Actor feared dead in house fire


Swedish actor Per Oscarsson is feared dead after a fire at his home (AP)

Actor Per Oscarsson, a giant of Swedish cinema who won a best actor award at Cannes in 1966 and appeared in films based on Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, is feared to have died in a house fire along with his wife.

Police spokesman Jan Strommegard said the remains of one person were found on Sunday in the ashes of the house and are probably those of the 83-year-old actor or his wife, 67-year-old Kia Ostling. Both were reported missing by their relatives who say the couple were home when the fire destroyed the house early on Friday.

The house, in a remote area outside the small town of Skara in south-west Sweden, had completely burned to the ground – only the chimney was left when firefighters arrived at the site.

Strommegard could not immediately say when the identification of the remains would be completed but said police would continue to search for the remains of a second person. The cause of the blaze is unknown.

Oscarsson won the best actor award at the 1966 Cannes Film Festival for his role as starving writer Pontus in the movie Hunger. During his career he starred in more than 100 Swedish films and TV series.

Most recently, he appeared in the Swedish film, The Girl Who Played With Fire, based on Larsson’s popular book. He played Holger Palmgren, the legal guardian to the heroine, Lisabeth Salander.

In his review of the film, US critic Roger Ebert singled out Oscarsson’s performance and described him as “a great Swedish actor … who incredibly never worked with Bergman”.

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