Beata Arnborg

Beata Arnborg is an award-winning author and a journalist with longstanding background within cultural journalism. She has written the well-known biographies of Vivi Täckholm, Barbro Alving and Kerstin Thorvall and has recently released the biography of Zarah Leander. 

Photo: Sofia Runarsdotter


See me! – A biography of Zarah Leander

Renowned as ‘The Last Diva’ – famous, notorious, adored and controversial in equal measure, Zarah Leander was known not only for her dark voice and grand gestures but also for being Nazi Germany’s biggest movie star and a major international singer. She was born Sara Hedberg in a small town in Sweden in 1907 and initially found fame through the cabaret stages. She would later in life be marred by questions worldwide surrounding the role she played in the Third Reich. For the last seventy years her past has served as an unwelcome reminder of Sweden’s ambivalence towards this unprecedented historical period.

This is the first Swedish biography of the enigmatic figure, whose fascinating story spans poverty, wealth, craftiness, despair and happiness. Beata Arnborg's book reveals previously unknown facts about the star including a detailed insight into the six years she lived in Germany and the role she played during this period; Should Zarah be held accountable for her actions or should she now be left to rest in peace?

Both as a human and an artist, Zarah Leander was larger than life; a spiritual amazon. Not merely a sweet starlet but beautiful, talented, fun, ambitious, passionate and friendly. As her friend, Karl Gerhard, said when introducing her: “Make room for Zarah, with hair red like the devil, a pure soul and the voice of an angel!”

Beata Arnborg

Original title:
Se på mig! En biografi över Zarah Leander

March 2017

Non fiction

Original publisher:
Natur & Kultur

Reading material:
Swedish manuscript (final)

511 pages including references


“Today she seems more interesting than ever. Beata Arnborg’s solid page turner biography follows Zarah Leander closely, with enlightening glances at the salons and platforms of the Swedish welfare state.”



“Great women require great books. Everything but a brick had been an insult to Zarah Leander, and Beata Arnborg, who serves us 500 fully loaded pages about our dark-voiced diva, understands that. Most exciting are the years around World War II when Zarah was a celebrated film star in the service of Nazi Germany. The spy rumours stained her reputation, but some claim that she rather worked for the Allies. Fling the feather boa around your neck and enjoy the mix between glamour and academic accuracy in Look at Me.”

MMMM, M-Magasin