Nils Poppe was a Swedish actor, director and screenwriter. He is internationally most famous for his part in Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal, but in Sweden he was much loved and participated in over 50 films on cinema and TV.
He started as a serious stage actor in 1930, but quickly realised that he was better suited for comedy, revue, operetta and musical, especially as he also was a good dancer and singer. In 1937 he moved into film and became Sweden's leading film comedian during the 1940s. Consequently, Ingmar Bergman's decision to cast him in The Seventh Seal surprised many, but with that role Poppe showed that he could also convey much warmth and compassion. He would later participate in yet another Bergman film, The Devil's Eye.
After a period of inactivity in the early 1960s, he took over the running of an open-air theatre in Helsingborg in 1966 and returned to the stage. Through a deal with Swedish Television, he managed to make the theatre known throughout the country and also revitalised his own career. He retired from the stage at the age of 85, still able to dance, but a few years later he suffered from several strokes, which left him both blind, speechless and immobile. He finally died at the age of 92.