Posting about Norway and the Nordic countries; our culture, traditions and history, I seldom write about celebrities. This time I’ll make an exception and for an extraordinary Norwegian woman and film actor: Liv Ullman. Of course, as a gentleman, I never ask for a lady’s age, but I think its quite official since today she turns 70:

LivUllman2007Outside Scandinavia she has constantly been mistaken for a Swede despite being 100% Norwegian. The reason for this is probably because non-Scandinavians don’t realize how ordinary it is for Swedes and Norwegians to work across the borders in the film industry, and mainly because of her frequent collaboration with Swedish film-maker; Ingmar Bergman. One example of this mistake is even evident on the ‘Internet Movie Database’, where her nationality on the award page for the 2001 Cannes Film Festival (jury president) was listed as “Swedish.”

Liv Ullmann’s father was a Norwegian engineer who used to work abroad, so as a child she lived in Tokyo, Canada, New York and Oslo. In the mid-’50s she made her stage début and in 1957 made her film début. She really became successful, however, when she began to work for Swedish director Ingmar Bergman in such films as Persona (1966), Passion, En (1969) and Ansikte mot ansikte (Face to Face) (1976). She also had a successful film career away from Bergman; The Abdication (1974), Diagonale du fou, La (1984).

Among others; She was twice nominated for Brodway’s Tony Awards: in 1975, as Best Actress (Dramatic) for a revival of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, and in 1977, as Best Actress (Play) for a revival of Eugene O’Neill’s Anna Christie. In the picture you see her receiving The Donostia Award in the San Sebastian International Film Festival in 2007.

Revealed on a Norwegien talk-show November 2003 that the only TV shows she watches regularly are “Sex and the City” and “Everybody Loves Raymond”. And would you believe it: She was offered guest-starring role in the last episodes of the TV series “Sex and the City” that took place in Paris, France. At first she was delighted at the idea since she and her husband were both fans of the show, but when she received the script for the episodes she felt she wasn’t right for the part, and backed out.

So therefore this exceptional celebrity post devoted to a lively woman (no wonder as her first-name means Life in Norwegian). Happy Birthday and many more to come!


  1. Thanks for giving me ideas for someone to catch up with when finals are over. I am going rent a few of her movies, now. I’d heard of her, but I just realized Id never seen any of her films. Thanks, Renny!

    Your welcome and I’m glad I could give you a hint – happy watching!

  2. I ♥ Liv Ullman. Thanks for the link. I learned a lot about her. I too hope she has a great birthday and many, many more as well.

    Have a terrific day. Big hug to you and Diane. :)

    I knew a woman like you would know Liv and are glad you even could learn some more about her. I know she has a great birthday as her party where all over the news here in Norway today.
    Wishing you the same and with big hugs back from both of us. :)

  3. She is one of The Greats! How wonderful of you to pay tribute to her on her 70th Birthday! I have always admired her Great Great Talent!
    A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LIV…..And thank you Renny for writing this post in her honour!

    As an expert, it was nice of you to say so Naomi – of course I would like to tribute.

  4. Happy Birthday to Liv and thanks for all the information on her life, Renny. I’ve heard of her but I don’t recall ever seeing any of her movies. I learned a lot about her from your blog post.

    Merry Christmas to you, Diane and your family, dear Renny!

    Much Love,

    Thanks Diane, I’m glad I could add some knowledge about this wonderful actor.
    Wishing you and your loved once the same!

  5. Oh we have always loved her. We have so many of the Bergman movies in our collection and of course Liv is in so many of them. I found her eyes, her face, so full of expression and emotion! Ah yes, Happy Birthday, Liv!

    Glad to know you are familiar with Liv too and I do agree in your description about her!

  6. And she is STILL a beautiful woman.

    She surly is!

  7. Interesting post about an very interesting lady! Maerry Christmas Renny and Diane! :)

    Glad I could wake your curiosity Olga :)
    Wishing you a wonderful Holiday Season too!

