Rikard Wolff

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Rikard Wolff
Rikard Wolff 2013.jpg
Rikard Wolff in 2013
Born Jan Rikard Wolff
8 April 1958
Farsta, Sweden
Died 17 November 2017(2017-11-17) (aged 59)
Cause of death Pulmonary emphysema
Nationality Swedish
Occupation Actor, singer
Years active 1980–2017
Children 1 daughter

Jan Rikard Wolff (8 April 1958 – 17 November 2017) was a Swedish stage and screen actor and singer.[1] His career included both film roles in House of Angels and its two sequels and theatre roles such as in Waiting for Godot at Royal Dramatic Theatre, and A Chorus Line at The Göteborg Opera. He was made a Knight of the Legion of Honour for his work with French music. He had also been awarded a Grammis, and received the Swedish Academy's 2017 prize for theatre, as well as a royal medal for his service as an actor.

Life and career[edit]

Wolff grew up in Gubbängen in Farsta and moved to Karlstad at the age of ten.[2] He started to study acting at Skara skolscen in 1978 and then began his professional career in the theatre group Vågspel in Södertälje. From 1980 to 1982 he worked at Teater Aurora, where he played the lead role in Friedrich Schiller's play Don Carlos.[2] He toured with several successful song repertoires performing French chanson, with his inspirations Édith Piaf, Jacques Brel and Barbara.[3]

Between 1984 and 1987 he studied at the Swedish National Academy of Mime and Acting in Malmö, where he came into contact with and started a co-operation with director Rickard Günther, which led to a role in the play Mefisto.[4] During his study years he worked with Suzanne Osten in Affären Danton, and acted in Osten's directoral debut film, Lethal Film, in 1988.[5] His role as the poet Paul Andersson in the television series Apelsinmannen led to his big breakthrough in the Swedish public in 1990.[6]

He voiced Scar in the Swedish dub of The Lion King.[7] He also starred in the movie House of Angels, and its two sequels, among other films.[8] Wolff had also done various plays, such as Midsommarnatts Dröm (a Swedish version of A Midsummer Night's Dream), and solo acts such as Chanson Suicide and music tours.[9]

His albums included Pojken på månen and Du får mig (om jag får dig).[10]

He took part in Melodifestivalen 2013 with the song "En förlorad sommar", written by Tomas Andersson Wij, in a bid to represent Sweden during Eurovision Song Contest.[11] He performed the song on 9 February 2013 during semi-final 2 of the competition, placing seventh and not qualifying further.[11]

He had expanded his theatre career by acting in the play Waiting for Godot at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm in 1990, Hamlet at Östgötateatern in 1995, A Chorus Line in 2002 at The Göteborg Opera, Richard III at Riksteatern in 2006, and conferencier at Colin Nutleys Cabaret at Stockholm City Theatre.[12][2]

Throughout the years he wrote and performed his own songs and recorded several albums, and in 2001 he won a Grammis award for "Allra störst är kärleken".[13][14] Wolff took part in the opening ceremony for the Friends Arena in Stockholm, where he performed one of his best known songs, "Pojken på månen".[15]

His final work as an actor was playing Dr. Ruben in 24 episodes of the Sveriges Television's Christmas calendar titled Jakten på tidskristallen, to be shown in December 2017.[16]


In 2001 Wolff won a Grammis for Min allra största kärlek.[17] In 2011 he was awarded the royal medal Litteris et Artibus for his services as an actor.[18] In June 2013 French president François Hollande made him a Knight of the Legion of Honour for his dedication and work with French music.[19][20] In addition he was awarded several prizes and stipends, including the 2017 theatre prize of the Swedish Academy.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Wolff was openly homosexual.[21] He had one daughter with Stina Gardell, a Swedish producer and journalist, sister of the Swedish novelist, playwright, screenwriter and comedian Jonas Gardell[22] and of the religion scholar Mattias Gardell.


