Mai Zetterling - Updated Jun 2024

Updated On June 3, 2024
Most Popular

Vasteras, Sweden
Birth Sign

Vasteras, Sweden

Mai Zetterling

Mai Zetterling was a Swedish actress, novelist, and film director. Mai Zetterling appeared in over 60 films and television shows from the 1940s to the 1990s.

Early Life and Childhood

Mai Zetterling was born on May 24, 1925, in Vasteras, Sweden and she died on March 17, 1994, in London, United Kingdom. Zetterling was a naturalized Swedish citizen and Christian by religion.

Similarly, her full name was Mai Elisabeth Zetterling and her birth sign was Gemini. Zetterling died from cancer in her London home on March 17, 1994, a year after her final television role.


Talking about her educational background, there is no information available regarding Zetterling’s schools, colleges, and academics. Zetterling might have done her schooling at a community school in Vasteras.

Later, Zetterling might have skipped college as she started to act at an early age to pursue her professional career.

Career and Professional Life

Regarding her career, Zetterling appeared in films and television shows from the 1940s to the 1990s, spanning six decades. Torment, a 1944 film written for her by Ingmar Bergman and starring her as a tormented shopgirl, was her breakthrough.

After she relocated to England, she found immediate success in the title role of Basil Dearden’s Frieda (1947), opposite David Farrar.

Zetterling worked with Bergman again in his film Music in Darkness (1948). Similarly, she starred in several British films alongside Tyrone Power, Drone Power, Richard Widmark, etc.

Some of her famous movies as an actress include Quartet (1948), a film based on some of W. Somerset Maugham’s short stories, The Romantic Age (1949), Only Two Can Play (1962), and The Witches (1990).

Furthermore, she became known as a sex symbol in dramas and thrillers, but she was equally effective in comedies, and she appeared on British television in the 1950s and 1960s.

She began directing and publishing novels and non-fiction in the early 1960s, and her films began with political documentaries and a short film titled The War Game (1963), which was nominated for a BAFTA award and won a Silver Lion at Venice for Best Short Film.

Her first feature film, Iskander Par (1964), based on Agnes von Krusenstjerna’s novels, was banned from the Cannes Film Festival for its sexual explicitness and nudity.

In addition, in 1966, she appeared as a storyteller on the BBC children’s show Jackanory, narrating Tove Jansson’s Finn Family Moomintroll in five episodes.

Mai Zetterling

Caption: Mai Zetterling featuring in a movie. Source: Film Forum

Brand Endorsements

Zetterling has not endorsed any brand. Similarly, she hasn’t promoted anything, and she hasn’t been seen in any brand collaborations.

Awards and Nomination

Zetterling was nominated for Saturn Awards, Cannes Film Festival, Guldbagge Awards, and Golden Lion Awards. Similarly, she has won the BAFTA Awards, the Lübeck Nordic Film Days Awards, and the Venice Film Festival Awards.

Mai Zetterling – Net Worth 2024

Mai Zetterling was a Swedish actress, novelist, and film director who earned a considerable income from her work. Zetterling’s estimated net worth was around $1 million. Also, she used to receive an annual salary of $50k and her source of income was mainly her acting profession.

Mai Zetterling

Caption: Mai Zetterling giving a pose. Source: Wikipedia

Relationship Status

From 1944 to 1953, Zetterling was married to Norwegian actor Tutte Lemkow. They have a daughter, Etienne, and a son, Louis, who is a professor of environmental sociology at Barcelona’s Autonomous University.

However, Zetterling details her love affairs with actor Herbert Lom and Tyrone Power, with whom she lived from 1956 to early 1958, in her autobiography All Those Tomorrows, published in 1985.

Moreover, she was married to British author David Hughes from 1958 to 1976, who worked with her on her first films as a director. The couple knew composer Michael Hurd, who composed the music for Flickorna and Scrubbers.


Iskander Par (1964), based on Agnes von Krusenstjerna’s novels, was banned from the Cannes Film Festival due to its sexual explicitness and nudity.

Body Measurements

Talking about her height Zetterling was 5 Feet 3 inches tall and weighed 53kg. Similarly, Zetterling’s body measurement was 32-27-32 inches her eye color was grey and her hair color was black. Also, Zetterling’s dress size was 5 and her shoe size was 6(US).

Mai Zetterling

Caption: Mai Zetterling at her home. Source: Getty Images

Mai Zetterling – Social Media

Mai Zetterling was not available on any other social media sites. In her days, social media weren’t as popular as now and only the medium of communication was the telephone and letters.