STOCKHOLM — Finnish multihyphenate Ake Lindman died Tuesday after a long illness. He was 81.
He was one of Finland’s most successful and popular TV and film actors as well as a director, scribe and producer.
Born in Helsinki, his first love was not movies but soccer.
In his youth, he played for the Finnish national soccer team during the Helsinki Olympics in 1952. The British club Swindon Town wanted to sign him, but he decided to remain with his acting career.
During his career he appeared in some 87 films. His first role was in “Hornankoski” in 1949, but Lindman’s breakthrough came in 1955 with the lead in Edvin Laine’s film adaption of Vaino Linna´s classic war novel “Unknown Soldier.” His last appearance was in 2003’s “Kohtalon kirja” (Book of Fate).
He made his debut as director in 1961, and had his first big hit with youth drama “Jengi” in 1963. In 2004, he made the successful war movie “Beyond Enemy Lines” and as late as in 2007, he helmed another war movie, “Tali-Ihantala 1944.”
Lindman, who was married three times, leaves a wife, actress Pirkko Mannola.