Toralv Maurstad

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Tordis and Toralv Maurstad in 1973

Toralv Maurstad (born 24 November 1926 in Bærum, Norway) is a prominent actor of Norwegian stage, screen and television. By many regarded as the leading Norwegian actor of his generation, he is the son of the highly regarded actor Alfred Maurstad and actress Tordis Maurstad, and half-brother of actress Mari Maurstad.

Maurstad graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London in 1949. Through the years he has not only worked as a leading actor but is also a respected stage director, and was the head of Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre) from 1967 to 1978 and most notably the head of Norway's National Theatre Nationaltheatret from 1978 to 1986. He is considered perhaps the greatest interpreter of Henrik Ibsen's Peer Gynt, having played the part numerous times (he even performed excerpts from the play as late as the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City).[citation needed]

His only American film appearance (so far) was starring in the 1970 box office and critical disaster Song of Norway, a film musical about the life of composer Edvard Grieg (his co-star was Florence Henderson). It was based on a successful, but now semi-forgotten, 1944 Broadway show.

A testament to his position in Norwegian theatre came when in the 1970s he co-starred with Liv Ullmann in a critically acclaimed Broadway-staging of Ibsen's A Doll's House in New York.

In 1974 the King of Norway made him a Knight, First Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav and in March 2007, Maurstad was appointed a Commander of the Order of St. Olav.

Personal life[edit]

Maurstad married fellow actor Beate Eriksen on New Year's Eve 1999, when she was 39 and he was 73.[1] In 2001, Eriksen's application for adopting a child was rejected because Maurstad was considered to be too old. According to Norwegian rules, people who intend to adopt a child should be between 25 and 45, and Maurstad was 74.[2]


  1. ^ "Andre par ut" (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. 2000-01-24. Retrieved 2009-08-17. 
  2. ^ Grøntoft, Kristin (2001-06-12). "Får ikke adoptere: Toralv er for gammel" (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. Retrieved 2009-08-17. 
Cultural offices
Preceded by
Arild Brinchmann
Director of the National Theatre
Succeeded by
Kjetil Bang-Hansen