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STELLAN SKARSGÅRD (Bootstrap Bill) became a familiar figure to audiences around the world after playing opposite Emily Watson in Lars von Trier's "Breaking the Waves.” But Skarsgård's career stretches back more than 30 years, with numerous brilliant performances in a wide range of films, theater and television roles. As a teenager in his native Sweden, Skarsgård was the star of the 1968 TV series "Bombi Bitt och jag” and was a practiced TV, film and stage actor while still in his early 20s. With Hans Alfredson's "The Simple-Minded Murderer,” the Gothenburg-born Skarsgård's fame spread far beyond Scandinavia. His role as a naïf driven to violence by the cruelty of others won Skarsgård the Berlin Film Festival's Silver Bear Award.

Through more than 60 films since, Skarsgård has proven himself a remarkably versatile actor. In between starring as the Swedish superagent Carl Hamilton in Pelle Berglund's "Code Name Coq Rouge” and "The Democratic Terrorist,” Skarsgård played the title role in Kjell Grede's "Good Evening, Mr. Wallenberg,” the true story of the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Jews from Auschwitz. His other credits in notable Scandinavian films have included Alfredson's "P&B,” Bo Widerberg's "The Serpent's Way up the Naked Rock,” Kjell-Ake Andersson's "Friends,” Grede's "Hip Hip Hurrah!,” Carl Gustaf Nykvist's "The Women on the Roof,” Sven Nykvist's "The Ox” (Academy Award® nominee for Best Foreign Language Film), Ake Sandgren's "The Slingshot,”

Hans Petter Moland's "Zero Kelvin” and "Aberdeen” and Erik Skjoldvjaerg's "Insomnia.” Skarsgård's reputation began winning him roles in the United States and throughout the world, with key performances in such films as John McTiernan's "The Hunt for Red October,” Carroll Ballard's "Wind,” Peter Antonijivic's "Savior,” Udayan Prasad's "My Son the Fanatic,” Steven Spielberg's "Amistad,” Gus Van Sant's "Good Will Hunting,” John Frankenheimer's "Ronin,” Renny Harlin's "Deep Blue Sea,” Jonathan Nossiter's "Signs and Wonders,” Mike Figgis' "Time Code,” Istvan Szabo's "Taking Signs” and Matt Dillon's "City of Ghosts.” Following their collaboration on "Breaking the Waves,” which won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, Skarsgård once again starred for Lars von Trier in "Dogville.”

Most recently, Skarsgård has been seen in Jerry Bruckheimer's production of "King Arthur” opposite Clive Owen and Keira Knightley, as Father Merrin in Renny Harlin's "Exorcist: The Beginning” and in Sturla Gunnarsson's "Beowulf & Grendel,” filmed in Iceland. Concurrently with filming PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST, Skarsgård was also traveling to Spain to star in the title role of Milos Forman's "Goya's Ghosts” as the legendary Spanish artist Francisco Goya.

On television, Skarsgård has starred in Ingmar Bergman's "School for Wives,” Bo Widerberg's "The Wild Duck” and, in the U.S., "Noon Wine” for PBS, "The Harlan County War” for Showtime and "Helen of Troy” for the USA Network. He is also one of Sweden's most celebrated stage actors, having spent years at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm working with such directors as Ingmar Bergman, Alf Sjoberg and Per Verner-Carlsson.


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