Odd Nerdrum was born on April 8, 1944 in Helsingborg, Sweden. His parents, Johan Nerdrum and Edith Marie (Lillemor) Nerdrum, were Resistance fighters, who were sent to Sweden from German-occupied Norway to direct guerrilla activities from outside the country. In 1945, the family returned to Norway. In 1950, Odd's parents divorced, and he and his younger brother were raised by their mother.
After the death of Johan Nerdrum, Odd found out, that the man wasn't his biological father, but David Sandved.