Born in Silbodal, Värmland County, Sweden, he was only a year old when his family moved to Brooklyn, New York where he remained until the death of his mother when he was seven years old. Returning to live with relatives in Stockholm, he was 17 years old when he began his acting career on stage as a member of a touring theater company. From this, he went on to become one of the most important forces in the development of the Swedish film industry.
Drawn from the stage to the fledgling motion picture industry, he made his first silent film in 1912 under the direction of Mauritz Stiller. Between then and 1923, he directed another forty-one films before accepting an offer from Louis B. Mayer to work in the United States. In Sweden, he acted in his own films as well as in those for others but in Hollywood, he devoted himself to directing. In 1924, using the Americanized name, Victor Seastrom, he made Name the Man, a dramatic film based on the Hall Caine novel. He went on to direct great stars of the day such as Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Lillian Gish and Norma Shearer in another eight films in America before his first talkie in 1930.
Uncomfortable with the modifications needed to direct talking films, Victor Sjöström returned to Sweden where he directed two more silent films before his final directing effort in 1937, an English language drama filmed in the United Kingdom titled Under the Red Robe. For the next fifteen years, Sjöström performed a variety of leading roles in more than a dozen films and worked as director of the Svensk Film Industri. At age 78 he gave his final acting performance, an acclaimed effort in the 1957 Ingmar Bergman film, Wild Strawberries.
Victor Sjöström passed away in Stockholm at the age of eighty and was interred there in the Norra begravningsplatsen.
Victor Sjostrom Facts
|Occupation||Actor, Director, Screenwriter|
|Birthday||September 20, 1879|
|Date of death||January 3, 1960 (age 80)|