45 Famous Norwegian People: Do You Know Any of Them? | Guide to Lofoten

45 Famous Norwegian People:
Do you know any of them?

Although Norway is a small country in Northern Europe, it has been the birthplace of numerous celebrities who have left their marks in various fields, from polar exploration and winter sports to arts and sciences. How many famous Norwegian people can you name?

Table of Contents

Did you know that…

❓… it was a Norwegian explorer who first reached the South Pole?

❓… that a Norwegian singer sang the mesmerizing vocals in the movie “Titanic” intro scene?

❓… a Norwegian band created one of the most iconic music videos of the 1980s, winning six MTV Video Music Awards?

❓… one of the vocalists of the famous pop group ABBA was actually born in Norway?

❓…  a Norwegian is considered one of the most influential playwrights in the world, second only to Shakespeare in terms of frequency of performance?

❓… the artist behind the iconic painting “The Scream” was Norwegian, and his work includes four different versions of this famous piece?

… a Norwegian cross-country skier holds the record for the most medals won by any athlete in the Winter Olympics?

❓… a Norwegian DJ was the fastest ever to reach 1 billion streams on Spotify?

Perhaps you knew the answers to some of these questions. But after reading this article about the most famous people from Norway, you will know all of them! (If you do not want to read through the article to learn about many other amazing Norwegian celebrities, you will find the correct answers in the very last paragraph!)

Famous Norwegian Writers

#1 Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)

Henrik Ibsen, the father of modern drama, rightfully claims his spot among the most famous Norwegians. Born in 1828, he transformed theater with his realistic plays like “A Doll’s House” and “Hedda Gabler,” which boldly tackled social issues and human psychology. 

His work, challenging societal norms and championing individual freedom, resonates globally, firmly establishing him as a pivotal figure in literary history. Ibsen’s enduring influence is evident in theaters and classrooms worldwide, where his plays continue to be revered and studied.

Famous Norwegian People: Henrik Ibsen
While Ibsen is now recognized as a father of modern drama and a significant figure in world literature, he has never received the Nobel Prize in literature.

#2 Knut Hamsun (1859-1952)

Knut Hamsun is a famous Norwegian writer who won the Nobel Prize in literature.

Hamsun is considered to be one of the most influential and innovative literary stylists of the past hundred years. He pioneered psychological literature with techniques of stream of consciousness and interior monologue and influenced authors such as Thomas Mann, Franz Kafka,Henry Miller, Charles Bukowski, and Ernest Hemingway.

Hamsun first received wide acclaim with his 1890 novel Hunger (Sult). The semiautobiographical work described a young writer’s descent into near madness due to hunger and poverty in the Norwegian capital of Kristiania (modern name Oslo).

Famous Norwegians: Knut Hamsun, Foto: Knut Skarland
Hamsun held pronounced anti-English sentiments and was an outspoken supporter of Adolf Hitler and Nazi ideology. His endorsement of the German occupation of Norway led to treason charges against him after the war. However, he was not convicted, attributed to what were considered to be psychological issues and the challenges of advanced age. Photo: Knut Skarland | Credit: VG

#3 Jo Nesbø (*1960)

Jo Nesbø is a bestselling Norwegian author known for his thrilling crime novels. He’s best known for his Harry Hole series, which has captivated readers worldwide with gripping stories of crime and investigation in Oslo. 

Nesbø’s books have been translated into numerous languages and have sold millions of copies globally, and helped to popularize Scandinavian crime fiction.

#4 Jostein Gaarder (*1952)

Jostein Gaarder is a renowned Norwegian author best known for his best-selling novel “Sophie’s World.” 

This book skillfully blends philosophy with a captivating narrative and has been a gateway for many into the world of philosophical thought. Translated into numerous languages and loved by readers of all ages across the globe, “Sophie’s World” has made Gaarder a household name in international literature. 

Famous Norwegian Composers

#5 Edvard Grieg (1843 – 1907)

Edvard Grieg is Norway’s most celebrated composer. Best known for his “Peer Gynt” suites, including the famous “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” Grieg’s work uniquely blends romanticism with the essence of Norwegian folklore. His influence extends beyond the concert hall, as he played a pivotal role in defining a national identity through music.

Famous Norwegian Painters and Sculptors

#6 Edvard Munch (1863–1944)

Edvard Munch is one of Norway’s most renowned painters. He gained global fame with his iconic painting “The Scream.” This masterpiece, capturing intense emotion and psychological depth, has left an indelible mark on the art world. 

Munch’s distinct style, delving into themes like love, fear, and melancholy, made him a key figure in the Expressionist movement. Visitors can now explore Munch’s art in depth at the new Munch Museum in Oslo.

👉 Get our interactive map complete with Google locations and detailed descriptions, and effortlessly explore Oslo’s best museums and must-see attractions.

Famous Norwegians_Edvard Munch painter of the Scream
The Scream by Edvard Munch

#7 Gustav Vigeland (1869–1943)

Gustav Vigeland is famous Norwegian sculptor who created sculptures in Oslo’s Vigeland Park, the world’s largest sculpture park made by a single artist. 

His work, which includes more than 200 pieces, showcases the human form in various stages of life, capturing a range of emotions and experiences and reflecting themes of human relationships and life cycles. 

Famous Norwegian People: Sculpturor Gustav Vigeland
Frognerparken in Oslo

#8 Harald Sohlberg (1869–1935)

Harald Sohlberg is a Norwegian painter renowned for his mesmerizing landscape paintings, especially “Winter Night in the Mountains.” 

This painting, famous for its serene beauty and captivating depiction of the Norwegian wilderness, is one of Norway’s most beloved art pieces. 

His work can be admired at The National Gallery in Oslo.

 

Famous Norwegian Scientists

#9 Kristian Birkeland (1867-1917)

Kristian Birkeland is a famous Norwegian scientist who made groundbreaking contributions to understanding the Northern Lights (aurora borealis). 

His theories about how the Earth’s magnetic field affects solar wind were revolutionary, laying the foundation for modern space science. 

Birkeland also co-invented the Birkeland-Eyde process, which is crucial in producing nitrogen fertilizers and has significantly impacted agriculture worldwide. 

Famous Norwegian War Heroes

#10 Max Manus (1914-1996)

Max Manus was a prominent figure in Norway’s resistance movement during World War II. His daring and successful sabotage missions against Nazi occupation forces made him a national hero. 

Manus’ life and exploits were so compelling that they inspired the 2008 Norwegian film “Max Manus: Man of War,” which portrays his role in the resistance and his daring operations. 

The movie brought his story to a broader audience, cementing his status as one of Norway’s most famous war heroes.

#11 Jan Baalsrud (1917-1988)

Jan Baalsrud’s extraordinary story of survival during World War II makes him one of the most celebrated figures in Norwegian history. A resistance fighter, Baalsrud’s harrowing escape from the Nazis across the snow-covered landscapes of Northern Norway is a tale of remarkable endurance and resilience. 

His ordeal was so inspiring that it was documented in the book “We Die Alone” by David Howarth and later adapted into the Norwegian film “The 12th Man.” These works vividly capture Baalsrud’s incredible journey and survival against all odds, solidifying his status as a symbol of courage and determination.

#12 Gunnar Sønsteby (1918-2012)

Gunnar Sønsteby’s bravery, strategic insight, and successful operations against the Nazis made him a legendary figure in Norway’s resistance history. 

Despite being a household name in Norway and being the most decorated citizen in the country, Sønsteby’s remarkable story is less known internationally, where he undoubtedly deserves more recognition. 

Statue of Gunnar Sønsteby in the city center of Oslo

👉 Get our interactive map complete with Google locations and detailed descriptions, and effortlessly explore Oslo’s best museums and must-see attractions.

