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Liv Ullmann's Biography

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Liv Johanne Ullmann was born in Tokyo on 16 December 1939. Although born in Japan, Liv Ullmann is Norwegian and after studying at the Webber-Douglas school in London, she began her acting career with a company in Stavanger, Norway.

Ullmann's film debut was Fools in the Mountain in 1957.

Liv Ullmann was to have a long association with Swedish film director, Ingmar Bergman. She appeared in several Bergman films including Persona, (1966), Face to Face (1975) and Autumn Sonata (1978).

In his autobiography, The Magic Lantern, Bergman describes how he came across Liv Ullmann and cast her in Persona. Bergman was shown photographs of Bibi Andersson and another woman:

"I recognized the actress. She had been one of a Norwegian delegation who had previously visited Dramaten. She was considered very promising and had already played Shakespeare's Juliet and Goethe's Margareta. Her name was Liv Ullmann ..."

Liv Ullmann's relationship with Bergman was not just professional, and, in Magic Lantern, he describes a few reasons for making a home in Faro, including:

"During the filming of Persona Liv and I were overwhelmed by passion. With monumental lack of judgement, I built the house with the idea of a mutual existence on the island. I forgot to ask Liv what she thought...She stayed a few years. We fought our demons as best we could. Then she got the part of Kristina in The Emigrants. That took her far away. When she left, we knew."

Liv Ullmann had her debut on Broadway with Ibsen's A Doll's House in 1975.

In 1977, Liv Ullmann published her autobiography, Changing. She continued to appear in films and theatrical productions, but in the 1990s she started to direct more. Faithless which was scripted by Bergman, and directed by Ullman is critically acclaimed and described by David Thomson, in his New Biographical Dictionary of Film as 'a magnificent picture'.

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