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Søren Pilmark

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Søren Pilmark
Søren Pilmark being interviewed during the book fair BogForum at Forum Copenhagen in 2008.
Søren Louis Pilmark Nielsen

(1955-10-16) 16 October 1955 (age 66)
Years active1976–present
Susanne Pilmark
(m. 1983)
Parent(s)Louis Nielsen (father)
Birte Pilmark (mother)

Søren Louis Pilmark (born 16 October 1955) is a Danish actor among the most prominent and versatile of his generation. Known for major theater roles (including title roles in "Hamlet" and "Richard III", 'Heisenberg' in "Copenhagen", 'Stockmann' in Henrik Ibsen’s "An Enemy of the People", Engineer in "Miss Saigon" and 'Professor Higgins' in "My Fair Lady"), and for entertainment shows in collaboration with Per Pallesen, ("Pallesen Pilmark Show"), and the comedy and musical group "Ørkenens Sønner" (The Sons of the Desert). Among his film roles are the highly successful comedy "Flickering Lights" and the political drama "King’s Game", on television in Lars von Trier’s "The Kingdom" and in the forthcoming "Vikings": "Valhalla". He directed the Oscar-nominated short film "Helmer & Son". Debut as an author with the historical novel "Varieté" (2021).

Early life

Pilmark was born in Hvidovre, where his father Louis Nielsen was school superintendent, the mother Birte Nielsen was born Pilmark. He graduated from the School of Acting at Aarhus Theater in 1977.


Pilmark started his career at Aarhus Teater 1977-80, then Det Kongelige Teater (The Royal Theatre in Copenhagen) 1981-94, but also as guest at other theatres. He has covered the entire theatre repertoire – the modern, the classical, the musical and the avant-garde. Among his great roles are 'Morten' in "Marx and Coca Cola" (1981), the main role in "Erasmus Montanus" (1983), 'the Pirate King' in "The Pirates of Penzance" (1985), the monologue "Natten før skoven" (1985, Bernard-Marie Koltès: La Nuit juste avant les forêts), 'The Prince' in "Der var engang" (1987), 'Konstantin' in "The Seagull" (1987), 'Johannes' in "Ordet" (1991), the main roles in "Hamlet" (1992) and "Richard III" (1994), 'John" in "Oleanna" (1995), 'Engineer' in "Miss Saigon" (1996), 'Heisenberg' in "København" (1999, Michael Frayn: Copenhagen), "Det store scoop" (2002, David Mamet: Speed the Plow), 'King Philip' in "Don Carlos" (2009), 'Professor Higgins' in "My Fair Lady" (2010), and 'Stockmann' in Henrik Ibsen’s "An Enemy of the People" (2021).

With Per Pallesen he made "The Pallesen Pilmark Show" "[1]" (I-IV, 1984-98), that toured in both in Asia and in the United States. A TV version, which was broadcast on DR, won the 'Silver Rose' at the "Rose d'Or Festival" [2] in 1985.

Since 1991, Pilmark has been part of the musical/comedy group "Ørkenens Sønner" (Sons of the Desert) together with Henrik Koefoed, Niels Olsen and Asger Reher, where he has played the role of 'Omar Papa', who is the lodge’s magical master and technical genius. They have made nine "Ørkenens Sønner" shows (1991-2019), all enormously successful in Denmark with a huge cult following.

Pilmark has worked as stage director, both with the children's classic "Dyrene i Hakkebakkeskoven" (The Danish Theater 1996) and Sam Shepard's in-depth drama "Simpatico" (The Royal Theater 1997).

Film & TV

Pilmark’s first film role was as an extra, a boy in the street, in the comedy "Den kære familie" in 1962, when he was 6. Later film roles include "Flickering Lights" (2000) and "King’s Game" (2004) as well as "Roser og persille" (1993), "Menneskedyret" (1995), "Lad de små børn" (2004), "Lotto" (2006), "Kærestesorger" (2009), the Norwegian "Kon-Tiki" (2012), the American "Downsizing" (2017) and a recurring role in the Jussi Adler-Olsen thrillers "Kvinden i buret", "Fasandræberne", "Flaskepost fra P", and "Journal 64" (2013-2018). In 2006 his short fiction film "Helmer & Son" was nominated for an Academy Award.

On TV he was 'Krogen' (The Hook) in Lars von Trier’s "Riget" ("The Kingdom" I-III, 1994, 1998, 2022). He was in the SitCom "Een stor familie" (1982-83), in the cult Made-for-TV-movie "De skrigende halse" (1993), in "Gøngehøvdingen" (1992), "Taxa" (1999), "Lykke" (2011-2012), "1864" (2014), the Norwegian "Kampen om det tunge vand" (2015) and "Atlantic Crossing" "[3]" (2020) as well as in the forthcoming Netflix production "Vikings" "[4]": "Valhalla".


In 2021 Pilmark’s first novel was published. "Varieté" is a historical drama about a magician, set in a provincial vaudeville theater in Denmark in the 1910s.

Personal life

Pilmark is married to Susanne Rée Pilmark (born 1961) and has three children, Louis, Anton, and Amanda.

Honours and awards

"Knight of the Order of Dannebrog".[5] Robert for "Menneskedyret". 'Theater Trophy' (2000) for his role as 'Werner Heisenberg' in "Copenhagen". "Robert Award"'[6]' for the same role. Best actor ("Flickering Lights"), Method Fest Film Festival, Pasadena (2002). "Bodil Award" '[7]' for Best Supporting Actor and a Robert for "King’s Game". In 2008 he got a bronze portrait in a granite tile in Frederiksberg. In 2018 named honorary artist and had a street named after him, Pilmarken, in Østermarie on Bornholm.


  1. ^ the Pallesen Pilmark Show
  2. ^ Rose d'Or Festival
  3. ^ Atlantic Crossing
  4. ^ Vikings
  5. ^ Order of Dannebrog
  6. ^ Reumert Award
  7. ^ Bodil Award
Preceded by Kattis Ahlström & Anders Lundin Eurovision Song Contest presenter (with Natasja Crone Back) 2001 Succeeded by Annely Peebo & Marko Matvere


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Søren Pilmark
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