Harriet Andersson  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e



Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Harriet Andersson (born 14 February 1932, Stockholm) is a Swedish actress, known outside Sweden for being part of one of director Ingmar Bergman's stock company.

She often played impulsive working class characters and quickly established a reputation on screen for her youthful, unpretentious, full-lipped sensuality. She disdains the use of makeup.


Film Actress

Andersson met Bergman at Malmö stadsteater in the early 1950s, when she was working as an elevator attendant.

Bergman wrote the title role in Summer with Monika (1952), specifically for Andersson. The film was particularly notable for Andersson's nude scene, one of the first in postwar European cinema. It was inspired by Hedy Lamarr's once notorious skinny-dipping scene in Ecstasy, twenty years earlier. Filmed in Sweden, the motion picture features a musical score by Les Baxter.

Although the romantic relationship with Bergman was brief, they continued to work together. Andersson appeared in several of his best known films, including Smiles of a Summer Night (1955), Through a Glass Darkly (1961), Cries and Whispers (1972), and Fanny and Alexander (1982).

In Through A Glass Darkly, in which Andersson appeared with Max von Sydow and Gunnar Björnstrand, she portrays a latent schizophrenic. The movie title is taken from a verse in First Corinthians (13:12) where Paul of Tarsus says, "For now we see through a glass darkly: But then face to face; Now I know in part; But then I shall know even as I am also known." The plot deals with the actions of four persons during a twenty-four hour period in an old house a far distance out on the Swedish Archipelago. Some audiences were shocked by Andersson's vivid portrayal of the presence of God as represented in the dark world of a schizophrenic.

Like several other Bergman regulars, she has also had a career in English-language films including performances in Sidney Lumet's The Deadly Affair (1966) and more recently in Lars von Trier's Dogville (2003).


Andersson has won several acting awards, including the Swedish Guldbagge Award, the Norwegian Amanda and best actress awards on the Venice Film Festival (1964) and the Moscow International Film Festival (1975). In 1968, Andersson received the Bodil Award for Best Actress for her role in the Henning Carlsen Danish comedy People Meet and Sweet Music Fills the Heart. Recently, Andersson won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Stockholm International Film Festival 2010.

Private life

Harriet Andersson had an affair with the Finnish director Jörn Donner, and she appeared in Donner's 1961 film, To Love. She gave birth to a daughter in 1960, naming her Petra after her character in Smiles of a Summer Night.

Selected filmography

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Harriet Andersson" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools