Bo Svenson - Biography
An award-winning actor, writer, producer and director, Bo Svenson has during his career worked with over one hundred Academy Award winners and/or nominees.
He is a prolific writer in addition to being an accomplished actor. His first novel, For Love and Country — A Dream of America, was published in December 2015. His screenplay Don't Call Me Sir! won Best Adapted Screenplay at the 2016 Artemis Film Festival, Best Original Screenplay at the 2016 All Sports Los Angeles Film Festival, the 2015 New York Screenplay Contest's "Park Avenue Prize for Drama", and 1st Place in Drama at the 2015 Los Angeles Screenplay Contest, In addition his screenplay Dreamers (formerly For Love and Country — A Dream of America) won two Gold Awards at the International Independent Film Awards.
He has several other screenplays in various stages of development and pre-production, including Yakuzano; Misguided; Viking: The Red Cloth; and Fate, Two Kids and an ET.
Born in Sweden to a Russian Jewish mother and a Swedish father, Svenson emigrated by himself to the US as a teenager and began by serving his new country with six years in the U.S. Marines. After an honorable discharge, he was spotted in Miami by James Hammerstein Jr. and cast in a revival of South Pacific. Curious to find out if acting was for him, he headed to New York where he landed the lead role as Yang Sun in Bertolt Brecht's play The Good Woman of Szechuan at The Circle In The Square Theater in Greenwich Village -- and cast in a starring role in the CBS TV pilot The Freebooters.
Other starring roles followed, as well as a recurring role as Big Swede on Here Come the Brides. His role as the Creature in the three-hour TV movie Mary Shelley's Original Frankenstein brought him great acclaim and led to a starring role in Maurie and the co-starring role with Robert Redford in The Great Waldo Pepper.
Major starring roles followed: Sheriff Buford Pusser in Walking Tall Part II, Walking Tall Final Chapter and the Walking Tall TV series; crazed football player Jo Bob in North Dallas Forty; heroic airline pilot Captain Campbell in The Delta Force; jealous bar-owner Roy Jennings in Clint Eastwood's Heartbreak Ridge; and cold-blooded killer Ivan in Magnum, P.I.
In addition to recently being the Russian mob boss Vadim in Icarus, he portrayed Reverend Harmony in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill and The Colonel in Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. He was the only actor from the original The Inglorious Bastards cast included by Tarantino in his homage to that movie, one of his all-time favorites.
An accomplished athlete, he has competed in world championships, Olympic selections and/or international competition in judo, yachting, track, and ice hockey -- and he drove NASCAR.
A black belt in judo, karate, and aikido, he has been inducted into the Martial Arts Masters Hall of Fame. He retired from judo competition after winning a silver in the 2009 USA Judo National Championships, a bronze in the IJF World Judo Masters Championships, and a gold in the 2013 USJA Winter Nationals.
He was recently Sports Commissioner at the Special Olympics World Games: 2015 LA -- held at his alma mater UCLA where he had pursued a Ph.D. in metaphysics until his film career took over.
He is president and CEO of MagicQuest Entertainment, a California corporation engaged in international motion picture and television development, production, and branded advertainment. MagicQuest also provides consulting service to actors and writers.
A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (oscars.org) since 1985, he serves on the nominating committee for Best Foreign Language Film and is a juror on the Student Academy Award committee.
He was Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Motion Picture Group of America from 1984-2004.
His numerous honors and nominations include Lifetime Achievement Awards from Action On Film, the Movieville International Film Festival, and The Reel Cowboys Hall of Fame; the NAACP Image Award Nomination; the Academy of Science Fiction and Fantasy Golden Scroll Award; the Hollywood Women's Press Club Golden Apple; the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast for Inglourious Basterds; and the Italian Institute of Art Award of Merit.
His short film, Made For Each Other -- that he wrote, produced and directed starring Dennis Hopper -- was nominated for Best Short at numerous festivals and won the Award of Excellence at the Accolade Global Film Competition.
He conducts "The Ultimate Acting Lesson: Don't Act - Be!" seminars in colleges, universities and corporate boardrooms around the globe.
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