Harriet Andersson, 1952
14 February 1932
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.
Andersson met Bergman at Malmö stadsteater in the early 1950s, when she was working as an elevator attendant.
Bergman wrote the title role in Summer with Monika (1952), 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).
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.
Harriet Andersson had an affair with the Finnish director Jörn Donner, and she appeared in Donner's film, To Love (1961). She gave birth to a daughter in 1960, naming her Petra after her character in Smiles of a Summer Night.
- Summer with Monika (1952)
- 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)
- To Love (1961)
- A Sunday in September (1963)
- 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)
- "Bergman Genius Seen In Neenah Art Film". Appleton Post-Crescent. December 1, 1965. p. D7.
- "Sweden's Monika". Charleston Gazette. November 27, 1955. p. 89.
- "Bergman Festival in Belmont". San Mateo County Times. November 10, 1965. p. 10.
- "Harriet Andersson: The Actress Asks The Questions". Winnipeg Free Press. May 1, 1962. p. 9.
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