Stellan Skarsgård

Born June 13, 1951, in Gothenburg, Sweden, Stellan Skarsgard has worked steadily as an actor since he was in his teens (when he starred in a Swedish TV show). It wasn't until he entered his 40s, however, that he became an international star with his performance in Lars von Trier's Breaking the Waves (1996).

Before that, Skarsgard worked for many years in Swedish theater (as a member of the Royal Dramatic Theatre Company) and films. After the unexpected success of Breaking the Waves, offers came flooding in for Skarsgard, who in quick succession appeared in My Son the Fanatic, Good Will Hunting and Ronin.

More recent films for Skarsgard include two more with von Trier, Dancer in the Dark and Dogville (with Nicole Kidman); Exorcist: The Beginning; and 2006's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (in which he plays the undead pirate Bootstrap Bill).