Famous Norwegian Explorers and Adventurers

#13 Fridtjof Nansen (1861 – 1930)

Fridtjof Nansen was a man of many talents: an explorer, scientist, diplomat, and humanitarian. He first gained fame for his daring Arctic explorations, notably crossing Greenland’s interior on skis. Later, Nansen’s humanitarian efforts during and after World War I, especially his work for refugees, earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922. 

#14 Roald Amundsen (1872 – 1928)

Roald Amundsen is celebrated as one of the most famous Norwegians for his extraordinary achievements in polar expeditions. He secured his place in history as the first person to reach the South Pole in 1911. 

Before his journey to the South Pole, Amundsen led the first successful navigation of the Northwest Passage, a sea route connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the Arctic Ocean. 

In 1918, Amundsen embarked on an expedition to navigate the Northeast Passage along the northern coast of Siberia. He spent two winters trapped in the ice near the Siberian coast but eventually completed the passage, further demonstrating his skills in polar navigation.

Amundsen’s relentless pursuit of exploration and his ability to survive and navigate through the most extreme conditions made him a towering figure in the age of polar exploration.

You can visit The Fram Museum in Oslo, to learn more about Roald Amundsen and his polar explorations. This museum is dedicated to telling the story of Norwegian polar exploration and features the ship ‘Fram’, which Amundsen used for his polar expeditions. 

#15 Thor Heyerdahl (1914 – 2002)

Thor Heyerdahl is an eminent Norwegian explorer and anthropologist, renowned for his adventurous and groundbreaking expeditions, notably the Kon-Tiki voyage in 1947. 

He sailed 8,000 kilometers across the Pacific Ocean on a balsa wood raft, demonstrating that early people could have made long sea voyages, creating contacts between separate cultures. 

The legendary Kon-Tiki expedition was immortalized in the 2012 Norwegian film “Kon-Tiki,” directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg. This acclaimed movie, which received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, dramatically recounts the daring 1947 journey across the Pacific on a balsa wood raft. The film’s success underlines the timeless appeal of Heyerdahl’s adventure.

 

Further adding to Thor Heyerdahl’s legacy is the Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo, which displays the original raft and offers in-depth insights into Heyerdahl’s various expeditions and theories. 

👉 Get our interactive map complete with Google locations and detailed descriptions, and effortlessly explore Oslo’s best museums and must-see attractions.

#16  Aleksander Gamme (*1976)

Aleksander Gamme is a Norwegian adventurer and explorer, best known for his remarkable feat in the polar regions. His most significant achievement came in 2012 when he became the first person to complete a solo, unsupported expedition to the South Pole and back. This extraordinary journey covered over 2,200 kilometers (approximately 1,367 miles) and lasted 87 days.

#17  Børge Ousland (*1962)

Børge Ousland is a Norwegian polar explorer renowned for his remarkable solo expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic. Ousland’s most significant achievement includes being the first person to complete a solo expedition to the North Pole without resupply in 1994.

Ousland also made history in 1996-97 by becoming the first person to cross Antarctica alone, covering an impressive distance of approximately 2,845 kilometers (1,767 miles) in 64 days. 

#18  Cecilie Skog (*1974)

Cecilie Skog is a renowned Norwegian adventurer and mountaineer. One of her most notable accomplishments is completing the “Explorers Grand Slam,” which involves reaching the North Pole, the South Pole, and the summits of the Seven Summits – the highest mountains on each of the seven continents, including Mount Everest. Achieving this feat made Skog one of the few women in the world to do so.

#19  Kristin Harila (*1986)

Kristin Harila is a Norwegian-Sami mountaineer who has rapidly gained recognition for her remarkable feats in high-altitude climbing. 

In 2022-2023, she set multiple speed records for ascending all 14 of the world’s eight-thousanders, the mountains exceeding 8,000 meters in elevation. This extraordinary feat involves climbing the highest peaks on Earth, including the formidable Mount Everest, K2, and Kangchenjunga, among others. 

Famous Norwegian Athletes

#20 Ole Gunnar Solskjær (*1973)

Ole Gunnar Solskjær, a name synonymous with Norwegian football, earned global recognition for his remarkable career as a player and manager. 

Known as the “Baby-faced Assassin” during his playing days at Manchester United, Solskjær is celebrated for his crucial goals, notably his last-minute winner in the 1999 UEFA Champions League final, securing a historic treble for the club. 

Transitioning into management, he returned to Manchester United as a full-time manager.

#21 Bjørn Dæhlie (*1967)

Bjørn Dæhlie, a Norwegian cross-country skiing legend, stands out as one of the most famous athletes in Norway’s history. 

Dominating the sport in the 1990s, Dæhlie achieved an extraordinary record of eight Olympic gold medals and twelve World Championship titles, making him one of the most decorated athletes in Winter Olympics history. 

Famous Norwegians_Crosscountry skier Bjørn Dæhlie
Norwegian cross-country skier Bjørn Dæhlie moments after crossing the finish line in the 50km in Nagano, where he became the first winter Olympian to win 8 gold medals.

#22 Marit Bjørgen (*1980)

Marit Bjørgen, renowned as the “Queen of Cross-Country Skiing,” is one of Norway’s most celebrated athletes. Her illustrious career is marked by staggering achievements, including winning 15 Olympic medals, making her the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time. 

#23 Ole Einar Bjørndalen (*1974)

Ole Einar Bjørndalen, often hailed as the “King of Biathlon,” is a legendary figure in Norwegian sports. 

His incredible career in biathlon, a sport combining cross-country skiing and rifle shooting, has earned him the status of one of the greatest winter athletes of all time. 

Bjørndalen’s record is phenomenal, with 13 Olympic medals, including eight golds and numerous World Championship titles. 

#24 Erling Haaland (*2000)

At just 23 years old, Erling Haaland has already established himself as one of the most exciting talents in world football. Playing as a striker for Manchester City, he is known for his incredible goal-scoring ability, speed, and physical prowess on the field.

#25 Petter Northug (*1986)

Petter Northug, a former Norwegian cross-country skier, carved out a notable career with his exceptional skill and competitive spirit. His impressive track record includes two Olympic gold medals and 13 World Championship gold medals, making him one of Norway’s most successful skiers. 

However, Northug’s career also faced controversy, particularly regarding his issues with drinking and driving. In 2014, he was involved in a car accident while under the influence, leading to legal consequences and tarnishing his reputation. 

The incident of drinking under the influence made Petter Northug so infamous that the comedian duo Ylvis created a series of songs about it.

#26 Therese Johaug (*1988)

Therese Johaug is a renowned Norwegian cross-country skier. She has amassed an impressive collection of medals throughout her career, including three Olympic golds and numerous World Championship titles. Known for her incredible endurance and speed, Johaug has dominated various skiing events, particularly in distance races. 

Her success, however, was interrupted by a controversial doping suspension in 2016, which kept her out of the 2018 Winter Olympics. Despite this setback, Johaug made a strong comeback, continuing to win titles and maintaining her status as one of the best skiers in the world. 

Famous Norwegian People_Therese Johaug
Therese Johaug shows off the three gold medals that she won in the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022. Photo: Fredrik Varfjell / NTB

#27 Petter Solberg (*1974)

Petter Solberg achieved fame in rally driving, particularly in the World Rally Championship (WRC). He made history in 2003 by becoming the first Norwegian to win the WRC Drivers’ Championship. Solberg didn’t stop there; he also found success in the World Rallycross Championship, clinching the title in 2014 and 2015. 

Known for his dynamic driving style and charismatic personality, Solberg has garnered a loyal fan base. In Norway, he’s also known for his humorous mix of English and Norwegian in interviews, leading to some memorable and often quoted moments. 

#28 Magnus Carlsen (*1990)

Magnus Carlsen is Norway’s most famous chess player. Born in 1990, Carlsen quickly rose to prominence in the chess world, becoming a grandmaster at just 13 years old. He reached the pinnacle of his career by becoming the World Chess Champion in 2013, a title he has successfully defended multiple times. 

Known for his deep understanding of the game, exceptional strategic skills, and formidable endgame prowess, Carlsen has dominated international chess for years. His achievements include holding the highest-ever Elo rating in history and winning numerous prestigious tournaments. 

Carlsen’s impact extends beyond the chessboard; he’s also brought widespread attention to the game, inspiring a new generation of players.

#29 Jakob Ingebrigtsen (*2000)

Jakob Ingebrigtsen, a young star in the world of middle-distance running, has rapidly gained fame both in Norway and internationally. 

He comes from a family of exceptional runners, trained by their father, Gjert Ingebrigtsen. His brothers, Henrik and Filip, are also accomplished middle-distance runners, making the Ingebrigtsens a renowned family in athletics. 

Jakob made headlines by winning gold in both the 1500m and 5000m at the European Championships in 2018, becoming the youngest to do so. 

Ingebrigtsen is a two-time World champion, winning gold medals in the 5000 metres in 2022 and 2023, and a four-time European champion, winning gold medals in the 1500 m and 5000 m in 2018 and 2022. 

He also won a gold medal in the 1500 m at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, setting an Olympic and European record. In addition to the 1500 m, Ingebrigtsen holds European records in the mile and 5000 m.

#30 Sonja Henie (1912 – 1969)

Sonja Henie, a legendary figure in figure skating and cinema, remains one of the most famous Norwegians in history. Born in Oslo in 1912, Henie transformed figure skating with her exceptional talent, winning three Olympic gold medals and ten World Championships

Her popularity extended beyond the ice rink when she embarked on a successful Hollywood film career, starring in several movies, including the hit “Sun Valley Serenade.” 

Her legacy is celebrated at the Henie-Onstad Art Centre near Oslo, co-founded by Henie herself, showcasing her skating achievements and her significant contribution to the art world.

Famous Norwegian Actors

#31 Liv Ullmann (*1938)

Liv Ullmann, a celebrated Norwegian actress and director, has earned international acclaim for her powerful performances and artistic contributions to cinema. 

Born in 1938 in Tokyo, Japan, to Norwegian parents, Ullmann’s acting career took off in the 1960s and 1970s, mainly through her collaboration with Swedish director Ingmar Bergman. 

Her roles in films like “Persona,” “Cries and Whispers,” and “Autumn Sonata” showcased her profound emotional depth and garnered critical praise. 

#32  Kristofer Hivju (*1978)

Kristofer Hivju is a Norwegian actor, who gained international fame as Tormund Giantsbane in the hit TV series “Game of Thrones.” Born on December 7, 1978, in Oslo, Norway, Hivju’s portrayal of the fierce yet charismatic wildling leader won him fans worldwide, making him one of the most recognizable faces from the series. 

For fans of Hivju and the breathtaking scenery of the Lofoten Islands, the Norwegian series “Twin,” where Hivju plays a dual role, is a must-watch. 

Famous Norwegian Singers

#33 Morten Harket (*1959)

Morten Harket is the lead vocalist of the iconic Norwegian band A-ha. Harket and his bandmates, guitarist Paul Waaktaar-Savoy and keyboardist Magne Furuholmen, achieved worldwide fame in the 1980s with their hit song “Take On Me.” 

The song, known for its catchy melody and groundbreaking music video, became a global sensation, making A-ha and Harket household names. 

#34 Aurora (*1996)

Aurora Aksnes, known professionally as Aurora, is one of Norway’s most notable contemporary musicians who has gained international acclaim for her ethereal voice and unique artistry. 

Born on June 15, 1996, in Stavanger, Aurora quickly rose to prominence with her debut album “All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend.” 

Her music, characterized by dreamy soundscapes and introspective lyrics, strikes a chord with a wide audience, earning her a dedicated global fanbase. Songs like “Runaway” and “The Seed” showcase her ability to blend haunting melodies with thought-provoking themes. 

#35 Kygo guitarist (*1991)

Kygo, born Kyrre Gørvell-Dahll in Singapore to Norwegian parents, is a globally renowned DJ and record producer

He rose to fame with his unique style of Tropical House, a subgenre he helped popularize with hits like “Firestone” and his remix of Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire.” 

