American Actors and Directors of Swedish Descent

by roobingustavsson | created - 08 Mar 2012 | updated - 20 Mar 2012 | Public

Actors and film makers with roots in two great countries. I would be grateful if you could find me some more to add.

/Thanks

1. Garrett Hedlund

Actor | Tron

Born in Roseau, Minnesota, Garrett John Hedlund is the son of Kristi Anne (Yanish) and Robert Martin Hedlund. He has two older siblings, Nathaniel and Amanda. His father is of Swedish descent and his mother is of German and Norwegian ancestry.

Garrett spent his early years growing up on a farm in a ...

-84, Swedish Surname

2. Kirsten Dunst

Actress | Spider-Man

Kirsten Caroline Dunst is an American actress, who also holds German citizenship. She was born on April 30, 1982 in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, to parents Inez (née Rupprecht), who owned an art gallery, and Klaus Dunst, a medical services executive. She has a younger brother named Christian Dunst, ...

-82

3. Hayden Christensen

Actor | Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

Hayden Christensen was born April 19, 1981 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. His parents, Alie and David Christensen, are in the communications business. He is of Danish (father) and Swedish and Italian (mother) descent. Hayden grew up in Markham, Ontario, with siblings Kaylen, Hejsa, and ...

-81, Maternal grandfather is of Swedish ancestry

4. Jake Gyllenhaal

Actor | Nightcrawler

Jacob Benjamin Gyllenhaal was born in Los Angeles, California, to producer/screenwriter Naomi Foner (née Achs) and director Stephen Gyllenhaal. He is the brother of actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, who played his sister in Donnie Darko (2001). His godmother is actress Jamie Lee Curtis. His mother is from...

-80, Great-grandfather of Swedish descent. Gyllenhaal is a Swedish but rarely common surname.

5. James Franco

Actor | 127 Hours

Known for his breakthrough starring role on Freaks and Geeks (1999), James Franco was born April 19, 1978 in Palo Alto, California, to Betsy Franco, a writer, artist, and actress, and Douglas Eugene "Doug" Franco, who ran a Silicon Valley business. His mother is Jewish and his father was of ...

-78, Paternal grandmother

6. Jon Heder

Actor | Napoleon Dynamite

Jon Heder was born on October 26, 1977 in Fort Collins, Colorado, USA as Jonathan Joseph Heder. He is an actor and producer, known for Napoleon Dynamite (2004), Blades of Glory (2007) and The Benchwarmers (2006). He has been married to Kirsten Heder since November 23, 2002. They have three children.

-77,

7. Maggie Gyllenhaal

Actress | Secretary

Academy Award-nominated actress Maggie Gyllenhaal was born on November 16, 1977, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City. Her parents, Naomi Foner (née Achs) and Stephen Gyllenhaal, are both filmmakers, and her brother is actor Jake Gyllenhaal. Her mother is from an Ashkenazi Jewish ...

-77, Great-grandfather of Swedish descent. Gyllenhaal is a Swedish but rarely common surname.

8. Mark Wahlberg

Producer | The Fighter

American actor Mark Wahlberg is one of a handful of respected entertainers who successfully made the transition from teen pop idol to acclaimed actor. A Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee for The Departed (2006) who went on to receive positive critical reviews for his performance in The Fighter (...

-71, Grandfather of Swedish descent. Wahlberg is a surname of Swedish origin

9. Matt Damon

Actor | Good Will Hunting

Matthew Paige Damon was born on October 8, 1970, in Boston, Massachusetts, to Kent Damon, a stockbroker, realtor and tax preparer, and Nancy Carlsson-Paige, an early childhood education professor at Lesley University. Matt has an older brother, Kyle, a sculptor. His father was of English and ...

-70, Is of partial Swedish ancestry

10. Uma Thurman

Actress | Kill Bill: Vol. 1

Uma Karuna Thurman was born in Boston, Massachusetts, into a highly unorthodox and Eurocentric family. She is the daughter of Nena Thurman (née Birgitte Caroline von Schlebrügge), a fashion model and socialite who now runs a mountain retreat, and of Robert Thurman (Robert Alexander Farrar Thurman),...

-70

11. Donnie Wahlberg

Actor | Saw II

Donald Edmond Wahlberg, Jr. was born August 17, 1969 in Dorchester Massachusetts, into a family of Swedish (from his paternal grandfather), Irish, and more distant French-Canadian, English, and Scottish, descent. He is the eighth of nine children of Alma Elaine (Donnelly), a nurse's aide and clerk,...

