Paul O'Mahony · 27 Nov 2006, 11:07
Published: 27 Nov 2006 11:07 GMT+01:00
Who is she and why is she in the news?
Alice Timander is a 91-year-old former dentist. A film about her life, Alice och jag (Alice and me), has just been released in cinemas everywhere.
OK, I lied about that bit. It’s being shown by one arty cinema in Stockholm.
So she’s a former dentist. How utterly yawntastic!
Not just any old former dentist. She was Sweden’s first ever female graduate from dentistry college and at 21 the country’s youngest ever dentist.
Sorry, I nodded off for a second. What did you say?
I said that she is mainly famous for attending ridiculous numbers of theatre premieres. Nobody can quite remember how or when she first became well-known, but her flamboyant outfits and camp wigs have made her Sweden’s most celebrated first-nighter.
Now we’re getting somewhere! Isn’t she a bit old to be swanning about in foyers?
Absolutely not. She has cut down a bit but still gets out to two premieres a week. Forever outrageously clad, the nation’s glamour queen is as fresh faced as ever.
At 91? You’re having a laugh. There wouldn’t be a bit of surgery going on behind the scenes?
Well, yes, there would. Twice. But still.
What else has she done apart from loitering in lobbies?
She once trained to be an actress but quit when it became clear she was no Garbo. She provided refuge to Danish and Norwegian resistance fighters during World War II. She proudly brought her Swedish dentistry skills to poverty stricken Morocco and Egypt. She sat on an angry crocodile in Florida. She survived the horrific Agadir earthquake of 1960, which claimed 12,000 lives.
Boring. Has she done anything genuinely unusual?
Well, she did join the Christian Democrats ahead of the 1998 general election.
Now that is odd. Why did she do that?
To help house the homeless. But it didn’t work and she left the party on election night, already disillusioned with politics after her very short career.
Any romances for Ms Timander?
Yes indeed. Her third husband passed away last year so she’s open for offers. Her second husband once told her that she looked like King Karl XII lying in state. Remarkably, old Mr Timander’s name is the one she elected to keep.
Would I recognise her if I saw her?
Yes, 91 year old dentists in wigs and feather boas are as rare as hen’s teeth. You should be able to pick her out.