  8. Merry Christmas! (I don’t know how I spelled that SO WRONG! LOL!)

  9. Hard to believe Liv is 70!

    Yea, it really is!

  10. I have always like Liv Ullman and respected her talent over the years, so it’s lovely to read your tribute to her. But 70…where has the time gone?

    Good to know you have heard about her down under too and glad you liked my contribution.

  11. She doesn’t look 70 and she still looks beautiful! I love to watch her movies.

    I do agree and with a lot of good acting captured in great movies.

  12. Definitely doesn’t look 70! As Robyn said – where has time gone.

    Well said both of you – good to have the memories on film then.

  13. Oh my goodness, that doesn’t make me any younger either ! I remember her very well !

    You can count me in on that one too :)

  14. Hey Renny,
    As I started to read your post and you were saying that most people think that Liv Ullmann’s Swedish I thought that it was because of her work with Ingmar Bergman (I am a fan of his movies), but then…you explained it all :)!
    I always knew she was Norwegian, so I don’t know how she could be mistaken for a Swedish.

    Happy Birthday Live Ullmann!

    Renny, this was a delightful homage to this fantastic artist; congrats :D!

    Glad I could straighten this up then :)!
    Glad you liked my tribute too – thanks :D!

  15. I agree… She doesn’t look 70 and it’s great you are such a fan to celebrate her life also!

    Well, as an important part of Norwegian artist history, I thought it suites the theme of my blog :)

  16. Just wanted to let you know my Holiday House Guest has arrived!

    Happy holidays to you!

  17. Hola desde España!!Me gusta mucho leerte por que me hace sentir cerca de Noruega pais que me gusta mucho . Felices fiestas y que paseis unos dias entrañables con la familia y amigos. Un abrazo desde España

  18. She is wonderful! my father is one of her big fans :)

  19. Renny,
    what a surprise, this post is. For you to write I mean.

    First time I did see Liv Ullmann on stage was at The Nathional Theatre in Oslo in the very beginning of the 1960’ies:
    She played Jeanne d’Arc. A theatre perfomance I will never forget. With a power of empathy and brilliance she was really Jeanne d’Arc – true art..

  20. You can be darn-tootin’ proud of her, dear Renny. She is one magnificent woman!

  21. Oh, she is still alive…? I liked the movies with her!

    Sue’s Daily Photography

  22. She’s always been one of my favorites! Mahalo for catching me up on her life. Pssst…I linked to you on my latest blog. Christmas Cheers!

  23. Hard to believe that she’s 70 already, times flies! Yes, she has done brilliant work as an artist. Typical that people has mistaken her as Swedish. People always mix up our Scandinavian countries in a lot of matters.

    Sorry to hear about your back problems – I certainly know how difficult that is. I hope you and Dianna get some real xmas peace now :-)

    Hugs to both of you!

  24. Now, still I am a fan of my Scandinavian blogfriends I don’t think I can still make a such mistake in my futur! Norway and particulary Oslo begins very familiar for me! She is a fabulous actress!

  25. It has been a day of re-viewing and recollecting your work, the work of Sven Nykvist, and an extraordinary teacher, Ingmar Bergman, Bibi Andersson, and so many other addicting names and their work. But, yes! Do we care we’re a bit older? We have another decade to explore and, as you said, experience that Joy which must not be forsaken. I’m 67, of Swedish/Norwegian decent (my father was from Helsingborg), and I feel and look much younger. That’s one blessing: perhaps it’s the fish. I love your presence in the world: your image is often in my mind, for I remember lines from the films, lines you said–and others said, as well. We’re off on another adventure, aren’t we?

  26. I am 23 years old, Catholic, and came from an upper-middle-class family. I attended parochial school until eighth grade and came away with a whole set of ideas, visit this site.

  27. That was a good reading and informative. You obviously know your stuff!

  28. Thanks for this post and i will add you.

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