Sven Wollter

Sven Justus Fredrik Wollter (11 January 1934 – 10 November 2020) was a Swedish actor, writer, and political activist.[2] Wollter is one of the most renowned Swedish actors, he was awarded Best Swedish actor twice. In his native country, he became widely known through his role as Madame Flod's son Gusten in Swedish Television's adaption of The People of Hemsö by August Strindberg in 1966. Later he had several notable roles, including in 1976 when he played Detective Sergeant Lennart Kollberg in Bo Widerberg's film The Man on the Roof. For international viewers, he is best known for his role Victor in the dramatic film The Sacrifice by Andrei Tarkovsky, and for a wider television audience as the retired Detective Chief Inspector Van Veeteren in the cinematic adaptations of Håkan Nesser's police novels.

Sven Wollter
Sven Wollter.jpg
Sven Wollter in 2014.
Sven Justus Fredrik Wollter

(1934-01-11)11 January 1934
Gothenburg, Sweden
Died10 November 2020(2020-11-10) (aged 86)
Luleå, Sweden
Years active1966–2020
Spouse(s)Maja-Brita Mossberg
(m. 1956⁠–⁠1958)

Annie Jenhoff
(m. 1960⁠–⁠1967)

Lisa Wede
(m. after 2003)
Partner(s)Evabritt Strandberg (engage 1966–1970)[1]
Viveka Seldahl
(1971–2001; her death)
Maria Lindgren
ChildrenYlva (with Jenhoff)
Stina (with Jenhoff)
Lina (with Strandberg)
Karl (with Seldahl)
Magnus (with Lindgren)
RelativesKarl-Anders Wollter (brother)
Christopher Wollter (grandnephew)


Sven Wollter was born in Gothenburg, Sweden. He was the son of editor Kjell Wollter (1884–1950) and Elsa, née Ekwall (1905–1980).[3] After studying at Gothenburg City Theatre's student school 1953–1957, Wollter worked at a number of smaller Swedish theaters such as the Pionjärteatern 1954-1958 and the Bygdeteatern 1959. He was later employed at The Riksteatern 1960–1961, The Norrköping City Theatre 1961–1963, The Vasateatern 1964–1966 and The Swedish Television Theatre 1966–1967. He then returned to The Gothenburg City Theater where he performed 1967–1983, then at the Folkteatern i Gävleborg 1983–1986 followed by The Stockholm City Theatre as of 1986.[4]

Wollter starred in many films such as Andrei Tarkovsky's The Sacrifice (1986), Bo Widerberg's The Man on the Roof (1976) and The Man from Majorca (1984), Colin Nutley's House of Angels (1992), and Bille August's Jerusalem (1996), based on the novel by Selma Lagerlöf.[5][6] For his roles in The Man from Majorca and Sista leken he won the award for Best Actor at the 20th Guldbagge Awards.[7]

He appeared in television series such as The People of Hemsö (1966), based on the 1887 novel of the same name by August Strindberg, and Raskens (1976), based on the 1927 novel of the same name by Vilhelm Moberg, which helped launch Wollter's career.[5] In later years he has played Van Veeteren in Håkan Nesser's thriller series.[5] He has also been in many plays.[8] Wollter has starred in Hollywood productions such as John McTiernan's The 13th Warrior (1999), in which he played a Viking chief.[8][5]

Political activismEdit

Wollter as King Lear on 8 January 2014 at his final stage performance, at The Stockholm City Theatre, From left: Mats Qviström [sv], Sten Ljunggren, Sven Wolter, Liv Mjönes, and Andreas Kundler
Wollter with progressive activists after delivering a speech "What does Communism want?" in 2013 at the People's Palace in Umeå

Wollter was active in the Swedish communist movement since his youth and was a longtime member of the fringe Swedish Communist Party (formerly KPML(r)).[9] His activities included the theatre ensemble Fria Proteatern and the successful Tältprojektet, The Tent Project, a musical theatre performance based on the history of the Swedish working class that toured the country the summer of 1977.[10] In 2018, he received the controversial Lenin Award of 100,000 Swedish krona (about 10,000 euro], a cultural award named after Vladimir Lenin.[11][12]

Personal lifeEdit

Wollter had five children; Ylva (1962–1992) and Stina Wollter (born 1964) together with Annie Jenhoff, Lina Wollter together with Evabritt Strandberg, Karl Seldahl (born 1975) together with Viveka Seldahl and the youngest child Magnus.[13] From 2003 until his death he was married to Lisa Wede.[14]


Wollter died on 10 November 2020 in Luleå, Sweden, from complications caused by COVID-19 which he had been infected by during a visit to Stockholm.[15][16] Prior to contracting the coronavirus, Wollter was diagnosed with COPD according to his daughter Stina Wollter.[17] He was 86 years old.[18]



  1. ^ Ericson, Uno; Engström, Klas, eds. (1993). Myggans nöjeslexikon: ett uppslagsverk om underhållning. 13, Rundr-Tall (in Swedish). Höganäs: Bra böcker. p. 185. ISBN 91-7752-271-0. SELIBR 7665091.
  2. ^ "Sven Wollter" (in Swedish). Swedish Film Institute. Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
  3. ^ Vem är det : Svensk biografisk handbok 1999, red. Elisabeth Gafvelin, P. A. Norstedt & Söners Förlag, Stockholm 1998 ISBN 91-1-300536-7 ISSN 0347-3341 p. 200
  4. ^ Wollter, Sven J F, skådespelare, Sthlm i Vem är det, Svensk biografisk handbok,1993, p. 1206.
  5. ^ a b c d "Folkkäre skådespelaren Sven Wollter är död – blev 86 år gammal". Expressen. Archived from the original on 10 November 2020. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  6. ^ "Sven Wollter om "Änglagård"-beslutet efter sambons död". Expressen. Archived from the original on 13 April 2016. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  7. ^ "Mannen från Mallorca (1984)". Swedish Film Institute. 9 March 2014. Archived from the original on 2 October 2016. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  8. ^ a b "Skådespelaren Sven Wollter är död | SVT Nyheter". Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  9. ^ "Ledare: Kommunistiskt våld gör inte mindre ont". Borås Tidning. 12 March 2018. Archived from the original on 1 June 2019. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  10. ^ Ångström, Anna (1 January 2017). "'Tältprojektet är det bästa jag har gjort!'". Archived from the original on 30 March 2017. Retrieved 10 November 2020 – via Svenska Dagbladet.
  11. ^ Nyheter, SVT. "Leninpriset 2018 till Wollter". SVT Nyheter (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 5 February 2018. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  12. ^ "Sven Wollter | Leninpriset". Archived from the original on 3 March 2020. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  13. ^ "Han är bättre morfar än farsa". Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
  14. ^ "Sven Wollter åter Van Veeteren". Archived from the original on 1 March 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  15. ^ "Actor Sven Wollter dead". Nord News. 10 November 2020. Archived from the original on 10 November 2020. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  16. ^ "Sven Wollter är död". Aftonbladet. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  17. ^ "Sven Wollter död i sviterna av covid-19". Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish). 10 November 2020. ISSN 1101-2412. Archived from the original on 10 November 2020. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  18. ^ Radio, Sveriges. "Actor Sven Wollter dies from Covid-19 complications". Sveriges Radio.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf "Sven Wollter – SFdb". Retrieved 10 November 2020.

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