Per Oscarsson, who has died aged 83, was perhaps the only leading Swedish actor who never worked with Ingmar Bergman. This might have been by accident rather than design, although Oscarsson was known for his manic performances, whereas Bergman's men were usually placid. In other words, Oscarsson was more Klaus Kinski than Max Von Sydow.
Oscarsson's most memorable role was in Sult (Hunger, 1966) as Pontus, a bespectacled, penniless and starving young writer in Norway at the end of the 19th century. His complex, agonisingly convincing portrait of a man, ravaged by hunger, whose mind is on the verge of disintegration, split between moments of lucidity and despair, won Oscarsson the best actor award at Cannes and worldwide acclaim.
Hunger was the first all-Scandinavian co-production. Shot in Oslo, it was based on the famous psychological novel by the Norwegian author Knut Hamsun, with a