Sven-Ole Thorsen is a Danish actor, stuntman, bodybuilder and strongman competitor. Sven won Denmark's Strongest Man in 1983.
Using his stature he often plays imposing giants and villains in his films who are somehow beaten by smaller opponents in a David and Goliath manner, but he has also played heroic characters such as Gunnar the legendary warrior in The Viking Sagas.
His autobiography Stærk mand i Hollywood (Strong Man in Hollywood) was published on 26 October 2007, and was very well reviewed. The first printing of the book reportedly sold out in 24 hours.
He is known for his frequent appearances in Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, like Conan the Barbarian, as the hammer-wielding Thorgrim; The Running Man, as the sympathetic bodyguard Sven; and in Predator, where he played a one-second role as a Russian General ('Knock Knock').
In spite of Thorsen's thick Danish accent, his voice is almost never dubbed (an exception being Hard Target).
Thorsen pursued his award-winning role as Tigris (of Gaul) in Gladiator for over a year, beating Lou Ferrigno for the part. The part won him two TAURUS World Stunt Awards in the ceremony's inaugural year.
He has a black belt in Shotokan Karate, holding championship titles.
He has two sons, Michael and Martin, from his first marriage.
Thorsen met his second wife, the Swedish circus-artist, snake-charmer, pop-singer and athlete Anniqa in the 1970s, when she married his close friend, boxing champion Hans Jørgen Jacobsen; Anniqa and Sven-Ole Thorsen were married in 1982. The couple divorced in 1991.
Sven-Ole Thorsen lives in Santa Monica in California and has two dogs. In his spare time, Thorsen creates wooden sculptures and enjoys art, which he showed in Danish magazine Euroman.