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SKARS-GUIDE: Who's who in Sweden's Skarsgård acting dynasty?

Becky Waterton
Becky Waterton - [email protected]
SKARS-GUIDE: Who's who in Sweden's Skarsgård acting dynasty?
Gustaf, Bill and Alexander Skarsgård at a film premiere. Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images via AFP

Alongside ABBA and IKEA, they're one of Sweden's most famous international exports: the Skarsgård family of (mostly) actors. Who are they, and what have you seen them in?


The Skarsgårds, one of Sweden's best-known acting families, consist of father Stellan and his first wife My's six children, as well as Stellan and second wife Megan's two children.

All of the men in the family are over 6 feet (180 cm) tall, and all the male members of the family made their acting debut before the age of ten.

Here's our Skars-guide.

Photos: Claudio Bresciani, Jessica Gow, Maja Suslin, Sören Stache, Henrik Montgomery, Björn Larsson Rosvall, Mats Andersson, Kajsa Rasmussen, Fredrik Sandberg/TT Graphic: The Local


Stellan Skarsgård (72)

Let's start with the patriarch of the Skarsgård family, Stellan Skarsgård. Stellan was born in 1951 in Gothenburg to Gudrun Skarsgård and Jan Skarsgård. 

His first big break was in the Swedish TV series Bombi Bitt och jag in 1968, after which he shot to fame as a teenage heartthrob. This success was followed by theatre roles in Helsingborg, Malmö, Uppsala and Stockholm. 

Stellan Skarsgård's first film role was in 1982, in the film Den enfaldige mördaren (The Simple-Minded Murderer).

In 1998 he made his international breakthrough with a small role in The Unbearable Lightness of Being, an American film directed by Philip Kaufman.

In recent years, his most well-known roles have been as Bootstrap Bill Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean, and as another Bill in the ABBA film Mamma Mia. He also features as astrophysicist Dr. Erik Selvig in a number of Marvel films.

He is particularly associated with Danish director Lars von Trier, featuring in von Trier films such as Melancholia (alongside son Alexander) Breaking the Waves and Nymphomaniac.

In 1975, he married My Skarsgård, a doctor, with whom he had six of his eight children: Alexander, Gustaf, Sam, Bill, Eija and Valter Skarsgård.

My and Stellan divorced in 2007, and he remarried in 2009, this time to producer Megan Everett, with whom he has two sons, Ossian and Kolbjörn.

Alexander Skarsgård (47)

The oldest and possibly most famous of the Skarsgård children is Alexander Skarsgård, born in 1976. 

Alexander's first Swedish role was in Åke och hans värld (Åke and his world) at the age of seven. He quit acting at 13, joined the Swedish military at 19 and served for 18 months, before returning to acting. His first international role was a minor role in US comedy Zoolander, although he is most well-known for his role as Eric Northman in vampire series True Blood, Amleth in The Northman and Perry Wright in Big Little Lies.

Alexander is extremely private and prefers to avoid the public eye outside of his films, but is linked to fellow Swede, actress Tuva Novotny, with whom he has one child.


Gustaf Skarsgård (43)

Gustaf, born in 1980, started acting at the age of six and attended Stockholm's Teaterhögskolan (The Swedish Academy of Mime and Acting) between 1998 and 2003, after which he joined Stockholm's Dramaten theatre.

Internationally, he is best known for films Evil, Kon-Tiki and The Way Back, as well as his role as Floki in TV series Vikings, and roles in HBO series Westworld and Netflix series Cursed.

He recently played Karl Oskar in the film Utvandrarna (The Emigrants), follwing the story of emigrants from Sweden to North America in the late 1800s.

Gustaf has a daughter with his partner, Caroline Sjöström.

Sam Skarsgård (41)

Sam, born a couple of years after Gustaf in 1982, took after his mother My, working as a doctor in intensive care, after a brief acting career at the age of four in the film Jim och piraterna Blom (Jim and the Blom Pirates), which his father co-wrote. 

Sam and his wife Sanna live with Gustaf and Caroline in the Södermalm area of Stockholm, just down the road from Gustaf and Sam's father Stellan and stepmother Megan.


Bill Skarsgård (33)

Bill Skarsgård, the fourth Skarsgård child, was born in 1990, and is best known internationally for playing the clown Pennywise in the adaptation of Stephen King's horror series It. He  also featured in the most recent John Wick film, John Wick Chapter 4, as well as in superhero movie Deadpool Two.

Bill is in a relationship with Swedish actress Alida Morberg, who he appeared alongside in Netflix series Clark. The couple has one daughter.

Eija Skarsgård (31)

Eija, Stellan Skarsgård's only daughter, was born in 1992. Just like her brother Sam, she does not work as an actor, instead working as a club manager in Stockholm for a number of years after a modelling career as a teenager.

Since 2020, she has worked in casting on multiple projects, recently on Swedish TV series Young Royals and Lust.

She also lives on Södermalm with her husband, Zeke Tastas.

Valter Skarsgård (28)

The youngest of My and Stellan Skarsgård's shared children, Valter, was born in 1995. Within Sweden, he is probably most known for his roles in the Beck TV series, where he played policeman Vilhelm Beck.

Valter plays ice hockey legend Börje Salming in TV series Börje, out November 19th. The six part series follows Salming's NHL career which took him from the northern Swedish town of Kiruna to Toronto in Canada.

Ossian Skarsgård (14)

Ossian, born in 2009, is Stellan Skarsgård's first son with second wife Megan Everett. Ossian already has some acting credits to his name despite his youth, such as voicing a character in film The Wife at the age of eight, as well as a role in Alex Schulman's autobiographical film Bränn alla mina brev (Burn All of my Letters), where he played a younger version of Schulman alongside his brother, Bill Skarsgård.

This year, fans of SVT's TV advent calendar can look forward to seeing him in 2023's advent calendar, where he will play a troll named Love.

Kolbjörn Skarsgård (11)

Finally, the youngest Skarsgård for this generation at least is Kolbjörn, born in 2012. Despite his age, Kolbjörn already has a few acting credits, which is perhaps not much of a surprise, considering his brothers had also all had acting jobs by the age of ten.

Kolbjörn starred alongside his half-brother Bill and aunt Alida in Clark at the age of 9, and has also featured as Milo in TV series Kenny Starfighter.


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