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. 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."[1] Rumours have circulated that Nilsson's voice was dubbed, however this has been proven false.[citation needed]

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. ^ Apocalypse... Pow! - TIME