Svenson, Bo 1941-

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SVENSON, Bo 1941-

PERSONAL: Born February 13, 1941, in Goeteborg, Sweden; immigrated to the United States, 1958; son of Birger Ragnar and Lola Iris Viola (Johansson) Svenson; married Lise Hartmann-Berg, December 30, 1966; children: Pia, Maja, Maria. Education: Attended Meiji University; University of CaliforniaLos Angeles, Ph.D., 1975. Hobbies and other interests: Judo, yachting, track, ice hockey, auto racing.

ADDRESSES: Agent—Agency for the Performing Arts, 9200 West Sunset Blvd., Suite 900, Los Angeles, CA 90069-3604.

CAREER: Actor, director, and screenwriter. Actor in films, including (as Jack Twyman) Maurie (also known as Big Mo), National General, 1973; (as Axel Olsson) The Great Waldo Pepper, Universal, 1975; (as Buford Pusser) Walking Tall, Part II (also known as Legend of the Lawman and Part 2, Walking Tall), American International, 1975; (as Michael McBain) Breaking Point, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1976; (as Jack Murdock) Special Delivery (also known as Dangerous Break), American International, 1976; (as Buford Pusser) Final Chapter-Walking Tall (also known as The Man in the Back Seat), American International, 1977; Our Man in Mecca, 1977; (as Dr. Bob Michaels) Portrait of a Hitman (also known as Jim Buck and The Last Contract), 1977; (as Sergeant Yeager) Quel maledetto treno blindato (also known as Counterfeit Commandos, Inglorious Bastards, Deadly Mission, G.I. Bro, and Hell's Heroes), Aquarius, 1977; Il Figlio dello sceicco, 1977; Son of the Sheik, 1978; (as Jo Bob Priddy) North Dallas Forty, Paramount, 1979; (as Major Carter) Virus (also known as Day of Resurrection), Media, 1980; Sverige aat svenskarna (also known as Battle of Sweden), 1980; (as Detective Carlson) Night Warning (also known as Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker and Momma's Boy), International Films, 1982; (as George Ryan) Impatto mortale (also known as Deadly Impact and Giant Killer), Vestron, 1983; (as Sheriff Bill Cook) Thunder (also known as Thunder Warrior), Trans World Entertainment, 1983; Portrait of a Hitman, 1984; (as Kor) Wizards of the Lost Kingdom, New Horizons/Concorde/Cinema Group, 1984; (as sheriff) Cane arrabbiato (also known as The Manhunt, Man Hunt, and Mad Dog) Goldwyn, 1985; (as sheriff) Thunder II (also known as Thunder Warrior II), Trans World Entertainment, 1985; (as Captain Oliver Parkside) Choke Canyon (also known as On Dangerous Ground), UFDC, 1986; (as Captain Campbell) The Delta Force, Cannon, 1986; (as Roy Jennings) Heartbreak Ridge, Warner Bros., 1986; La Sporca insegna del coraggio (also known as Brothers in Blood and Savage Attack), 1986; Soldier of Fortune (also known as Running Combat), 1987; (as Count Silvano) Maniac Killer, 1987; Double Target, 1987; (as Colonel Slater) White Phantom, Spectrum, 1987; (as Captain Robertson) Deep Space, Trans World Entertainment, 1988; Mania, Eurocine, 1988; (as Colonel Keitel) Delta Force Commando, 1989; (as sheriff) Curse II: The Bite, 1989; (as Kor the Conqueror) Andy Colby's Incredible Adventure (also known as Andy Colby's Incredible Video Adventure, Andy Colby's Incredibly Awesome Adventure, and Andy and the Airwave Rangers), 1989; (as drug lord) The Kill Reflex, 1990; (as Professor Andromolek) Beyond the Door III, 1990; (as Ethridge) Primal Rage, 1990; (as Sheriff Barnes) Steele's Law, 1991; (as ex-con) Critical Action, 1991; (as Rick Masters) Three Days to a Kill, 1992; (as S.S. colonel) Tides of War, 1992; (as Jeb) Savage Land, 1994; (as Roy Ackett) Steel Frontier, 1995; (as Sam Weston) Private Obsession (also known as Watch Me), 1995; (as Captain Pollard) Speed 2: Cruise Control, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1997; Solitude Point, 1997; Crackerjack III, North American Releasing, 2000; (as Detective Maize) Outlaw, 2001; (as the preacher) Kill Bill, 2003; and Cheyenne, 2003.

