The Kennedy Center

Liv Ullmann


As an actress, she made her Norwegian stage debut as Anne in The Diary of Anne Frank, and has since played many of the great classical women’s roles in Oslo, Broadway, Australia, and London’s West End theatres.

Following several Norwegian film appearances, she became the first non-Swedish actress to work with director Ingmar Bergman, and earned international acclaim for her performances in films directed by Mr. Bergman and Jan Troll. She has received many international awards, including the Golden Globe with four wins, three National Society of Film Critics Awards, three New York Film Critics Circle Awards, and two Academy Award nominations for Best Actress.

As a theatre director, she has staged numerous productions in her native Norway and abroad.

Liv Ullmann is the author of two books. Both of them were translated into more than 26 languages, and established her as an international best-selling author. Her first book, Changing (1976), was a Book-of-the-Month selection, and Choices (1984) received France’s Officer of Arts and Letters award.
In 1977, she was made a Knight of The Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav, and in 2005 Ms. Ullmann was promoted to Commander with Star of The Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav.

As a film director and writer, Liv Ullmann’s first movie, Sofie (1993), was released worldwide. Two years later, her adaptation of Selma Lagerfeld’s Nobel Prize winning saga, Kristin Lavransdatter, became the most successful Norwegian film in more than 20 years. She then directed Ingmar Bergman’s screenplays for Private Confessions and Faithless (2000), which received international acclaim. She directed her adaptation of her last film, which sold worldwide in 2015, from August Strindberg’s Miss Julie.

Ms. Ullmann has accepted 18 Honorary Doctorates and was President of the Jury at Le Festival International du Film de Cannes in 2001. Alongside Peter Ustinov and Harry Belafonte for ten years, she was the first woman to serve as UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador.

Beyond her film and stage work, she considers her highest priority to be her avocation for human rights and the empowement of underprivileged people around the globe. For over 35 years she has been Vice President International of IRC (International Rescue Committee), the largest non-governmental refugee organization in the world.

Twenty years ago, she founded the Women’s Commission, whose primary mission is dealing with women’s issues in refugee or displaced circumstances. This, she feels, is her most important contribution to the world she lives in.