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Harriet Andersson

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Nationality  Swedish
Role  Actress
Name  Harriet Andersson

Years active  1949–2007
Occupation  Actress
Children  Petra Wejfeldt
Harriet Andersson

Born  14 February 1932 (age 83) (1932-02-14) Stockholm, Sweden
Partner(s)  Per Oscarsson (1951–1953)Ingmar Bergman (1953–1955)Gunnar Hellstrom (1956–1958)Jorn Donner (1960s)Borje Aberg (1970s)Ulf Tornberg (1970s)
Spouse  Bertil Wejfeldt (m. 1959–1962)
Parents  Harry Andersson, Agda Mattsson
Awards  Robert Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Movies  Summer with Monika, Cries and Whispers, Through a Glass Darkly, Dogville, Sawdust and Tinsel
Similar People  Ingmar Bergman, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Bjornstrand, Liv Ullmann

Program 4: Harriet Andersson - Stockholm Lifetime Achievement

Harriet Andersson (born 14 February 1932) is a Swedish actress, best known outside Sweden for being part of director Ingmar Bergman's stock company. She often played impulsive working class characters and quickly established a reputation on screen for her youthful, unpretentious, full-lipped sensuality. She disdains the use of makeup.


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Sussurri e grida ingmar bergman 1972 actress harriet andersson

Film Actress

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Harriet Andersson began her acting career as a 15-year-old student at Calle Flygare stage school. She joined director Ingmar Bergman for several stage productions at Malmö stadsteater 1953-56.

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In a 2008 interview with Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle, Andersson debunks a rumor that she was discovered by Bergman while working as an elevator operator: "In an elevator! Ha, that's a new one for me. No. I did operate an elevator, but that was when I was 14 1/2! Ingmar did not discover me. I was discovered in 1949 in theater school. Before "Monika," I had many small parts. Most of them were a little like Monika. I looked that way. I looked like a bad girl. But I wasn't a bad girl, really. I was a very nice little girl, until I found out what life was.

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Bergman wrote the title role in Summer with Monika (1953), specifically for Andersson. The film featured Andersson in a nude scene, one of the first in postwar European cinema. It was inspired by Hedy Lamarr's once notorious skinny-dipping scene in Ecstasy, twenty years earlier. Filmed in Sweden, the motion picture features a musical score by Les Baxter.

Although the romantic relationship with Bergman was brief, they continued to work together. Andersson appeared in several of his best known films, including Smiles of a Summer Night (1955), Through a Glass Darkly (1961), Cries and Whispers (1972), and Fanny and Alexander (1982).

In Through A Glass Darkly, in which Andersson appeared with Max von Sydow and Gunnar Björnstrand, she portrays a latent schizophrenic. The movie title is taken from a verse in First Corinthians (13:12) where Paul of Tarsus says, "For now we see through a glass darkly: But then face to face; Now I know in part; But then I shall know even as I am also known". The plot deals with the actions of four persons during a twenty-four-hour period in an old house a far distance out on the Swedish Archipelago. Some audiences were shocked by Andersson's vivid portrayal of the presence of God as represented in the dark world of a schizophrenic.

Like several other Bergman regulars, she has also had a career in English-language films including performances in Sidney Lumet's The Deadly Affair (1966) and more recently in Lars von Trier's Dogville (2003).

Her autobiography, a set of interviews with Jan Lumholdt, was published in 2006.


Andersson has won several acting awards, including the Swedish Guldbagge Award, the Norwegian Amanda and best actress awards on the Venice Film Festival (1964) and the 9th Moscow International Film Festival (1975). In 1968, Andersson received the Bodil Award for Best Actress for her role in the Henning Carlsen Danish comedy People Meet and Sweet Music Fills the Heart. Recently, Andersson won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Stockholm International Film Festival 2010.

Private life

Harriet Andersson was married to childhood friend Bertil Wejfeldt 1959-1963/4. She has a daughter, Petra Wejfeldt (b. 1960), whom Andersson named after her character in Smiles of a Summer Night. She lived with the Finnish director Jörn Donner for some years in the 1960s, and she appeared in Donner's film, To Love (1964).

Selected filmography

  • Summer with Monika (1953)
  • Sawdust and Tinsel (1953)
  • A Lesson in Love (1954)
  • Dreams (1955)
  • Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)
  • Last Pair Out (1956)
  • Through a Glass Darkly (1961)
  • A Sunday in September (1963)
  • To Love (1964)
  • Loving Couples (1964)
  • All These Women (1964)
  • Adventure Starts Here (1965)
  • Ormen (1966)
  • The Deadly Affair (1966)
  • People Meet and Sweet Music Fills the Heart (1967)
  • Rooftree (1967)
  • The Girls (1968)
  • Kampf um Rom I (1968)
  • Kampf um Rom II (1969)
  • Cries and Whispers (1972)
  • The White Wall (1975)
  • Fanny and Alexander (1982)
  • The Blessed Ones (1986)
  • Himmel og Helvede (1988)
  • Dogville (2003)
  • References

    Harriet Andersson Wikipedia