He won Oscars for best foreign language film in 1960, 1961 and 1983, and a collection of his work was added last month to the Unesco store of history's greatest archives.

Fanny and Alexander won four Oscars alone in 1983 and in total Bergman's work included 54 films, 126 theatre productions and 39 radio plays.

His cinematic masterpieces often dwelt on sexual confusion, loneliness and the vain search for the meaning of life, themes that many ascribed to a traumatic childhood in which he was beaten by his father.

"He was one of the great ones," Jorn Donner, who produced Fanny and Alexander, said.

Active private life

Bergman's private life often thrust him into the headlines as much as his films.

He was married five times to beautiful and gifted women and had liaisons with his leading actresses.

In a rare interview in 2001 Bergman said personal demons tormented and inspired him throughout his life.

"The demons are innumerable, appear at the most inconvenient times and create panic and terror," he said at the time.

"But I have learnt that if I can master the negative forces and harness them to my chariot, then they can work to my advantage."


He settled on Faro - or "sheep" island - in the southeast of Sweden and the location for seven of his films.

Each summer the island hosts a celebration of his life and films.