Liv Ullmann

Norwegian actress and director

Liv Johanne Ullmann (born 16 December 1938[1]) is a Norwegian actress particularly associated with movies by Swedish director Ingmar Bergman.

Liv Ullmann

Life and career


Ullmann was born in Tokyo, Japan, to Norwegian parents. The family moved to Toronto when she was two. Her father was an engineer and after his death in 1946, Ullmann returned to Norway with her mother and older sister, where they settled in Trondheim.

After high school, she decided on an acting career. She applied and was turned down twice at the National Theater School in Oslo. She nonetheless persevered and after some studies at the Webber School of Acting in London, she eventually found work with a repertory theatre company in Stavenger. She also began appearing in bit parts in movies and on television.

She got her first major break when she met Swedish director Ingmar Bergman who offered her a role in his movie Persona (1966), opposite Bibi Anderson. She became his muse and lover and went on starring in several of his movies to considerable acclaim; Hour of the Wolf (1968), Shame (1968), The Passion of Anna (1969), Cries and Whispers (1972), Scenes of a Marriage (1973), Face to Face (1975), The Serpent's Egg (1977), Autumn Sonata (1978) and Saraband (2003).

She also appeared in Jan Troell's epic movie The Emigrants (1971) and its sequel The New Land (1972), which earned her an Academy Award nomination as best actress.

After her break up with Bergman in the early 1970s, she went to Hollywood and appeared in movies such as Pope Joan (1972), New Horizons (1973), Forty Carats (1973), The Abdication (1974), Zandy's Bride (1974), but failed to establish herself as the new Nordic star like Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman before her.

She published two autobiographies Changing (1977) and Choices (1984), in which she candidly discussed her life and career.

In the 1990s, she turned to directing with movies including Sofie (1992) and Kristin Lavransdotter (1995). She also worked as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF.

Miss Ullmann has a daughter Linn Ullmann (born in 1966) with Ingmar Bergman, and two grandchildren.


  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.

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