Bergman actress Bibi Andersson dies, aged 83

Sweden's Bibi Andersson holds out her Ibsen Centennial Award during a gala celebration in Oslo, on Jan 14, 2006.
Sweden's Bibi Andersson holds out her Ibsen Centennial Award during a gala celebration in Oslo, on Jan 14, 2006.PHOTO: AFP

STOCKHOLM (AFP) - Swedish actress Bibi Andersson, best known for her roles in legendary director Ingmar Bergman's films, died on Sunday (April 14) aged 83, her daughter Jenny Grede Dahlstrand told AFP.

Andersson is perhaps best known for starring in many of Bergman classics including The Seventh Seal (1957), Wild Strawberries (1957) and Persona (1966).

Andersson first started working with the director at the age of 15, when she was cast in several commercials for the Swedish soap brand "Bris", directed by Bergman.

She received several awards including the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin international film festival in 1963 for her role in Vilgot Sjoman's The Mistress (1962).

From early film credits in 1951, she continued working and starring in movies until 2009, when she suffered a stroke paralysing one side of her body.

Her daughter Grede Dahlstrand said Andersson had made a mark on many people's lives.

"She leaves behind a great hole of loss for every one of us who had the privilege of being near her," Grede Dahlstrand said.

Jan Holmberg, CEO of the Ingmar Bergman Foundation, told AFP that although Andersson came to be extensively linked to Bergman, she was very much an artist in her own right.

Andersson often played simple and sometimes poorly written characters, but she "would take those roles and make them something much greater," Holmberg said.

The media, and Bergman himself, often referred to people he worked with as "his" actors and actresses. Andersson's response was: "I'm my own."

"And that's exactly what she was," Holmberg said.