 16 December 1938 (age 75)
Tokyo, Japan
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S
OccupationActress and director
Years active1957–present
Spouse(s)Gappe Stang (1960–1965)
Donald Richard Saunders (1985–1995)
Partner(s)Ingmar Bergman (1965–1970)
Dragan Babić (two and a half years)
ChildrenLinn Ullmann (with Bergman)
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Liv Ullmann
Liv Ullmann 2014.jpg
BornLiv Johanne Ullmann
(1938-12-16) 16 December 1938 (age 75)
Tokyo, Japan
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S
OccupationActress and director
Years active1957–present
Spouse(s)Gappe Stang (1960–1965)
Donald Richard Saunders (1985–1995)
Partner(s)Ingmar Bergman (1965–1970)
Dragan Babić (two and a half years)
ChildrenLinn Ullmann (with Bergman)

Liv Johanne Ullmann (born 16 December 1938[3]) is a Norwegian actress and film director. Ullman is also one of the "muses" of the Swedish director Ingmar Bergman.[4][5] Nominated five times for a best actress Golden Globe Award, winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama during 1972 for the drama movie The Emigrants (1971), Ullmann has also been nominated for the Palme d'Or, twice for the Academy Award, and twice for a BAFTA Film Award.

Early life[edit]

Ullmann was born in Tokyo, Japan, the daughter of Erik Viggo Ullmann (1907–1945), a Norwegian aircraft engineer who was working in Tokyo at the time, and Janna Erbe (née Lund; 1910–1996), also Norwegian.[6] Her grandfather was sent to the Dachau concentration camp during the Second World War for helping Jewish people escape from the town where he lived in Norway; he died in the camp.[7] When she was two years old, the family relocated to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where her father worked at the Norwegian air force base on Toronto Island (in Lake Ontario) during World War II.[8] The family moved to New York, where four years later, her father died of a brain tumor, an event that affected her greatly.[8][9] Her mother worked as a bookseller while raising two daughters.[10] They eventually returned to Norway, settling in Trondheim.[11]


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, but became better known once she started to work with Swedish movie director Ingmar Bergman. She later acted, with acclaim, for 10 of his most-admired movies, including Persona (1966), The Passion of Anna (1969), Cries and Whispers (1972) and Autumn Sonata (1978), in which her co-actress, Ingrid Bergman, resumed her 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 1980 Brian De Palma, who directed Carrie, wanted Liv Ullmann to play the role as Kate Miller in the erotic crime thriller Dressed to Kill and offered her the role, but she declined because of the violence.[12] The role then went on to Angie Dickinson. In 1982 Ingmar Bergman wanted Ullmann to play the main role as Emelie Ekdahl in his last feature film, Fanny and Alexander, and wrote this role for her with this in mind.[13] But Ullmann felt this role was too sad and declined. Liv Ullmann later stated in interviews that turning down the role was one of the few things she really regrets.[13]

During 1984 she was chairperson of the jury at the 34th Berlin International Film Festival,[14] and during 2002 chaired the jury of 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.

In 2003 Ullmann reprised her role for Scenes from a Marriage in Saraband (2003), Bergman's final telemovie. This was her comeback as an actress since her last role on the screen, in the Swedish movie Zorn (1994).

In 2004 Ullmann revealed that she had gotten an offer in November 2003 to play in 3 episodes of the popular American show, Sex and the City.[15] Ullmann was amused by the offer and said that it was one of the few she actually regularly watched, but she turned down the offer.[16] Later that year Steven Soderbergh wrote a role specially for Liv Ullmann in the movie Ocean's 12 and offered her this role, but also this role was turned down by Ullmann.[17]

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.[18]

She published two autobiographies, Changing (1977) and Choices (1984).

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.[19]

Directing career[edit]

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

During 2006 Ullmann announced that she had been forced to end her longtime wish of making a movie based on A Doll's House. According to her statement, the Norwegian Film Fund was preventing her and writer Kjetil 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, Australia, 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.

In 2013 it was announced that Ullmann would direct a film adaptation of Miss Julie. The film, set to be released in 2014, stars Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton.[20] This movie was widely praised by the Norwegian press after its premiere in September 2014. The film got 5 of 6 points.[21]

Personal life[edit]

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

Ullmann has been married and divorced twice. Her first marriage was to Hans Jacob Stang, a Norwegian psychiatrist, whom she divorced during 1965. According to her biographer, Ketil Bjørnstad, the marriage was marred by infidelities on both sides. She had a long affair with her colleague, Ingmar Bergman, from 1965-70. One result of the affair was her only child, Linn Ullmann, born 9 August 1966.

