Liv Ullmann

Also known as: Liv Johanne Ullmann

Liv Johanne Ullmann (born December 16 1938 in Tokyo, Japan) is a Norwegian actress, writer and director.

Liv Ullmann is among the most famous actors in Norwegian history, with a successful stage career in Norway, Sweden, Europe, America and Australia, two Oscar nominations and more than 40 movies in many countries. She is also a highly profiled director of movies and theatre, and a brave debater of humanitarian, political and cultural issues.

In Norway Liv Ullmann has worked for the following theatres: Rogaland Theatre, The Norwegian Theatre, The National Theatre, Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre), Victoria Teater and The Norwegian Touring Theatre.


(Objekt ID 16146)
Object type Person
Also known as Liv Johanne Ullmann
Born December 16, 1938
Functions Author, Director, Actor
Nationality Norwegian
Gender Female

Liv Ullmann's parents were the engineer Erik Viggo Ullmann (1907–45) and the bookseller Janna Erbe Lund (1910–96).

She has been married to the doctor Hans Jakob "Jappe" Stang (from 1960 to 1969), a live-in partner 1965–70 of director and playwright Ingmar Bergman, and married to business man Donald Saunders, USA (1985-1995). The writer Linn Ullmann is her daughter with Ingmar Bergman.

Liv Ullmann is an officer of the French Order of Arts and Letters. She is an honourable citizen of the city of Trondheim, and an honourable member of The Norwegian Actors' Equity Association. She is a recipient of the Peer Gynt statuette (1973), the honourable Amanda (1992), the culture award of Anders Jahre called Anders Jahres kulturpris (1996), the honourable award of Arts Council Norway (1997) and the Aamot statuette (2000). She was appointed Knight, First Class of The Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olaf in 1977, got the Commander's Cross of the same order in 1994 and was named Commander with Star in 2005. She has honourable doctorates at several universities and has received a long number of international honours.

In Norwegian theatres she has acted in Ibsen's Peer Gynt, Brand, The Pretenders, A Doll's House, Rosmersholm and The Lady from the Sea; Undset's Kristin Lavransdatter, Brecht's Mother Courage; Shakespeare's Ophelia in Hamlet and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet and Eugene O'Neill's Mary Tyrone in Long Day's Journey into Night and Rosie in Moon for the Misbegotten, among other plays.

Her international stage roles include, among others, Eliza in Pygmalion (Sweden) and the main part of Richard Rogers musical I Remember Mama (Broadway), Nora in A Doll's House (Broadway) and Cocteau's monologue The Human Voice (Australia), and the title role of Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie (Broadway).

Ullmann made her movie debut in the Norwegian movie Fjols til fjells (literally: Fools in the Mountains) (1957). She has made her mark in Norwegian film through The Wayward Girl (1959), Tonny (1963) and An-Magritt (1969), among other movies. She became world famous for her efforts in Ingmar Bergman's movies and TV series, from Persona (1966), via Hour of the Wolf (1968), Shame (1968), The Passion of Anna (1969), Cries and Whispers (1972), Scenes from a Marriage (1973), Face to Face (1975) and The Serpent's Egg (1977), to Autumn Sonata (1978) and Saraband (2003). She has also made her mark in films by Jan Troell, The Emigrants (1971) and The New Land (1972).

For her film work she has been nominated to all important movie awards, and her awards include, among others, the Swedish Guldbagge Award (1969), the Italian award David di Donatello (1979, 1987), Golden Globe (1973), the American movie critics' award called NFSC (1969, 1971, 1973) and the New York movie critics' award called NYFCC (1973, 1974, 1977).

Among her directorial work can the following be mentioned; Sofie (1992), Kristin Lavransdatter (1995) and Faithless (2000) plus the TV series Private Confessions (1996), and the theatre production A Streetcar Named Desire with Cate Blanchett as Blanche (Sydney Theatre Company 2009).

Read more about the long career of Liv Ullmann (link in Norwegian only) at the Norwegian encyclopaedia Store norske leksikon.