A Brief Look at Swedish Actresses

In honor of Anita Björk (1923-2012), the famed Swedish actress who recently passed away, here is a list of ten other Swedish actresses who have made their mark in internationally recognized films and TV shows that I’ve seen (the titles listed). Admittedly, Ann-Margret is technically Swedish-American, but I included her anyway just because she’s so great in Ken Russell’s nutty rock opera Tommy.

Greta Garbo (1905-1990): Flesh and the Devil (1926), The Divine Woman (1928 [existing fragment]), The Mysterious Lady (1928), Wild Orchids (1929), Queen Christina (1933), Ninotchka (1939), Two-Faced Woman (1941)

Ingrid Bergman (1915-1982): Intermezzo: A Love Story (1939), Casablanca (1942), Spellbound (1945), Notorious (1946), Goodbye Again (1961), Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

Birgitta Valberg (b. 1916): The Virgin Spring (1960)

Mai Zetterling (1925-1994): Only Two Can Play (1962)

Ingrid Thulin (1926-2004): The Silence (1963)

Gunnel Lindblom (b. 1931): The Seventh Seal (1957), The Virgin Spring (1960), The Silence (1963)

Birgitta Pettersson (b. 1939): The Virgin Spring (1960)

Ann-Margret (b. 1941): Viva Las Vegas (1964), Tommy (1975), The Return of the Soldier (1982), Newsies (1992), “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” episode “Bedtime” (2010)

Lena Olin (b. 1955): “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” episode “Confidential” (2010)

Noomi Rapace (b. 1979): Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011), Prometheus (2012)


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