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AWARDS Sweden / USA

Swedish actor Hans Lundgren to receive Eliason Merit Award

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- Hans? No, Swedish movie star and action hero 'Dolph' Lundgren will be honoured by the Swedish-American prize for 'strengthening Swedish-American relations'

Swedish actor Hans Lundgren to receive Eliason Merit Award

Swedish-born US movie star and action hero Dolph Lundgren will receive this year's Eliason Merit Award, instigated by the Los Angeles-based Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, during a red-carpet dinner on November 30 at West Hollywood's The Lot, the workplace for many legendary stars, including Charlie Chaplin and Elizabeth Taylor.

Given to "individuals who have contributed significantly toward strengthening relations between the United States and Sweden in the areas of commerce, culture, science and the arts", the prize has previously been presented to Swedish-American actress-singer Ann-Margret (in 2000) and Swedish-American James Bond actress-model Maud Adams (2003).

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The star of such films as The Expendables 2 and Rocky IV, Hans Dolph Lundgren was born and raised in an academic middle-class family in Stockholm, Sweden. Pursuing an engineering degree, he studied in Stockholm, Washington and Clemson, South Carolina, graduating in Stockholm.

First he went to New York, where he took up modeling, to make some extra cash. "Hey man, you look like you should be in the movies," said a friend - his big break was when among 5,000 hopefuls he was cast by writer-director Sylvester Stallone in Rocky IV. Lundgren, who has a third degree black belt in karate, has since performed in 40 films and directed five features.

His production companies, Thor Pictures and Red Orm Productions, are currently developing several projects following Command Performance (2009), which he co-wrote and directed; a founding member of the Group of Eight off-Broadway theatre group, he is in talks to a Swedish director of performing on stage in Sweden, while also working on a fitness book for men.

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