-69, Grandfather of Swedish descent. Wahlberg is a surname of Swedish origin

12. Kristy Swanson

Actress | Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Kristy Swanson was born on December 19, 1969 in Mission Viejo, California, USA as Kristen Noel Swanson. She is an actress and producer, known for Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) and Flowers in the Attic (1987). She has been married to Lloyd Eisler since February 7, ...

-69, Swanson originates from Svensson which is one of the most common surnames in Sweden

13. Shannon Lee

Actress | Blade

Shannon Lee was born on April 19, 1969 in Los Angeles County, California, USA as Shannon Emery Lee. She is a producer and actress, known for Blade (1998), Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993) and High Voltage (1998). She has been married to Ian Keasler since August 1994. They have one child.

-69, Daughter of Bruce Lee (Her mother, Linda Lee Cadwell, is of part Swedish descent)

14. Julia Roberts

Actress | Pretty Woman

Julia Fiona Roberts never dreamed she would become the most popular actress in America. She was born in Smyrna, Georgia, to Betty Lou (Bredemus) and Walter Grady Roberts, one-time actors and playwrights, and is of English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, German, and Swedish descent. As a child, due to her ...

-67, Maternal great grandmother is from Sweden

15. Andy Richter

Actor | Madagascar

Andy Richter was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the second of four children of Glenda (Palmer), a kitchen cabinet designer, and Laurence R. Richter, who taught Russian at Indiana University. He was raised in Yorkville, Illinois. His parents divorced when he was four. Richter attended the ...

-66

16. Brandon Lee

Actor | The Crow

Born on February 1, 1965 to Bruce Lee (Martial Arts idol) and Linda Lee Cadwell. Brother to Shannon Lee. In 1970-71, they moved to Hong Kong where Brandon became fluent in Cantonese by the age of 8. He attended Boston's Art-Oriented Emerson College in Massachusetts. He studied Martial Arts and ...

-65, Son of Bruce Lee (His mother, Linda Lee Cadwell, is of part Swedish descent)

17. Mary-Louise Parker

Actress | Weeds

Southern-bred Mary-Louise Parker was born on August 2, 1964 in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, the youngest of four children of Judge John Morgan Parker, and the former Caroline Louise Morell. She is of mostly Swedish, English, and Scottish descent. Her father's occupation took the family both around...

-64

18. Edie Falco

Actress | The Sopranos

Edith Falco, called Edie, was born on July 5, 1963 in Brooklyn, New York, to Judith Anderson, an actress, and Frank Falco, a jazz drummer. She is of Italian (father) and Swedish, English, and Cornish (mother) descent. Edie grew up on Long Island and attended SUNY Purchase, where she was trained in ...

-63

19. Steven Soderbergh

Director | Sex, Lies, and Videotape

Steven Andrew Soderbergh was born on January 14, 1963 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, the second of six children of Mary Ann (Bernard) and Peter Soderbergh. His father was of Swedish and Irish descent, and his mother was of Italian ancestry. While he was still at a very young age, his family moved to ...

-63 Soderbergh comes from Söderberg which is a common Swedish surname

20. Val Kilmer

Actor | Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Val Kilmer was born in Los Angeles, California, to Gladys Swanette (Ekstadt) and Eugene Dorris Kilmer, who was a real estate developer and aerospace equipment distributor. His mother, born in Indiana, was from a Swedish family, and his father was from Texas. Val studied at Hollywood's ...

-59

21. Michelle Pfeiffer

Actress | Hairspray

Michelle Pfeiffer was born in Santa Ana, California, to Donna Jean (Taverna) and Richard Pfeiffer, a heating and air-conditioning contractor. She has an older brother and two younger sisters - Dedee Pfeiffer and Lori Pfeiffer, who both dabbled in acting and modeling but decided against making it ...

-58, Maternal grandmother was Swedish

22. Melanie Griffith

Actress | Working Girl

Melanie Griffith was born on August 9, 1957 in New York City, to then model/future actress Tippi Hedren and former child actor turned advertising executive Peter Griffith. Her parents' marriage ended when she was four years old and Tippi brought Melanie to Los Angeles to get a new start. Tippi ...

-57, Her maternal great grandparents were immigrants from Sweden

23. Stephen Gyllenhaal

Director | CBS Afternoon Playhouse

Stephen Gyllenhaal was born on October 4, 1949 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA as Stephen Roark Gyllenhaal. He is a director and writer, known for CBS Afternoon Playhouse (1978), Paris Trout (1991) and A Dangerous Woman (1993). He has been married to Kathleen Man since July 23, 2011. He was previously ...

-49, Grandfather of Swedish descent. Gyllenhaal is a Swedish but rarely common surname.

