Edit
Gösta Ekman Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (23)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 28 December 1890Stockholm, Stockholms län, Sweden
Date of Death 12 January 1938Stockholm, Stockholms län, Sweden  (pneumonia and uremia)
Birth NameFrans Gösta Viktor Ekman

Mini Bio (1)

Generally spoken of as Swedish theater's most legendary stage actor, Gösta Ekman enjoyed a prolific stage career during his short life, becoming the first real star of Swedish theater. His boyish good looks attracted both sexes, helping to create a massive cult following and elevating him to the status of a living legend. Combined with a beautiful voice and a powerful stage presence, Ekman was able to captivate his audiences.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Måns Ekman

Spouse (1)

Greta Ekman (12 December 1914 - 12 January 1938) (his death) (2 children)

Trivia (23)

Grandfather of actor Gösta Ekman
Great grandfather of dancer/actress Sanna Ekman
Father of 2 sons, Hasse Ekman and Jan Mikael Ekman (born July 4, 1926 -died April 9, 1927), with Greta Ekman.
Became a cocaine addict after a visit to Berlin, Germany for the title role in Faust (1926). This abuse led to deteriorating health, and eventually his death.
As Swedish theatre's most legendary stage actor, Gösta Ekman enjoyed a prolific stage career during his short life, becoming the first real star of Swedish theatre.
The actor Gösta Ekman was regarded as a theater legend in Sweden of the 10's and 20's - a naming he already got to in his lifetime.
The height of his film career followed in the 20's and he impersonated impressive roles in many movies.
His son Hasse Ekman became a well-known actor, director and screenwriter for movies. Unfortunately he could not witness the birth of his grandson who was born the year after his death. Hasse Ekman baptized him Gösta Ekman in honor of his father. Today Gösta Ekman jr. belongs to the most successful Swedish actors. His other grandsons are also busy in the film business, Stefan Ekman as an actor and Mikael Ekman as a director.
During the shooting of "Faust" Gösta Ekman came in contact with cocaine when it was offered him as a helpful aid to cope with the work. He became addicted and the drugs affected his health and led eventually to his death at the age 47.
In the sound film era of the 30's he acted nearly exclusively in Sweden again.
Known as a self-taught master of disguise with theatre make-up and costumes, Gösta Ekman was equally convincing as a farmer's son, an 18th-century middle-aged aristocrat, or an 80-year old lunatic. Furthermore, he played in comedies, tragedies, dramas, and operettas. As a result, it was believed that he was capable of being convincing in all genres and as all types of characters. At different times, he also ran and supervised several private theaters in Stockholm, including the Oscarsteatern, the Vasateatern, and the Konserthusteatern. He was also head of the Gothenburg City Theatre in the 1930s. At the Vasateatern, which he ran from 1931 to 1935, he both directed and played the lead in several plays, while also producing a large number of productions. As a result, his time at the Vasateatern is considered to be the peak of his stage career.
His boyish good looks attracted both sexes, helping to create a massive cult following and elevating him to the status of a living legend. Combined with a beautiful voice and a powerful stage presence, Ekman was able to captivate his audiences.
Besides his activity as an actor he also directed the movie "En perfekt gentleman" (1927) and wrote some scripts.
In 1926 Gösta Ekman made his film debut in Germany and impersonated the title character in one of the most important German silent movies of the 20's. We are speaking about Murnau's"Faust" (1926) with Emil Jannings as Mephisto and Camilla Horn as Gretchen.
Gösta Ekman was presumed to be a workaholic and the bigger his successes were the bigger became the workload.
He made his stage debut in 1908 and belonged to the Swedish Theater of Stockholm from 1913 to 1925.
His charisma and his stage presence brought him a huge following and let him become the first Swedish theater star.
His best on-screen credit is often said to be his King Charles XV/Leonard Pettersson in film comedy Kungen kommer (1936), where Ekman masterfully plays a double-role in the film.
Ekman also made a number of successful song recordings from his revue numbers.
Besides his activity on the stage he also directed the Oscar Theater and the Concert House Theater, and from 1931 to 1935 he led his own theater called Vasa-Theater.
Ekman also acted in two films that would gain international recognition: F. W. Murnau's silent film classic Faust, where he played the title character, and in the original 1936 version of Intermezzo, where he played a world famous violinist opposite Ingrid Bergman in her breakout role. But they had in fact already acted opposite each other in the Swedish 1935 movie Swedenhielms Family where they share a couple of wonderful scenes alone together as their characters have a heart-to-heart conversation on life and love; among the most memorable moments in the film.
In 1914, Gösta Ekman married Greta Sundström. Later, Greta gave birth to Hasse Ekman, who came to be one of Sweden's most successful film directors in the 1940s and 1950s. One of Hasse Ekman's movies, The Royal Rabble from 1945 about a famous acting family, was partly based on his own upbringing in an acting family.
Early on, Gösta Ekman was labeled as a workaholic, sacrificing himself for his art and for his love of the theatre. Later, as his fame increased, his workload also increased. During the day, he would rehearse and direct plays. In the evening, he played leading roles in stage plays. Later at night, he would film. This busy schedule left him with relatively little free time. Furthermore, the free time he did have was spent carrying out his duties as the administrative director of the theaters he ran.

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page