Wolff suffered from pulmonary emphysema since 1988 due to the genetic disease alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and died on 17 November 2017, aged 59.[23][24]



  • 1991: Recital[37]
  • 1995: Pojken på månen[37]
  • 1997: Stjärnklara nätter[37]
  • 2000: Min allra största kärlek[37]
  • 2001: Desemberbarn (with Norwegian Kari Bremnes)[37]
  • 2003: Du får mig om jag får dig[37]
  • 2004: Chanson suicide[37]
  • 2005: Allt du kan önska![37]
  • 2009: Tango[37]
  • 2013: Första lågan[37]


  1. ^ "Rikard Wolff" (in Swedish). Swedish Film Institute. Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c "Wolff själv om sitt liv". Värmlands Folkblad (in Swedish). 6 October 2011. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  3. ^ Nylander, Sara. "Rikard Wolff firar Édith Piaf – i sitt hem" (in Swedish). Sveriges Television. 
  4. ^ "Folkkäre skådespelaren och artisten Rikard Wolff är död". Sydsvenskan (in Swedish). 17 November 2017. 
  5. ^ "Affären Danton" (in Swedish). Unga Klara. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  6. ^ "Rikard Wolff – En folkkär artist växer fram". Sydsvenskan (in Swedish). 17 November 2017. 
  7. ^ "Ankan och hennes vänner önskar God Jul – P4 specialprogram" (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio. 
  8. ^ "Rikard Wolff om 'Änglagård'" (in Swedish). Moviezine. 
  9. ^ a b Ångström, Anna. "Rikard Wolff prisas av Akademien". Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish). 
  10. ^ "Rikard Wolff: Min kompis Lisa" (in Swedish). Vi Tidningen. 30 December 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "Rikard Wolff till Melodifestivalen". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). 
  12. ^ "'I väntan på Godot' genom åren". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). 26 March 2009. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  13. ^ "Min allra största kärlek" (in Swedish). LIBRIS. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  14. ^ "Rikard Wolff är död" (in Swedish). Sveriges Television. 
  15. ^ "Rikard Wolffs skräck – på Friends Arena" (in Swedish). Sveriges Television. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  16. ^ "Julkalendern med Rikard Wolff sänds som planerat". Dagens Nyheter. 17 November 2017. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  17. ^ "Kulturnytt i P4: Skådespelaren, författaren och artisten Rikard Wolff är död" (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio. 17 November 2017. 
  18. ^ "Kungen delade ut medaljer" (in Swedish). Swedish Royal House. 2011. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  19. ^ "Kulturnytt: Rikard Wolff får Hederslegionen" (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  20. ^ Ström, Christian (7 October 2013). "Nu är Wolff riddare: Jag ska sova med medaljen". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  21. ^ Hammarlund, Pontus (25 September 2005). "Wolff blev pappa i söndags". Aftonbladet. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  22. ^ "Rikard Wolff fick barn med Gardell". Expressen (in Swedish). 
  23. ^ "Wolffs död – alldeles för tidigt och så bedrövligt sorgligt". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). 17 November 2017. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  24. ^ "'Swedish icon' Rikard Wolff dies". Sveriges Radio. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Rikard Wolff". IMDb. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  26. ^ "Rikard Wolff har avlidit – mångsidigheten som signum" (in Swedish). na.se. Retrieved 18 November 2017. 
  27. ^ "Blankt vapen (1990)" (in Swedish). Svensk Filmdatabas. Retrieved 18 November 2017. 
  28. ^ "Den svarta cirkeln – Avsnitt 1 av 5" (in Swedish). oppetarkiv.se. Retrieved 18 November 2017. 
  29. ^ "Honungsvargar (1990)" (in Swedish). Svensk Filmdatabas. Retrieved 18 November 2017. 
  30. ^ "Rikard Wolffs roller svenska folket minns". Expressen (in Swedish). Retrieved 18 November 2017. 
  31. ^ "Skådespelaren Rikard Wolff är död". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 18 November 2017. 
  32. ^ "Zorn". IMDb. 19 August 1994. Retrieved 18 November 2017. 
  33. ^ "Vi kommer alltid att minnas Rikard Wolff". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 18 November 2017. 
  34. ^ "Rikard Wolff minns tillbaka på "Lejonkungen" och Scar" (in Swedish). Moviezine.se. Retrieved 18 November 2017. 
  35. ^ "Vägen till El Dorado – Svenska röster och credits". Dubbningshemsidan (in Swedish). Retrieved 18 November 2017. 
  36. ^ a b c d e f g h Uddemar, Sara (17 November 2017). "Rikard Wolff är död" (in Swedish). jp.se. Retrieved 18 November 2017. 
  37. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Diskografi för Rikard Wolff" (in Swedish). Kritiker.se. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Rikard Wolff at Wikimedia Commons