24. Caroline Lagerfelt

Actress | The Blacklist

Though known to millions as Celia "CeCe" Rhodes on Gossip Girl (2007) and for her extensive film and TV credits, Caroline Lagerfelt has established a distinguished career in international theatre and Broadway. The recipient of Outer Critics Circle and Obie Awards, as well as a Drama Desk nomination...

-47, Swedish father

25. Robert Englund

Actor | A Nightmare on Elm Street

Veteran character actor Robert Englund was born in Glendale, California, to Janis (MacDonald) and John Kent Englund, an aeronautics engineer. Since 1973, Robert has appeared in over 75 feature films and starred in four TV series. He has starred alongside Oscar-winners Henry Fonda, Susan Sarandon ...

-47, Both his first and surname are common in Sweden.

26. Candice Bergen

Actress | Murphy Brown

One cool, eternally classy lady, Candice Bergen was elegantly poised for trendy "ice princess" stardom when she first arrived on the '60s screen, but she gradually reshaped that débutante image in the '70s, both on- and off-camera. A staunch, outspoken feminist with a decisive edge, she went on to ...

-46

27. Susan Lucci

Actress | All My Children

Susan Lucci was born on December 23, 1946, in Scarsdale, New York, to Jeanette (Granquist) and Victor Lucci, a building contractor. She is of Italian (father) and Swedish, German, and French (mother) descent. Susan grew up in Garden City. Since she can remember, she wanted to be a performer, and ...

-46, Mother of part Swedish descent

28. Kris Kristofferson

Actor | Blade

Kris Kristofferson was born in Brownsville, Texas, to Mary Ann (Ashbrook) and Lars Henry Kristofferson. His paternal grandparents were Swedish, and his father was a United States Air Force general who pushed his son to a military career. Kris was a Golden Gloves boxer and went to Pomona College in ...

-36 Kristofferson is a common surname in Sweden.

29. Tippi Hedren

Actress | The Birds

Tippi Hedren was born Nathalie Kay Hedren in New Ulm, Minnesota, to Dorothea Henrietta (Eckhardt) and Bernard Carl Hedren, who ran a general store. Her father was of Swedish descent and her mother was of German and Norwegian ancestry. Tippi was working as a New York fashion model when she married ...

-30

30. James Coburn

Actor | The Great Escape

Lanky, charismatic and versatile actor with an amazing grin that put everyone at ease, James Coburn studied acting at UCLA, and then moved to New York to study under noted acting coach Stella Adler. After being noticed in several stage productions, Coburn appeared in a handful of minor westerns ...

-28

31. Nancy Olson

Actress | Sunset Blvd.

She cast such a sunny, positive glow in 1950s and 1960s films that you wonder how her promising career might have turned out had it not taken a sudden family detour. Lovely Milwaukee-born Nancy (Ann) Olson was the daughter of Henry, a physician, and Evelyn Olson, and educated at the University of ...

-28 Olson is a commonly used surname in Sweden, spelled Olsson

32. Burr Tillstrom

Actor | Kukla, Fran and Ollie

Burr Tillstrom was born on October 13, 1917 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Franklin Burr Tillstrom. He is known for his work on Kukla, Fran and Ollie (1969), The Wizard of Oz (1950) and That Was the Week That Was (1964). He died on December 6, 1985 in Palm Springs, California, USA.

-17 Tillstrom originates from Swedish Tillström

33. Susan Hayward

Actress | I Want to Live!

Susan Hayward was born Edythe Marrener in Brooklyn, New York, on June 30, 1917. Her father was a transportation worker, and Susan lived a fairly comfortable life as a child, but the precocious little redhead had no idea of the life that awaited her. She attended public school in Brooklyn, where she...

-17, Her maternal grandparents were immigrants from Sweden

34. Van Johnson

Actor | Battleground

Van Johnson was the well-mannered nice guy on screen you wanted your daughter to marry. This fair, freckled and invariably friendly-looking MGM song-and-dance star of the 40s emerged a box office favorite (1944-1946) and second only to heartthrob Frank Sinatra during what gossipmonger Hedda Hopper ...

-16 Johnsson is a commonly used surname in Sweden.

35. Gloria Swanson

Actress | Sunset Blvd.

Gloria Swanson went to public schools in Chicago; Key West, Florida; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her film debut was as an extra in The Fable of Elvira and Farina and the Meal Ticket (1915). From the following year on, she had leading roles in pictures for Keystone, then a year with Triangle, and, in...

-1899, Was born Svensson which is one of the most common surnames in Sweden



Recently Viewed