Ingrid Bergman

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Ingrid Bergman
Born Aug 29, 1915
Stockholm, Sweden
Died Aug 29, 1982 - age 67
London, United Kingdom
Years active 1935-1982
Spouse(s) Dr. Aron Petter Lindström (1937-1950)
Roberto Rossellini (1950-1957)
Lars Schmidt (1958-1975)
Awards Academy Award for Best Actress
Gaslight (1944)
1956 Anastasia (1956)

Best Supporting Actress
Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
Emmy Award for Lead Actress
Turn of the Screw (1960)
A Woman Called Golda (1982)
Tony Award for Best Leading Actress
Joan of Lorraine (1974)
Golden Globe - Best Actress
Gaslight (1944)
The Bells of St. Mary's (1946)
Anastasia (1956)
Golden Globe - Mini-series Best Actress
A Woman Called Golda (1983)
BAFTA Best Supporting Actress
Murder on the Orient Express (1984)
Honorary César
1976 Lifetime Achievement
NYFCC Award for Best Actress
Spellbound (1945)
The Bells of St. Mary's (1946)
Anastasia (1956)
Autumn Sonata (1978)
NBR Award for Best Actress
The Inn of the Sixth Happiness
Autumn Sonata

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Ingrid Bergman (August 29, 1915 – August 29, 1982) was a three-time Academy Award-winning and two-time Emmy Award-winning Swedish actress. She also won the Tony Award for Best Actress in the first Tony Award ceremony in 1947. She is ranked as the fourth greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute.


Early years: 1915-1938

Bergman, named after Princess Ingrid of Sweden, was born in Stockholm, Sweden on August 29, 1915 to a Swedish father, Justus Samuel Bergman, and a German mother, Friedel Adler Bergman. When she was three years old, her mother died and her father passed away when she was thirteen. She was then sent to live with an aunt, who died of heart complications only six months later. Afterwards she was raised by another aunt and uncle, who had five children.

At the age of 17, Ingrid Bergman auditioned for and was accepted to the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm. During her first summer break, she was hired at a Swedish film studio, which consequently led to her leaving the Royal Dramatic Theater to work in films full time, after having attended for only one year. Her first film role after leaving the Royal Dramatic Theater was a small part in 1935's Munkbrogreven (She had previously been an extra in the 1932 film Landskamp).

On July 10, 1937, at the age of 21, she married a dentist, Petter Lindström (who would later become a neurosurgeon). On September 20, 1938, she gave birth to a daughter, Pia Lindström.

After a dozen films in Sweden (including En kvinnas ansikte which would later be remade as A Woman's Face with Joan Crawford) and one in Germany, Bergman was signed by Hollywood producer David O. Selznick to star in the 1939 English language remake of her 1936 Swedish language film, Intermezzo. According to Bergman's A&E Biography, Selznick suggested she change her name, have her teeth capped, and her eyebrows plucked, but Ingrid was having none of it. Taken aback by her reply, Selznick changed his mind, allowing Ingrid to keep all her real features and her real name. Intermezzo was an enormous success and Bergman became a star, described as "Sweden's illustrious gift to Hollywood". Some things that set her apart from other female stars in Hollywood at that time were that she did not change her name, her appearance was entirely natural with little to no makeup, and that she was one of the tallest leading ladies.

Italian period: 1949-1957

Ingrid Bergman, in her first Roberto Rossellini film, Stromboli (1950).In 1949, Bergman met Italian director Roberto Rossellini in order to make the film Stromboli (1950), after having been a fan of two of his previous films that she had seen while in the United States. During the making of this movie, she fell in love with him and became pregnant with a son, Roberto Ingmar Rossellini (born February 7, 1950).

The pregnancy caused a huge scandal in the United States. It even led to her being denounced on the floor of the U.S. Senate by Edwin C. Johnson, a Democratic senator from Colorado, who referred to her as "a horrible example of womanhood and a powerful influence for evil." In addition, there was a floor vote, which resulted in her being made persona non grata. The scandal forced Ingrid Bergman to exile herself to Italy, leaving her husband and daughter in the United States. Her husband, Dr. Petter Lindström, eventually sued for desertion and waged a custody battle for their daughter.

Ingrid Bergman married Roberto Rossellini on May 24, 1950. On June 18, 1952, she gave birth to twin daughters, Isabella Rossellini, who is a famous actress and model, and Isotta Ingrid Rossellini, a professor of Italian Literature. Over the next few years, she appeared in several Italian films for Rossellini, including Giovanna d'Arco al rogo (Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher, Joan of Arc at the Stake, 1954), a 1935 dramatic oratorio by Arthur Honegger about Joan of Arc. Their marriage ended in divorce on November 7, 1957.

