|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (February 2013)|
13 February 1941 |
|Occupation||Actor, film director, film producer, writer|
|Spouse(s)||Lise Svenson (1966–present)|
Svenson was born in Sweden, to Lola Iris Viola (née Johansson), a big band leader, actress, and singer, and Birger Ragnar Svenson, a personal driver, athlete, and bodyguard for the King of Sweden. He emigrated to the United States and then, when he was 17, joined the United States Marine Corps, serving until his honorable discharge six years later. His first state of residence in the United States was Georgia, where he became familiar with the rural Southern accent he later employed in some of his roles.
He also holds a fourth degree (Yondan) black belt in judo. He earned his first degree (Shodan) belt at Kodokan in Japan, the home dojo of Judo, while stationed in Japan in 1961 as a Marine. He was the 1961 Far East Judo Champion in the Heavyweight Division.
An award-winning actor, writer, producer and director, Bo Svenson has during his career worked with over one hundred Academy Award winners and/or nominees.
He is a prolific writer in addition to being an accomplished actor. His first novel, "For Love and Country", was published in December 2015 and is on Amazon's "Recommended Reading" list. His screenplay "Don't Call Me Sir!" won the 2015 New York Screenplay Contest's "Park Avenue Prize for Drama", 1st Place in Drama at the 2015 Los Angeles Screenplay Contest, Best Original Screenplay at the 2016 All Sports Los Angeles Film Festival, Best Screenplay at the 2016 Artemis Film Festival, and a Gold Award for Best Screenplay at the 2016 International Independent Film Festival. Another screenplay "For Love and Country" won two Gold Awards at the International Independent Film Awards and Best Screenplay at the 2016 Illinois Independent Film Festival.
He has several other screenplays in various stages of development and pre-production, including "Yakuzano"; "Misguided"; "Viking: The Red Cloth"; and "Fate, Two Kids and an ET".
Born in Sweden to a Russian Jewish mother and a Swedish father, Svenson emigrated by himself to the US as a teenager and began by serving his new country with six years in the U.S. Marines. After an honorable discharge, he was spotted in Miami by James Hammerstein Jr. and cast in a revival of "South Pacific". Curious to find out if acting was for him, he headed to New York where he landed the lead role as Yang Sun in Bertolt Brecht's play "The Good Woman of Szechuan" at The Circle In The Square Theater in Greenwich Village—and cast in a starring role in the CBS TV pilot The Freebooters.
Other starring roles followed, as well as a recurring role as Big Swede on "Here Come the Brides". His role as the Creature in the three-hour TV movie "Mary Shelley's Original Frankenstein" brought him great acclaim and led to a starring role in "Maurie" and the co-starring role with Robert Redford in "The Great Waldo Pepper".
Major starring roles followed: Sheriff Buford Pusser in "Walking Tall Part II", "Walking Tall Final Chapter" and the "Walking Tall" TV series; crazed football player Jo Bob in "North Dallas Forty"; heroic airline pilot Captain Campbell in "The Delta Force"; jealous bar-owner Roy Jennings in Clint Eastwood's "Heartbreak Ridge"; and cold-blooded killer Ivan in "Magnum, P.I."
In addition to recently being the Russian mob boss Vadim in "Icarus", he portrayed Reverend Harmony in Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill" and The Colonel in Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds". He was the only actor from the original "The Inglorious Bastards" cast included by Tarantino in his homage to that movie, one of his all-time favorites.
An accomplished athlete, he has competed in world championships, Olympic selections and/or international competition in judo, yachting, track, and ice hockey—and he drove NASCAR.
A black belt in judo, karate, and aikido, he has been inducted into the Martial Arts Masters Hall of Fame. He retired from judo competition after winning a silver in the 2009 USA Judo National Championships, a bronze in the IJF World Judo Masters Championships, and a gold in the 2013 USJA Winter Nationals.
He was recently Sports Commissioner at the Special Olympics World Games: 2015 LA—held at his alma mater UCLA where he had pursued a Ph.D. in metaphysics until his film career took over.
