Widely hailed as one of the greatest artists in the history of the medium, Ingmar Bergman's haunted, poetic examinations of the mind's complex landscape both galvanized generations of serious filmmakers and moviegoers and infiltrated popular culture through a wide range of parodies, including the Oscar-nominated short De Duva (1968), the wicked SCTV pastiche Whispers of the Wolf, and Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey's (1991) goofball spin on the unforgettable image of a knight playing chess with Death in The Seventh Seal (1957). Born in Uppsala, Sweden, Bergman was the son of a strict Lutheran clergyman and his emotionally unpredictable wife. The Bergman children, two boys and a girl, were disciplined frequently and harshly, and the future filmmaker found refuge in his imagination; he later mined unhappy childhood memories in one of his most popular films, Fanny and Alexander (1982). Bergman entered the University of Stockholm in 1937, but was more interested in amateur theater than studying, and soon dropped out. He found a low-level job at the Royal Opera House and within a few years began making his mark in both theater and film. Bergman acted, ran a municipal theater company, directed plays, and wrote movie scripts, landing a job at Svensk Filmindustri in 1942. Bergman's first produced screenplay, Torment (1944), was directed by Alf Sjoeberg and won the Palme D'Or at the 1946 Cannes Film Festival. He made his own directing debut with Kris (1946) and graduated to writer-director with Prison (1949). Though stereotyped as the master of gloom, torment and psychosis, it was a comedy that helped establish his international reputation. Smiles of a Summer Night (1955), which inspired the Stephen Sondheim musical A Little Night Music, kicked off a string of films that enthralled critics as well as lovers of art movies. The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries and The Magician (1958) followed in rapid succession; the next two decades produced Persona (1966), Hour of the Wolf (1968), Cries and Whispers (1972), The Magic Flute (1975) and many others. Though he announced his retirement from filmmaking in the mid-1980s, Bergman continued to work until shortly before his death. His last film, Saraband (2003), was a sequel to the lacerating 1973 Scenes from a Marriage. Bergman's frequent collaborators included cinematographer Sven Nykvist and actors Max von Sydow, Ingrid Thulin, Bibi Andersson, Erland Josephson and Liv Ullmann; Bergman and Ullman also had a long-term relationship that produced a child, novelist Linn Ullmann. Bergman was also married five times and two of his children, Daniel and Eva, are directors; his daughter Anna and son Mats became actors.

Fast Facts

  • Made his feature debut in 1946 with Frenzy, an adaptation of the Leck Fischer play Crisis.
  • Came to international prominence with the acclaimed The Seventh Seal (1957), a bleak meditation on death and the existence of God.
  • Secured Best Foreign Film Oscars for Sweden with the dark dramas The Virgin Spring (1960) and Fanny and Alexander (1983).
  • Released his personal memoir, The Magic Lantern, in 1987, which was followed by the more career-focused Images: My Life In Film in 1994.
  • Collaborated with his film director son, Daniel, on Sunday's Children (1992), for which Ingmar penned the autobiographical screenplay.


  • 1983, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Foreign Language Film: Nominee
  • 0, — :
  • 1959, Oscar — Best Writing (Original Screenplay): Nominee
  • 1978, Oscar — Best Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen): Nominee
  • 1973, Oscar — Best Motion Picture of the Year: Nominee
  • 1973, Oscar — Best Achievement in Directing: Nominee
  • 1970, Oscar — Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award: Winner
  • 1976, Oscar — Best Achievement in Directing: Nominee
  • 1984, Golden Globe — Best Director - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 0, — :
  • 1983, Oscar — Best Achievement in Directing: Nominee
  • 1962, Oscar — Best Writing (Original Screenplay): Nominee
  • 1973, Oscar — Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Nominee
  • 1983, Oscar — Best Writing (Original Screenplay): Nominee
  • 0, — :
  • 1959, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Film and British Film: Nominee
  • 0, — :


  • Bibi Andersson — Ex-significant Other
  • Daniel Bergman — Son
  • Maria von Rosen — Daughter
  • Margareta Bergman — Sister
  • Ingmar Bergman — Son
  • Karin Åkerblom — Mother
  • Else Fisher — Ex-wife
  • Lena Bergman — Daughter
  • Kabi Laretei — Ex-wife
  • Dag Bergman — Brother
  • Eva Bergman — Daughter
  • Mats Bergman — Son
  • Ingrid von Rosen — Wife (deceased)
  • Gun Grut — Ex-wife
  • Anna Bergman — Daughter
  • Harriet Andersson — Ex-significant Other
  • Liv Ullmann — Ex-significant Other
  • Erik Bergman — Father
  • Ellen Lundström — Ex-wife
  • Linn Ullmann — Daughter
  • Jan Bergman — Son


  • Attended Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden


  • Birth Name: Ernst Ingmar Bergman
  • Birth Place: Uppsala, Sweden
  • Birthday: July 14, 1918, Cancer
  • Died: July 30, 2007
  • Profession: Director, Screenwriter, Producer, Actor
  • User Rating:4.94 out of 5 (34 ratings)
  • Your Rating:

Trending TonightSee all »