Actor in made-for-television movies, including (as Raeder) The Bravos, American Broadcasting Companies (ABC), 1972; (as Sam) You'll Never See Me Again, ABC, 1973; (as Gar Seberg) Snowbeast, National Broadcasting Company (NBC), 1977; (as Tom Jenson) Gold of the Amazon Women (also known as Amazon Women and Quest for the Seven Cities), NBC, 1979; (as Antoine Saint-Exupery) The Spirit of Adventure: Night Flight, 1980; (as Bo Hutton) Jealousy, ABC, 1984; (as Maurice Frontenac) The Dirty Dozen: The Deadly Mission, NBC, 1987; and (as sheriff) Heartless, USA Network, 1997.

Actor in television specials, including (as Milovan Drumm) "Lost Treasure," Suspense Playhouse, Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), 1971; Battle of the Network Stars, ABC, 1978; U.S. against the World II, ABC, 1978; Celebrity Daredevils, ABC, 1983; and AFI's 100 Years, 100 Thrills: America's Most Heart-pounding Movies, 2001.

Actor in television series, including (as Big Swede) Here Come the Brides, ABC, 1968-70; and (as Sheriff Buford Pusser) Walking Tall, NBC, 1981. Actor in television pilots, including (as Jay Appleby) Hitched, NBC, 1973; (as Lee Driscoll) Target Risk, NBC, 1975; and (as Earl Hewitt) I Do, I Don't, ABC, 1983. Played the creature in the miniseries Frankenstein, ABC, 1973. Host of The Di Palma Forum, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Guest star on Murder, She Wrote, The Fall Guy, and other television series.

Worked on other films, including (as second unit director) The Road Home, 1996; (as co-producer) Solitude Point, 1997; and (as director) He's Not Heavy, 1998, and The Outlaw, 2001. Director of television series Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, 1998. Played lead in Broadway production Pigeons Don't Cry, 1967; Motion Picture Group of America, chairman and chief executive officer, 1984-95. Professional ice hockey player, c. 1958-59; worked for Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., 1965-70. Military service: U.S. Marine Corps, 1959-65.

AWARDS, HONORS: Award of merit, Italian Institute of Art; Man of the Year award, American Culture Foundation; Legione Garibaldina Ruole D'Onore (Italy); Image Award, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Golden Scroll Award, Academy of Science Fiction and Fantasy; Golden Apple, Hollywood Women's Press Club; Far East Heavyweight Division Judo Champion, 1961.


(And director and actor) Outlaw (screenplay), 2001. (And director) Viking (screenplay), 2003.

SIDELIGHTS: Acting was not Bo Svenson's first career choice, but it is the one for which he is now best known. Before beginning to study theater in New York in the mid-1960s, Svenson worked as a professional ice hockey player, spent six years in the U.S. Marine Corps, studied psychology at a university in Japan, raced in the NASCAR auto racing league, and became a heavyweight judo champion. Throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s the six-foot-five-inch, Swedish-born actor played a macho hero in a succession of Western and military films. "It saddens me that it's sort of the norm that if you're tall and somewhat, I guess, manly, then you can't do sensitive guys," Svenson told Serena Kappes of People online.

Because Svenson had a wife and three daughters who he wanted to provide well for, he continued to take the he-man roles offered to him. As he approached age sixty, however, he began to write his own screenplays and to direct the resulting films. These included Outlaw and Viking.



Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television, Volume 34, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2001.

Stewart, John, Italian Film: A Who's Who, McFarland & Co. (Jefferson, NC), 1994.


American Film, July-August, 1984, Thomas Wiener, review of North Dallas Forty, pp. 67-68.

People, January 23, 1984, review of Jealousy, p. 11; September 1, 1986, Ira Hellman, review of Choke Canyon, p. 12.

Variety, January 28, 1981, review of Walking Tall, p. 51; December 16, 1981, review of Counterfeit Commandos, p. 16; September 7, 1983, review of I Do, I Don't, p. 56; July 23, 1986, review of Choke Canyon, p. 16; May 11, 1988, review of Deep Space, p. 32; January 10, 1990, review of Andy Colby's Incredible Video Adventure, p. 32; July 11, 1990, review of The Kill Reflex, p. 58.


Bo Svenson Home Page, (March 31, 2003).

Giants Films Web site, (April 1, 2001).

People online, (March 4, 2003), Serena Kappes, "Former 'Walking Tall' Star Svenson Directs, Writes."

Z Review, (March 31, 2003).*