After separating from Rossellini, she starred in Jean Renoir's Elena and Her Men (Elena et les Hommes, 1956), a romantic comedy where she played a Polish princess caught in political intrigue. Although the film wasn't a success, it has since come to be regarded as one of her best performances.

During her time in Italy, anger over her private life had continued unabated in the United States, with Ed Sullivan at one point infamously polling his TV show audience as to whether she should be permitted to appear on his show. Although the audience was mostly in favor, Sullivan declined to book her. Steve Allen then booked her on his show opposite Sullivan, and answered critics with a letter stating "If it became a principle to keep off TV those performers who have been guilty of adultery, then I am very much afraid that a great many of your favorite programs would disappear."

Later years: 1957-1982

Ingrid Bergman with Yul Brynner in Anastasia (1956), her second Academy Award-winning role.With her starring role in 1956's Anastasia, Bergman made a triumphant return to the American screen and won the Academy Award for Best Actress for a second time. The award was accepted for her by her friend Cary Grant. Bergman would not make her first post-scandal public appearance in Hollywood until the 1958 Academy Awards, when she was the presenter of the Academy Award for Best Picture. Furthermore, after being introduced by Cary Grant and walking out on stage to present, she was given a standing ovation.

Bergman would continue to alternate between performances in American and European films for the rest of her career and also made occasional appearances in television dramas such as a 1959 production of The Turn of the Screw for Startime for which she won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress.

During this time, she also performed in several stage plays. In addition, she married the producer Lars Schmidt, a fellow Swede, on December 21, 1958. This marriage ultimately led to divorce in 1975.

In 1972, Senator Charles H. Percy entered an apology into the Congressional Record for the attack made on her 22 years earlier by Edwin C. Johnson. She was the President of the Jury at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival.

Bergman received her third Academy Award (and first for Best Supporting Actress) for her performance in Murder on the Orient Express (1974), but she publicly declared at the Academy Awards telecast that year that the award rightfully belonged to Italian actress Valentina Cortese for Day for Night by concluding her acceptance speech with "Please forgive me, Valentina. I didn't mean to." Bergman could speak Swedish (her native language), German (her second language), English (learned when brought over to United States), Italian (learned while exiled in Italy), and French (learned formally from language teachers) fluently. In addition, she acted in each of these languages at various times. Fellow actor John Gielgud, who had acted with her in Murder on the Orient Express and who had directed her in the play The Constant Wife, playfully mocked this ability when he remarked, "She speaks five languages and can't act in any of them."

Although known chiefly as a film star, Bergman strongly admired the great English stage actors and their craft. She had the opportunity to appear in London's West End, working with such stage stars as Sir Michael Redgrave in A Month in the Country (1965), Sir John Gielgud in The Constant Wife (1973) and Dame Wendy Hiller in Waters of the Moon (1977-78).

In 1978, she played in Ingmar Bergman's Höstsonaten (Autumn Sonata) for which she received her seventh Academy Award nomination and made her final performance on the big screen. In the film, Bergman plays a celebrity pianist who returns to Sweden to visit her neglected daughter, played by Liv Ullmann. The film was shot in Norway. It is considered by many to be among her best performances. She hosted the AFI's Life Achievement Award Ceremony for Alfred Hitchcock in 1979.

She was honored posthumously with her second Emmy Award for Best Actress in 1982 for the television mini-series A Woman Called Golda, about the late Israeli prime minister Golda Meir. It was her final acting role.


Ingrid Bergman died in 1982 on her 67th birthday in London, England, following a long battle with breast cancer. Her body was cremated in Sweden. Most of her ashes were scattered in the sea with the remainder being interred in the Norra begravningsplatsen in Stockholm next to her parents. A single violin played the song "As Time Goes By", the theme from Casablanca, recalling her most famous role, that of Ilsa Lund.


In 1980, Bergman's autobiography was published under the title Ingrid Bergman: My Story. It was written with the help of Alan Burgess, who had written the book The Small Woman, on which the film The Inn of the Sixth Happiness was based. In the book, she discusses her childhood, her early career, her life during her time in Hollywood, the Rossellini scandal and subsequent events. The book was written after her children warned her that she would only be known through rumors and interviews if she did not tell her own story. It was through this autobiography that her affair with Robert Capa became known.


For her contributions to the motion picture industry, Ingrid Bergman has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6759 Hollywood Blvd. She continues to be a cultural icon — not only for her role in Casablanca, but for her career as a whole and for her innocent, natural beauty. In addition, she is considered by many to be one of the foremost actresses of the 20th century.

There is a hybrid tea rose named after her.

She was the topic of a Woody Guthrie song entitled "Ingrid Bergman", which was composed in the year 1950. At the request of Woody's daughter Nora Guthrie, English folk-rocker Billy Bragg and the alternative country group Wilco set these lyrics to music and placed the song on the 1998 hit album "Mermaid Avenue."

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