Kjell Nilsson

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For the Swedish footballer, see Kjell Nilsson (footballer).

Kjell Nilsson (born 1949) is a Swedish olympic-class weight lifter and actor. His best known role is his 1981 portrayal of biker gang leader "The Humungus" in Mad Max 2.


Nilsson was a former olympic-class weight lifter who was born in Gothenburg, Sweden. He moved to Australia in 1980 to train Swedish athletes for the Moscow Olympics.[1] In Australia, he met actress Kate Ferguson, and they married in Sweden. She persuaded him to return to Australia and to look for work in the Australian film industry.

In the 1981 post-apocalyptic science fiction action film Mad Max 2 (also known as Mad Max: The Road Warrior), he played the main antagonist "Lord Humungus", the leader of a gang of marauders that besiege a settler compound in the Australian wastelands. He leads a rag-tag band of biker-berserkers, and he gives speeches to the settlers exhorting them to surrender, while utilizing psychological warfare. Time magazine reviewer stated that in Nilsson's portrayal, "malevolence courses through his huge pectorals, [and] pulses visibly under his bald, sutured scalp."[2]

A year later, he appeared in The Pirate Movie (1982), a musical and comedy film directed by Ken Annakin and starring Christopher Atkins and Kristy McNichol. In 1984, he had a role in the TV movie Man of Letters, and in 1987, he played the role of a male nurse in The Edge of Power.


  1. ^ "Kjell Nilsson (Humungus)". Mad Max Movies. 
  2. ^ Corliss, Richard (May 10, 1982). "Apocalypse... Pow!". Time. 

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