Gunnar Björnstrand was a Swedish actor known for his frequent work with writer and director Ingmar Bergman.
Björnstrand was born Knut Gunnar Johanson in Stockholm as son of actor Oscar Johanson and Ella Mauléon. After his education at the Royal Dramatic Theatre's acting school, he made several appearances in theatre, film and radio. Björnstrand's first collaboration with Ingmar Bergman was the 1941 theatre production of August Strindberg's The Ghost Sonata. His first major film role was in Hampe Faustman's Natt i hamn in 1943. After signing a contract with Svensk Filmindustri, he was offered mainly parts in comedies, including films for Bergman like Smiles of a Summer Night. In 1957, he appeared in two dramatic roles for Bergman in The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries. He regularly starred in Bergman's films until 1968, when his work for the director became infrequent. He also participated in major parts at The Stockholm Stadsteater and in private theaters. In later years, due to the consquences of a stroke, Björnstrand avoided longterm contracts and returned to theatre and television work. His last film was Bergman's Fanny and Alexander, suffering from memory loss at the time, the production period was difficult. Björnstrand died in Stockholm in 1986.