After an education as a banker and a first position in Kristiania (1891) he decided against a career as a merchant and turned to acting. Returning from studies in Denmark and Germany (1894) he found first engagements at Den Nationale Scene, Bergen’s theater.
When the Nationaltheatret was opened in 1899 he moved back to Kristiania and besides acting also began working as a director. During the next decades he could maintain his fame as an actor and director, temporarily also taking responsibility as the National Theater’s director (1930-33).
In the fall of 1943 he and his wife Gerd Ring had to flee to Sweden where he built up the exile theater company Fri Norsk Scene and toured Sweden. He returned to Oslo soon after the liberation