Ernst Ingmar Bergman was a nine-time Academy Award-nominated Swedish film, stage, and opera director. He depicted bleakness and despair as well as comedy and hope in his explorations of the human condition. He is recognized as one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers in cinematic history.
He directed 62 films, most of which he wrote, and directed over 170 plays. Some of his internationally known favorite actors were Liv Ullmann, Bibi Andersson, and Max von Sydow. Most of his films were set in the stark landscape of his native Sweden, and major themes were often bleak, dealing with death, illness, betrayal, and insanity.
Bergman was active for more than 60 years, but his career was seriously threatened in 1976 when he suspended a number of pending productions, closed his studios, and went into self-imposed exile in Germany for eight years following a botched criminal investigation for alleged income tax evasion.