Kygo’s achievements include performing at the 2016 Rio Olympics closing ceremony, becoming the fastest artist to reach 1 billion streams on Spotify, and collaborating with notable artists like Selena Gomez and Whitney Houston. 

#36 Sissel Kyrkjebø (*1969)

Sissel Kyrkjebø, often known simply as Sissel, is a renowned Norwegian soprano whose crystal-clear voice has captivated audiences around the world. 

She gained international recognition after performing at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer. 

However, she became recognized internationally for her ethereal vocal contributions to the soundtrack of the 1997 blockbuster film “Titanic.” 

#37 Mari Boine (*1956)

Mari Boine is an acclaimed Sami musician from Norway celebrated for her unique blend of traditional Sami joik with contemporary sounds. Boine’s music often addresses the marginalization of the Sami people and has brought international attention to their culture. 

Her album “Gula Gula,” released internationally in 1990, was a critical success and introduced her distinctive style to a global audience. Boine’s contributions to music have been recognized with several awards, including the Spellemannsprisen, Norway’s equivalent to the Grammy Awards.

#38 Bård and Vegard Ylvisåker (*1982 & *1979)

The Ylvis brothers, Bård and Vegard Ylvisåker, shot to international fame with their viral comedy hit “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)” in 2013. Hailing from Bergen, Norway, the duo initially gained popularity in their home country through their variety show “I kveld med Ylvis” (Tonight with Ylvis). 

Their quirky and humorous song about the sounds made by a fox became a global sensation, amassing hundreds of millions of views on YouTube and climbing music charts worldwide. This unexpected hit brought them international recognition, showcasing their unique blend of comedy and music. 

#39 Lene Nystrøm (*1973)

Lene Nystrøm, best known as the lead vocalist of the Danish-Norwegian band Aqua, rose to international fame in the late 1990s and became a global sensation with Aqua’s hit single “Barbie Girl” in 1997. 

The song, with its catchy tune and distinctive vocals, became a pop culture phenomenon and topped charts worldwide. Aqua, with Lene’s energetic performances, went on to sell millions of albums, making them one of the most successful Scandinavian pop bands. 

After Aqua’s initial split in the early 2000s, Lene pursued a solo career, releasing her own music.

#40 Alexander Rybak (*1986)

Alexander Rybak, a talented Norwegian singer and violinist, gained widespread fame after winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009. 

Rybak’s victory at Eurovision with the song “Fairytale” was notable for earning a record-breaking number of points, making it one of the most successful entries in the contest’s history. 

Post-Eurovision, Rybak continued to build his music career, releasing several albums and singles.

#41 Varg Vikernes (*1973)

Varg Vikernes is a controversial figure in Norwegian music, mainly known for his role in the early black metal scene. Born in Bergen, Vikernes founded Burzum and became one of the most influential figures in black metal. 

However, Vikernes is perhaps more infamous for his criminal activities, including the burning of several historic churches in Norway in the early 1990s, actions which he claimed were against Christianity’s spread in Norway. 

These acts of arson, along with his conviction for the murder of Mayhem guitarist Øystein ‘Euronymous’ Aarseth, overshadowed his musical contributions and made him a notorious figure. 

Famous Norwegian Politicians

#42 Jens Stoltenberg (*1959)

Jens Stoltenberg served as Prime Minister of Norway in two terms, first from 2000 to 2001 and then from 2005 to 2013. However, his most notable achievement is his appointment as the Secretary General of NATO in 2014, a role he continues to hold. 

#43 Jan Egeland (*1957)

Jan Egeland is a distinguished Norwegian diplomat and humanitarian renowned for his extensive work in international crises. 

Born on September 12, 1957, in Stavanger, Norway, Egeland has held several significant roles, including serving as the United Nations Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. His notable achievements include influential involvement in peace negotiations in countries like Colombia, Uganda, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Egeland’s efforts have earned him international recognition and respect. 

