Leading Norwegian actress Wenche Foss dies

AP News
Posted: Mar 28, 2011 2:12 PM
Leading Norwegian actress Wenche Foss dies

Wenche Foss, a leading Norwegian actress, died on Monday after a long illness, a family spokesman said. She was 93.

Since her debut in 1935, Foss had acted in many theater, film and television productions. She also was a major figure in the Scandinavian country's social circles and championed various causes, including promoting cancer awareness.

The actress, who had contracted breast cancer more that 30 years ago, spoke about it publicly to help others with the condition. Foss also was esteemed for her charity efforts and for helping children with Down syndrome, which her son died of.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg described Foss, who died in a hospital, as "one of our dearest actors." The local media often referred to her as "Norway's diva."

Although not well-known abroad, Foss held an almost unrivaled position on the Norwegian stage and was a proficient mezzo-soprano who occasionally performed in operas.

She is survived by a son, Oslo Mayor Fabian Stang, and two grandchildren.