Lars Hanson (1886-1965)

Lars Hanson - Silent and Sound Swedish Film Star, colorized image

Born in Gothenburg, Sweden on July 26th 1886 into a seafaring family, Lars Mauritz Hanson was initially a gold engraver until he won a free scholarship to the Stockholm Dramatic theatre. A talented stage actor, who was well known for his Shakespearean roles, he made his move into Swedish cinema in 1915 with a part in “Dolken”. In 1924 he played the title role in Mauritz Stiller’s “The Saga of Gosta Berling”, which brought him and his co-star, Greta Garbo, to the attention of Louis B. Mayer of M-G-M.

In 1926 he made his American film debut as the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale in “The Scarlet Letter” opposite Lillian Gish as Hester Prynne, a movie in which there is a wonderful romantic chemistry between the two leads. After several more movies such as “Flesh and the Devil” (1926), “Captain Salvation” (1927) and “Buttons” (1927), he was reunited with Gish and “Scarlet Letter” director Victor Seastrom in “The Wind”, (1928), in which he is thoroughly convincing as slightly grizzled, but, good hearted cowboy Lige Hightower. The wedding night sequence of “The Wind” is surely one of the most beautifully acted in the silent era.

Silent film actor Lars Hanson in “The Wind” (1928)

At the advent of the “talkies”, Lars returned to Europe, making “The Homecoming” an excellent German silent “menage a trois” movie and the part silent / part talkie “The Informer” (1929) in Britain. He continued making movies until 1951, appearing in the mid 1930’s with a very young Ingrid Bergman in “Walpurgis Night” and “Pa Solsidan”. He continued working on stage, and was planning a return to movies, when he died after a brief illness, on April 8th 1965 in Stockholm, Sweden.

Very handsome and with a wonderful profile, Lars will be remembered not only for his fine acting, but, also for his beautiful hands, which seemed to be crafted from porcelain. He was 5 ft 10 inches tall, with grey eyes and blond hair. He married Swedish actress Karin Molander in 1922; in that year she was the more famous of the two, and the couple remained married until his death 43 years later.

– Bio Courtesy of Diane (damfino) from the Golden Silents Message Board

Lars Hanson’s Silent Films

The Wind (1928/I) …. Lige Hightower
Synd (1928) …. Maurice Gerard
Heimkehr (1928) …. Richard
The Divine Woman (1928) …. Lucien
Buttons (1927) …. Captain Travers

Lars Hanson in Captain Salvation (1927, MGM)

Lars Hanson in two scenes in M-G-M’s “Captain Salvation” (1927),
with character actor George Fawcett (left), and co-star Marceline Day (right)

Captain Salvation (1927) …. Anson Campbell
Flesh and the Devil (1926) …. Ulrich von Eltz

Lillian Gish and Lars Hanson in “The Scarlet Letter” (1926, MGM)

The Scarlet Letter (1926) …. The Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale
Till österland (1926) …. Ingmar
Ingmarsarvet (1925) …. Ingmar Ingmarsson
Gösta Berlings saga (1924) …. Gösta Berling
… aka The Atonement of Gosta Berling
… aka The Legend of Gosta Berling
… aka The Saga of Gosta Berling
… aka The Story of Gosta Berling
Landsflyktige, De (1921) …. Wladimir Andrejevitsch Michailov
… aka Guarded Lips (USA)
… aka In Self Defence (USA)
… aka The Emigrants (USA)
… aka The Exiles (UK)
Konsum Stockholm Promo (1921)
… aka How Not to Dress (Sweden)
Erotikon (1920) …. Preben Wells
… aka Bounds That Chafe
… aka Just Like a Man
… aka Riddaren av i gar
… aka Seduction
… aka When We Are Married
Fiskebyn (1920) …. Thomas Rilke
… aka Chains (UK)
… aka The Fishing Village
Farligt frieri, Ett (1919) …. Tore Naesset
Synnöve Solbakken (1919) …. Thorbjörn Granliden
… aka Fairy of Solbakken (USA)
… aka The Girl of Solbakken (International: English title)
Sången om den eldröda blomman (1919) …. Olof Koskela
… aka Flame of Life
… aka Song of the Scarlet Flower
Tösen från Stormyrtorpet (1917) …. Gudmund Erlandsson
… aka Girl from Stormy Croft (USA)
… aka The Girl from the Marsh Croft
… aka The Woman He Chose (UK)
Balettprimadonnan (1916) …. Wolo Czawienko
… aka Anjala the Dancer (UK)
… aka Wolo czawienko (USA)
Therèse (1916) …. Gerhard
Vingarne (1916) …. Eugene Mikael
… aka The Wings
Guldspindeln (1916) …. Charles Coudriet
Dolken (1915) …. Herbert
… aka The Dagger

To learn more about Lars Hanson, visit his profile on the Internet Movie Database

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