Date of Birth: June 13, 1951
A native of Sweden, Stellan Skarsgård became a teen star in 1968 after playing the title role in the TV miniseries Bombi Bitt och jag.
From 1972-88, he was employed at The Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, where he starred in such productions as Vita rum (1988), August Strindberg's Ett drömspel (1986) and Mäster Olof (1988).
Skarsgård also appeared in films during this time, most notably in The Simple-Minded Murder (1982) by Hans Alfredson. The performance garnered the actor both a Guldbagge (Swedens Oscar) and a Silver Berlin Bear. He portrayed the Skagen-painter Sören Kröyer in Hip hip hurrah! (1987) and the Swedish ambassador Raoul Wallenberg in Good Evening Mr. Wallenberg (1990), both directed by Kjell Grede. In Code Name Coq Rouge (1989) and The Democratic Terrorist (1992), Skarsgård played Jan Guillou's Swedish superagent Carl Hamilton. He also played the lead in the Oscar nominated Oxen (1991) directed by the world-famous cinematographer Sven Nykvist.
Skarsgård made his foray into American film with The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988). His role as Captain Tupolev in The Hunt for Red October (1990) was supposed to be his biggest part in a Hollywood film, but unfortunately it was edited down. Instead, his breakthrough came with Lars von Trier's Breaking the Waves (1996) opposite newcomer Emily Watson. Skarsgård played Jan, a man disabled by an accident, who can no longer be intimate with his wife. He urges her to seek out other partners and to tell him the details.
Following Breaking the Waves, the actor landed several supporting roles in high profile American films such as Gus Van Sant's Good Will Hunting (1997), Steven Spielberg's Amistad (1997), John Frankenheimer's Ronin (1998) and Renny Harlin's, Deep Blue Sea (1999).
In 2000, he had the opportunity to work with von Trier again in the award-winning film Dancer in the Dark. Skarsgård can also be seen in several recent films like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), Melancholia (2011) and The Avengers (2012).
Skarsgård, who claims to be frequently mistaken for Liam Neeson, has six children with his first wife, My, a doctor, whom he divorced in 2007 after 32 years of marriage. He married again in January 2009 and his second wife, Megan, gave birth to his seventh child, a baby boy named Ossian, on April 26, 2009.