During the 1980s, she married Boston real estate developer Donald Saunders, whom she divorced during 1995. The couple continued to live together until 2007.[22]

She is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador[23] 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.[24] IN 2006, she received a PhD honoris causa from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.[25]


As actress
1957Fjols til fjells
1959Ung Flukt
1962TonnyKariEntered into the 12th Berlin International Film Festival
1962Kort är sommaren
1963Onkel Vanja(TV)
1965De kalte ham Skarven
1965SmeltedigelenMary Warren(TV)
1966En hyggelig fyrMabel(TV)
1966PersonaElisabet Vogler
1968ShameEva RosenbergGuldbagge Award for Best Actress[26]
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
Hour of the WolfAlma BorgNational Board of Review Award for Best Actress (also for Shame)
1969The Passion of AnnaAnna Fromm
1970Cold SweatFabienne Martin
1971Emigrants, TheThe EmigrantsKristinaGolden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actress
1971Night Visitor, TheThe Night VisitorEster Jenks
1972The New LandKristinaNational Board of Review Award for Best Actress
1972Cries and WhispersMaria (and her mother)New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
1972Pope JoanPope Joan
1973Scenes from a MarriageMarianneDavid di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Actress
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
197340 CaratsAnn StanleyNominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1973Lost HorizonKatherine
1974Zandy's BrideHannah Lund
1974Abdication, TheThe AbdicationQueen Kristina
1975TrollflöjtenWoman in Audience(TV)
1976Face to FaceDr. Jenny IsakssonLos Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
National Board of Review Award for Best Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
1977Serpent's Egg, TheThe Serpent's EggManuela Rosenberg
1977Bridge Too Far, AA Bridge Too FarKate Ter Horst
1978Autumn SonataEvaDavid di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Actress
1979Fruen fra havetEllida Wangel(TV)
1980Richard's ThingsKate Morris
1983Jacobo Timerman: Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a NumberMrs. Jacobo Timerman(TV)
1984Farlig trekkMarina Fromm
1984The Wild DuckGina
1984Bay Boy, TheThe Bay BoyMrs. Campbell
1986Let's Hope It's a GirlElenaNominated—David di Donatello Award for Best Actress
1987Gaby: A True StorySari
1987Farewell MoscowIda NudelDavid di Donatello Award for Best Actress
1988The Girlfriend (also known as La amiga)MaríaSan Sebastián International Film Festival Award for Best Actress
1988A Time of IndifferenceMaria Grazia(TV)
1989Rose Garden, TheThe Rose GardenGabrieleNominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
1991MindwalkSonia Hoffman
1991Sadako and the Thousand Paper CranesNarrator(voice)
1992Long Shadow, TheThe Long ShadowKatherine
1991The OxMrs. Gustafsson
1994DrømspelTicket Seller
1994ZornEmma Zorn(TV)
2006Danish Poet, TheThe Danish PoetNarrator
2008I et speil, i en gåteGrandmother
2009Sinna mannMother(voice) (English Speaking Version)
2011Lang dags ferd mot nattMary Tyrone(TV)
2012Zwei Leben (Two Lives)Åse
2012Liv & Ingmar[27]
As director
1992SofieMontreal World Film Festival Special Grand Prize of the Jury
Montreal World Film Festival Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
Montreal World Film Festival Most Popular Film
1995Kristin Lavransdatter[28](from the novel by Sigrid Undset)
1996Private ConfessionsNominated—Chicago International Film Festival Gold Hugo
Screened at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival[29]
2000FaithlessAmanda Ecumenical Film Award
Goya Award for Best European Film
Nominated—Palme d'Or, 2000 Cannes Film Festival[30]
Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Director
2014Miss Julie


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Vårt Land - Liv Ullmann stoler på Gud
  2. ^ Vårt Land - Tror på tilgivelse.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Holden, Stephen (12 December 2013). "A Filmmaker’s Hold on His Muse". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  5. ^ Solway, Diane (October 2009). "Liv the Life". W Magazine. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  6. ^ "Liv Ullmann Biography (1939— )". Retrieved 15 August 2010. 
  7. ^ Hattenstone, Simon (3 February 2001). "A Lifelong Liaison". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Jones, Donald (10 May 1986). "Unravelling Little Norway's Big Secrets". Toronto Star. p. M03. 
  9. ^ Ouzounian, Richard (9 September 2014). "TIFF: Liv Ullmann spent ‘worst and best times of my life’ in Toronto". Toronto Star. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  10. ^ "The Bergman connection". The Telegraph. 12 February 2000. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  11. ^ Marcus, J.S. (17 September 2010). "Liv Ullmann's Return to the Stage". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ a b
  14. ^ "Berlinale: 1984 Juries". Berlin International Film Festival. Retrieved 21 November 2010. 
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ "30th Moscow International Film Festival (2008)". MIFF. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  19. ^ "Honoured to Share the Dais with Shabana Azmi, Liv Ullmann: Hassan". Mid Day. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ Scherer, Michael (5 March 2001). "Donald L. Saunders – Donald L. Saunders Campaign Donation Profile". Mother Jones. Retrieved 11 October 2012..
  23. ^ "Unicef People". UNICEF. 
  24. ^ [dead link] "People: Liv Ullmann, Sharon Stone, Seal". International Herald Tribune. 13 May 2005. 
  25. ^ [dead link] "Honorary Doctors". Norwegian University of Science and Technology. 
  26. ^ "Skammen (1968)". Swedish Film Institute. 2 March 2014. 
  27. ^
  28. ^ "Viewed by as much as two-thirds of the population, one of Norway's most domestically successful films ever – an important cultural event". 22 September 2003. Retrieved 15 August 2010. [dead link]
  29. ^ [dead link] "Festival de Cannes: Private Confessions". Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved 26 September 2009. 
  30. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Faithless". Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved 13 October 2009. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Arve Tellefsen
Recipient of the Arts Council Norway Honorary Award
Succeeded by
Sverre Fehn