Stellan was born on June 13, 1951 in Gothenberg, Sweden.
He became a teen star in 1968 after playing the title role in the TV miniseries Bombi Bitt och jag.
From 1972-88, he was employed at The Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, where he starred in such productions as Vita rum (1988), August Strindberg’s Ett drömspel (1986) and Mäster Olof (1988).
He has appeared in over fifty films since 1982. His performance in The Simple-Minded Murder (1982) garnered the actor both a Guldbagge (Sweden’s Oscar) and a Silver Berlin Bear. He also played the lead in the Oscar-nominated Oxen (1991) directed by the world-famous cinematographer Sven Nykvist.
Stellan made his foray into American film with The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988). His role as Captain Tupolev in The Hunt for Red October (1990) was supposed to be his biggest part in a Hollywood film, but unfortunately it was edited down. Instead, his breakthrough came with Lars von Trier’s Breaking the Waves (1996) opposite newcomer Emily Watson. He made two more films with Von Trier – Dancer in the Dark (2000) and Dogville (2003).
Following Breaking the Waves, Stellan landed several supporting roles in high profile American films such as Good Will Hunting (1997), Amistad (1997) and Ronin (1998). (see filmography). He has also taken on leading roles in both American and international cinema, such as Insomnia (1997), Aberdeen (2000), The Glass House (2001) and Exorcist: The Beginning (2004).
Stellan married My Gïnther in 1976 and together they had six children – Alexander (b.1976), Gustaf (b.1980), Sam (b.1982), Bill (b.1990), ‘Eija (b.1992) and Valter (b.1995). Four of the children are actors. Stellan was separated from his first wife for several years before marrying Megan Everett in January 2009 and his seventh child Ossian was born on April 2 , 2009.