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 (in the United States sometimes known as Victor Seastrom) (20 September 1879 – 3 January 1960) was a Swedishmarker actor, screenwriter, and film director.


Biography

Born in Silbodal, in the Värmlandmarker region of Swedenmarker, he was only a year old when his father, Olof Adolf Sjöström, moved the family to Brooklyn, New Yorkmarker. His mother died when he was seven years old in 1886. Sjöström returned to Sweden where he lived with relatives in Stockholm, beginning his acting career at 17 as a member of a touring theater company.

Drawn from the stage to the fledgling motion picture industry, he made his first film in 1912 under the direction of Mauritz Stiller. Between then and 1923, he directed another forty-one films in Sweden, some of which are now lost. Those surviving include The Sons of Ingmar (1919), Karin, Daughter of Ingmar (1920) and The Phantom Carriage (1921), all based on stories by the Nobel-prize winning novelist Selma Lagerlöf, confirm him as one the very greatest of silent film directors, who helped to create a unique idiom with qualities quite different from those of sound cinema. Many of his films from the period are marked by subtle character portrayal, fine storytelling and evocative settings in which the Swedish landscape often plays a key psychological role. The naturalistic quality of his films was enhanced by his (then revolutionary) preference for on-location filming, especially in rural and village settings.

In the 1920s he accepted an offer from Louis B. Mayer to work in the United Statesmarker. In Sweden, he had acted in his own films as well as in those for others but in Hollywoodmarker, he devoted himself solely to directing. In 1924, using an anglicised name, Victor Seastrom, he made Name the Man, a dramatic film based on the Hall Caine novel. He went on to direct great stars of the day such as Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Lillian Gish, Lon Chaney, and Norma Shearer in another eight films in America before his first talkie in 1930.

Uncomfortable with the modifications needed to direct talking films, Victor Sjöström returned to Sweden where he directed two more films before his final directing effort in 1937, an English language drama filmed in the United Kingdommarker Under the Red Robe. Over the following fifteen years, Sjöström returned to acting in the theatre, performed a variety of leading roles in more than a dozen films and worked as director of the Svensk Film Industri company. At age 78 he gave his final acting performance, probably his best remembered, as the elderly professor in Ingmar Bergman's film, Wild Strawberries (1957).

Victor Sjöström died in Stockholm at the age of eighty and was interred there in the Norra begravningsplatsenmarker (Northern cemetery).

Filmography

As director



As actor



External links




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