He is president and CEO of MagicQuest Entertainment, a California corporation engaged in international motion picture and television development, production, and branded advertainment since 1975. MagicQuest also provides consulting service to actors and writers.
A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscar.org) since 1985, he serves on the nominating committee for Best Foreign Language Film and is a juror on the Student Academy Award committee.
He was Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Motion Picture Group of America from 1984-2004.
His numerous honors and nominations include Lifetime Achievement Awards from Action On Film, the Movieville International Film Festival, and The Reel Cowboys Hall of Fame; the NAACP Image Award Nomination; the Academy of Science Fiction and Fantasy Golden Scroll Award; the Hollywood Women's Press Club Golden Apple; the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast for Inglourious Basterds; and the Italian Institute of Art Award of Merit.
His short film, "Made For Each Other"—that he wrote, produced and directed starring Dennis Hopper—was nominated for Best Short at numerous festivals and won the Award of Excellence at the Accolade Global Film Competition.
He conducts "Acting for Life - Be All You That You Can Be" seminars in colleges, universities and corporate boardrooms around the globe.
- Interview from The Quentin Tarantino Archives, tarantino.info; accessed 20 August 2015.
|1974||The Great Waldo Pepper||Axel Olsson|
|1975||Walking Tall, Part 2||Buford Pusser|
|1976||Breaking Point||Michael McBain|
|Special Delivery||Jack Murdock|
|1977||The Son of the Sheik||Hamilton Burger|
|Walking Tall: Final Chapter||Buford Pusser|
|1978||The Inglorious Bastards||Lt. Robert Yeager|
|1979||Portrait of a Hitman||Dr. Bob Michaels|
|North Dallas Forty||Jo Bob Priddy|
|1980||Sverige åt svenskarna||The lad|
|1982||Night Warning||Detective Joe Carlson|
|1983||Thunder||Sheriff Bill Cook|
|1984||Deadly Impact||George Ryan|
|1985||Wizards of the Lost Kingdom||Kor|
|1986||The Delta Force||Capt. Campbell|
|On Dangerous Ground||Capt. Oliver Parkside|
|Armour of God||Monk|
|Heartbreak Ridge||Roy Jennings, Palace Bar Owner|
|1987||Maniac Killer||Count Silvano|
|Movie in Action||The Director|
|Thunder Warrior II||Sheriff Roger|
|Double Target||Colonel Galckin|
|White Phantom||The Colonel|
|Brothers in Blood||Steven Elliott Logan/Steel|
|1988||Andy Colby's Incredible Adventure||Kor The Conqueror|
|Delta Force Commando||Col. Keitel|
|Deep Space||Capt. Robertson|
|1989||Soda Cracker||Ivan Moss|
|The Bite||The Sheriff|
|Beyond the Door III||Professor Andromolek|
|1990||Tides of War||SS Colonel|
|Steele's Law||Sheriff Barnes|
|1992||Three Days to a Kill||Rick|
|1995||Private Obsession||Sam Weston|
|Steel Frontier||Roy Ackett|
|1997||Speed 2: Cruise Control||Captain Pollard|
|2000||Crackerjack 3||Jack Thorn|
|Kill Bill: Volume 2||Reverend Harmony|
|2005||Hell to Pay||Del Shannon|
|2006||Raising Jeffrey Dahmer||Detective John Amos|
|2008||I Am Somebody: No Chance in Hell||Foreman Bo|
|2009||Inglourious Basterds||American Colonel|
