Norway’s National Theater was mourning the loss this week of actor and author Trond Brænne, who died over the weekend of a massive stroke. Brænne was 59 and had held a permanent position at the National Theater in Oslo since 2001.
“There is great sorrow at Nationaltheatret,” read a press statement from the theater on Monday. “Trond Brænne was an endearing artist and an equally endearing colleague. He has died much too early.”
Brænne was known for his roles ranging from Brede in Markens grøde (Growth of the Soil) to Tobias in the children’s play Folk of røvere i Kardemomme by. He joined the National Theater after being among the actors at Det Norske Teatret for 20 years, and after claiming that he “had received life as a gift.” That’s because he had suffered two heart attacks and undergone what was deemed to be a successful heart transplant operation.
In addition to his theater work, he also worked in radio drama, film and television, wrote several songs and plays himself and books for children. He enjoyed playing kind, fatherly figures but also was known for his humor. He won several awards over the years, including Radioteatrets honorary prize.
“The reason everyone here at the theater is taking this so hard is that he was just such an unusually beautiful person,” Hanne Tømta, chief of the National Theater, told newspaper Dagsavisen. She called his death “a great loss for the National Theater and for Norwegian cultural life.”
Funeral services were pending.