Additionally, his prominence led to an amusing tribute by the Norwegian comedy duo Ylvis, who created a song titled “Jan Egeland,” humorously celebrating his superhero-like status in international diplomacy and humanitarian work. 

Other Famous People with ties to Norway

#44 Erik the Red (c. 950 – c.1003)

Erik the Red is a Norse explorer. He is most famous for founding the first Norse settlements in Greenland in the late 10th century. 

Born in Norway around 950 AD and later settling in Iceland, Erik was known for his fiery temper, which led to his exile from both Norway and Iceland. 

During his exile, he sailed west and discovered Greenland, a vast and unexplored land. He named it “Greenland” to attract settlers, and his colonization efforts were successful, leading to a thriving Norse community that lasted for several centuries. 

Erik’s son, Leif Erikson, is also rather well known as the first European to discover North America.

#45 Anni-Frid Lyngstad (*1945)

Anni-Frid Lyngstad, also known as Frida, is widely recognized as one of the vocalists of the iconic Swedish pop group ABBA.

While she is celebrated as a Swedish singer and her fame is primarily rooted in her success with ABBA, Lyngstad was actually born in Norway in 1945 to Norwegian civilian mother and a German soldier father. 

In early 1947, Anni-Frid, her mother Synni, and her maternal grandmother, Arntine “Anni” Lyngstad, left Norway, fearing reprisals against those who had dealings with the Germans during the occupation and Anni-Frid was taken by her grandmother to Sweden.

Her Norwegian origins are a lesser-known aspect of her life, often overshadowed by her immense popularity in Sweden and worldwide. 

#46 Roald Dahl (1916 – 1990)

Roald Dahl, one of the most beloved children’s authors of the 20th century, holds a special place in the hearts of many Norwegians, who often like to think of him as Norwegian. 

Born in Wales in 1916 to Norwegian immigrant parents, Dahl’s connection to his Norwegian heritage was a significant part of his identity. His stories, such as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Matilda,” often contained references to his Norwegian roots, and he frequently spent summers in Norway as a child. 

This deep connection to Norway, coupled with his exceptional storytelling, has endeared Dahl to Norwegian audiences, leading many in Norway to claim him as one of their own, despite his birth and upbringing in Wales. 

Have we forgotten any famous Norwegian People?

So, how many of these Norwegian celebrities did you know? Was there anyone on the list whose Norwegian origin surprised you? Or do you think there are some famous people from Norway who deserve to be on the list but we forgot to mention them? Let us know in the comments!

Famous Norwegians: Correct Answers

❓… it was a Norwegian explorer who first reached the South Pole?
👉 Roald Amundsen

 

❓… that a Norwegian singer sang the mesmerizing vocals in the movie “Titanic” intro scene?

👉 Sissel Kyrkjebø 

 

❓… a Norwegian band created one of the most iconic music videos of the 1980s, winning six MTV Video Music Awards?

👉 A-ha (singer Morten Harket, guitarist Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, and keyboardist Magne Furuholmen) 

 

❓… one of the vocalists of the famous pop group ABBA was actually born in Norway?

👉 Anni-Frid Synni Lyngstad, also known simply as Frida

 

❓…  a Norwegian is considered one of the most influential playwrights in the world, second only to Shakespeare in terms of frequency of performance?

👉 Henrik Ibsen

 

❓… the artist behind the iconic painting “The Scream” was Norwegian, and his work includes four different versions of this famous piece?

👉 Edvard Munch

 

… a Norwegian cross-country skier holds the record for the most medals won by any athlete in the Winter Olympics?

👉 Marit Bjørgen

 

❓… a Norwegian DJ was the fastest ever to reach 1 billion streams on Spotify?

👉 Kygo

Ivar & Radka

Ivar & Radka

Hi! We are Ivar & Radka, an international couple who runs the Guide to Lofoten. We met in Trondheim and lived together in western Norway, Narvik and Tromsø. At the moment we call western Lofoten our home. We hope our page will make it easier for you to explore the beautiful places that made us chose Norway for our home.

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