|2010||Jersey Justice||W.W. Tolliver|
|The 7 Adventures of Sinbad||Simon Magnusson|
|2014||The Dependables||Mick Skinner|
|2015||Made for Each Other||Purse Snatcher|
|2015||Min søsters børn og guldgraverne||John|
|1965||Flipper||Harry Hobson||Episode: "Coral Fever"|
|1968||Premier||Milovan Drumm||Episode: "The Freebooters"|
|Mission Impossible||Karl||Episode: "The Mercenaries"|
|Here Comes the Brides||Big Swede||10 episodes|
|1969||Lancer||Josh||Episode: "The Wedding"|
|The Name of the Game||G.B. Mosbie||Episode: "Love-In at Ground Zero"|
|Daniel Boone||Haskins||Episode: "A Pinch of Salt"|
|The High Chaparral||Bennett||Episode: "Trail to Nevemore"|
|Ironside||Baron Lars Von Gyllenskjold||Episode: "Love My Enemy"|
|1970||The Virginian||Lonnie||Episode: "The Price of the Hanging"|
|Mod Squad||Bubba||Episode: "Welcome to the Human Race, Levi Frazee!"|
|1971||The Chicago Teddy Bears||Georgi||Episode: "Billy the Kid"|
|McCloud||Charles 'Bubba' White||Episode: "Top of the World, Ma"|
|1972||The Bravos||Raeder||TV movie|
|The Rookies||Bud Reeves||Episode: "The Commitment"|
|Banyon||Carlo||Episode: "Meal Ticket"|
|1973||The Wide World of Mystery||Monster||2 part episode: "Frankenstein"|
|You'll Never See Me Again||Sam||TV movie|
|Kung Fu||Pike||Episode: "The Spirit-Helper"|
|1974||The Snoop Sisters||Chet Marion||Episode: "Fear Is a Free-Throw"|
|1975||Target Risk||Lee Driscoll||TV movie|
|1977||Snowbeast||Gar Seberg||TV movie|
|1979||Gold of the Amazon Women||Tom Jensen||TV movie|
|The Spirit of Adventure: Night Flight||Fabien||TV movie|
|1981||Walking Tall||Sheriff Buford Pusser||7 episodes|
|1982||Magnum, P.I.||Ivan||Episode: "Did You See the Sun Rise?"|
|1983||The Fall Guy||Col. Baker||2 episodes|
|1984||Jealousy||Ho Hutton||TV movie|
|Hunter||Sheriff Jake Cutter||Episode: "A Long Way from L.A."|
|1985||Crazy like a Fox||Episode: "Motor Homicide"|
|1987||The Dirty Dozen: The Deadly Mission||Maurice Fontenac||TV movie|
|1988||Murder, She Wrote||Karl Anderson||2 episodes|
|1993||Neon Rider||Maitland||Episode: "Walking Tall"|
|Street Justice||Captain Stryker||Episode: "Countdown"|
|The Commish||George Hayes||Episode: "Hero"|
|1994||Lonesome Dove: The Series||Colonel Jeb Quintano||Episode: "Last Stand"|
|Cobra||Frank McLory||Episode: "Death Dive"|
|Kung Fu: The Legend Continues||Ben Kinasay||Episode: "Only the Strong Survive"|
|1995||Pointman||Uncle Nick||Episode: "Going Home"|
|1997||Heartless||Sheriff Sam||TV movie|
|1998||Dead Man's Gun||Colonel Horace Buckthorn||Episode: "The Mimsers"|
|1998||Due South||Colonel Horace Buckthorn||2-part episode: "Call of the Wild"|
|2002||JAG||Capt. Mikhail Yerastov||2 episodes|
|2004||I'll Be Seeing You||Philip Carter||TV movie|
|Proof of the Man||Ken Shuftan||TV mini-series|
|2012||Arne Dahl: Bad Blood||Daniel Brink||TV movie|
|1996–1998||Kung Fu: The Legend Continues|
|1998||He's Not Heavy|
|2010||Moomins and the Comet Chase||Voices|
|2006||Raising Jeffrey Dahmer||Co-producer|
- Bo Svenson resume, imdb.com; accessed 20 August 2015.
- Bo Svenson profile, bosvenson.com; 26 February 2012.
- "JUDOKA AND WALKING TALL ACTOR BO SVENSON". judotalk.com. Retrieved 5 August 2014.