Born July 26, 1886, in Göteborg; died Apr. 1965. Swedish actor.
In 1909, Hanson graduated from the school of the Royal Dramatic Theater in Stockholm, where, beginning in 1922, he acted for the greater part of his career. He masterfully portrayed roles in Shakespeare’s tragedies, most notably Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, lago in Othello, and the title roles in Hamlet, Richard III, King Lear, and Julius Caesar. He also excelled in Strindberg’s dramas, for example, in the title roles in The Father, Master Olof, and Charles XII and as Jonas in Erik XIV.
An actor of unusual subtlety and expressiveness, Hanson was especially successful in his portrayals of heroes tormented by violent passions and inner conflicts. He was also a leading actor of the Swedish cinema, performing chiefly in films by the director M. Stiller, notably Song of a Crimson Flower (1918) and The Atonement of Gosta Berling (1923–24, in two parts). He played a number of roles in American, German, and British films as well. In 1944, Hanson appeared in the Swedish film His Excellency, in which he portrayed the tragic figure of a liberal government figure who dies in a fascist concentration camp.