Introducing…Alice Timander

Our regular look into the world of Swedish celebrity this week looks at celebrity dentist and Premiere Queen Alice Timander.

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.


Is Elijah Wood in Sundsvall and what is he doing there?

It is not that Sundsvall is not a nice town. It is just that it is not normally the place where Hollywood stars go for a night out. So rumours that Elijah Wood was visiting the town quickly went viral on Thursday.

Is Elijah Wood in Sundsvall and what is he doing there?
The main shopping street in Sundsvall. And Elijah Wood. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT & Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

The 35-year-old actor of Lord of the Rings fame was reportedly spotted visiting restaurant 'Tuppen' in the central Swedish town, which posted picture evidence on Facebook and Instagram late on Wednesday.

News of the unexpected celebrity visit quickly dominated local news headlines in Sweden, and was picked up by some of the national newspapers too, with growing excitement on social media. Several newspapers even asked readers to call them if they had any more information about the visit.

“Starstruck at Tuppen. Celebrity visit in the shape of Elijah Wood himself from the Lord of the Rings. Thanks for the visit!” wrote the restaurant.

Not everyone was convinced that it actually was the star, however, and some speculated that it could just be a lookalike or a clever PR trick by the restaurant itself to attract more visitors.

“I think it's fake. They had a customer who looked like him and wanted to joke,” wrote one person on their Facebook page. “Is it fake or is he looking for the ring in Sundsvall now?” wrote another.

Wood, who's currently starring in BBC America series Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, visited Stockholm last month to perform at the Södra Teatern venue with his friend Zach Cowie as DJ duo Wooden Wisdom. His film production company SpectreVision, of which he is a co-founder, helped produce Swedish 2013 science fiction movie LFO.

With a population of some 50,000 people, historic sawmill town Sundsvall is the third biggest town in Sweden's northern region Norrland and Sweden's 21st biggest town overall. It is home to one of the campuses of Mid-Sweden University as well as Sweden's first-ever international casino.

Sundsvall's nearby island Alnön was recently voted one of the most beautiful places in Sweden. Restaurant Tuppen is one of a number of restaurants in the town. It opened in May this year and aims to serve locally produced meat and fish.

The reason behind Wood's supposed visit to the town was not immediately known, but it would not be the first time an international celebrity has fallen in love with unexpected places in Sweden.

Last year US-Haitian rapper Wyclef Jean revealed that he wanted to move to Sandviken outside Gävle. British actor Hugh Grant recently bought a house in Torekov, southern Sweden. And rapper Kanye West paid a visit to the rural town of Älmhult to convince its Ikea headquarters to let him design furniture.