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Alexander Skarsgård, known to television fans as Eric Northman, the undead owner of Fangtasia, on HBO's vampire drama True Blood, is a Swedish actor and director born into an acting family from Stockholm, Sweden. Alex made his acting debut in the 1984 award-winning drama by Allan Edwall, Åke och hans värld (Åke and His World). Throughout the '80s, he worked as a child actor in movies including his portrayal of Jojjo in Hunden som log (The Dog That Smiled), which made him a teenage sensation in Sweden in 1989.
When he became a teenager, Alex didn't want to go into acting any longer and turned down further acting jobs. He decided to major in Political Science and also entered the military service as a marine. He intended to take up architecture in Stockholm but instead attended Leeds Metropolitan University in England, where he studied language. After only six months, he left the school with a Cambridge Proficiency Certificate. In 1997, he was drawn back into acting and enrolled at Marymount Theatre School in New York City for two years. He then came back to Sweden and applied what he learned as he appeared in several Scandivanian-produced films. In 2003, he shared two awards with writer-director Björne Larson at the Odense International Film Festival -- the Grand Prix and the Press Award, for their work on the drama short Att döda ett barn (To Kill a Child). During the course of his career, he signed with the agency Endeavor in Los Angeles and New York and with Markham & Froggatt, Britain's most acclaimed agency, to represent him in Europe.