Ingrid Bergman was a Swedish actress who became one of the most celebrated stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood. She was known for her natural beauty, versatile talent, and international appeal. She starred in some of the most iconic films of the era, such as Casablanca, Notorious, and Gaslight, as well as acclaimed European films by directors like Roberto Rossellini, Alfred Hitchcock, and Ingmar Bergman (no relation). She won three Academy Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, a Tony Award, four Golden Globe Awards, and a BAFTA Award, among many other honors. She is widely regarded as one of the greatest actresses in cinematic history.
Table of Contents
Early Life and Career in Sweden
Bergman was born on August 29, 1915, in Stockholm, Sweden, to a Swedish father and a German mother. She lost both her parents at a young age and was raised by relatives. She developed a passion for acting and enrolled in the Royal Dramatic Theatre School in Stockholm at the age of 17. She made her film debut in 1932 in a Swedish film called Landskamp. She soon became a popular star in Sweden, appearing in films such as Intermezzo, A Woman’s Face, and June Night.
Hollywood Breakthrough and Stardom
In 1939, Bergman was invited to Hollywood by producer David O. Selznick, who had seen her in Intermezzo and wanted to remake it in English with her as the lead. She signed a contract with Selznick and moved to America with her husband, Petter Lindström, and their daughter, Pia. She reprised her role as a pianist in love with a married violinist in Intermezzo, which was a success and launched her Hollywood career. She quickly became one of the most sought-after actresses in Hollywood, working with some of the best directors and co-stars of the era. She starred in films such as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Spellbound, The Bells of St. Mary’s, and Notorious, earning four Oscar nominations and one win for Gaslight, in which she played a woman driven to madness by her husband.
Her most famous role was that of Ilsa Lund, the former lover of Humphrey Bogart’s Rick Blaine, in Casablanca (1942), which is considered one of the greatest films of all time. The film, set in Morocco during World War II, tells the story of Ilsa and Rick, who reunite and face a difficult choice between love and duty.
Scandal and Exile in Italy
In 1949, Bergman left her husband and daughter to pursue a relationship with Italian director Roberto Rossellini, whom she had admired and written to, asking to work with him. She starred in his film Stromboli, which was a commercial and critical failure, and became pregnant with his son, Roberto. The affair caused a huge scandal in America, where Bergman was denounced as a home-wrecker and a bad mother. She was even condemned by a U.S. senator on the floor of the Senate, who called her “a powerful influence for evil”. She was effectively blacklisted in Hollywood and moved to Italy with Rossellini, where they married in 1950 and had two more children, twins Isabella and Ingrid.
Bergman continued to make films with Rossellini, but none of them were well received by the public or the critics. She also faced legal battles with her ex-husband, who refused to grant her a divorce and custody of their daughter. She was estranged from Pia for several years, until they reconciled in 1957. Bergman and Rossellini’s marriage also deteriorated, and they divorced in 1957, after seven years of tumultuous and passionate partnership.
Hollywood Comeback and Later Years
In 1956, Bergman made a triumphant return to Hollywood with the film Anastasia, in which she played the title role of a woman who claims to be the surviving daughter of the last Russian czar. The film was a hit and earned Bergman her second Oscar. She was welcomed back by the industry and the public, who had forgiven her for her scandal. She resumed her career in Hollywood and Europe, working with directors like Jean Renoir, Stanley Donen, Sidney Lumet, and Ingmar Bergman. She starred in films such as Indiscreet, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, The Visit, Cactus Flower, Murder on the Orient Express, and Autumn Sonata, earning two more Oscar nominations and one win for Murder on the Orient Express, in which she played a timid Swedish missionary.
She also appeared on stage and television, winning a Tony Award for The Constant Wife and two Emmy Awards for A Woman Called Golda and A Matter of Time. She married her third husband, Lars Schmidt, a Swedish producer, in 1958, and divorced him in 1975. She had a close friendship with photographer Robert Capa, who died in 1954, and wrote a memoir, My Story, with Alan Burgess, published in 1980.
Illness and Death
In 1974, Bergman was diagnosed with breast cancer, which she battled for eight years. She continued to work until the end, making her final film, A Woman Called Golda, in 1982, in which she played the Israeli prime minister Golda Meir. She received critical acclaim and a posthumous Emmy Award for her performance. She died on August 29, 1982, her 67th birthday, in London, England. She was cremated and her ashes were scattered in the sea off the coast of Sweden, according to her wishes. She left behind four children, nine grandchildren, and a legacy of unforgettable films and performances.
Ingrid Bergman Movies
Ingrid Bergman filmography with details:
- Landskamp (1932): A Swedish drama film in which Ingrid Bergman plays Elsa Edlund, the sister of the main character, Erik Andersson.
- Munkbrogreven (1935): A Swedish comedy film in which Bergman plays Elsa Edlund, a maid who works at a hotel in the Old Town of Stockholm.
- Swedenhielms (1935): A Swedish comedy-drama film in which Ingrid Bergman plays Astrid Swedenhielm, the daughter of a professor who belongs to an old aristocratic family.
- Walpurgis Night (1935): A Swedish drama film in which Ingrid Bergman plays Lena Bergström, a bank clerk who is unhappily in love with her boss, Johan Borg.
- På solsidan (1936): A Swedish comedy-drama film in which Bergman plays Eva Bergh, a young woman who works as an office clerk and dreams of becoming an artist.
- Intermezzo (1936): A Swedish drama film in which Ingrid Bergman plays Anita Hoffman, a pianist who falls in love with a married violinist, Holger Brandt.
- Dollar (1938): A Swedish comedy film in which Ingrid Bergman plays Julia Balzar, a millionaire’s wife who goes on a vacation in the mountains with her husband and two other couples.
- En kvinnas ansikte (1938): A Swedish drama film in which Bergman plays Anna Holm, a woman who leads a criminal gang and has a disfigured face.
- Die vier Gesellen (1938): A German drama film in which Bergman plays Marianne Kruge, a young woman who studies graphic design and forms a friendship with three other female students.
- Intermezzo: A Love Story (1939): An American remake of the 1936 Swedish film, in which Bergman reprises her role as Anita Hoffman.
- Juninatten (1940): A Swedish drama film in which Ingrid Bergman plays Kerstin Norbäck, a young woman who witnesses a murder and flees to a small town.
- Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941): A horror film in which Bergman plays Ivy Peterson, a barmaid who is seduced and abused by the evil alter ego of a scientist, Dr. Henry Jekyll.
- Adam Had Four Sons (1941): A drama film in which Ingrid Bergman plays Emilie Gallatin, a French governess who works for a wealthy family in New York.
- Rage in Heaven (1941): A psychological thriller film in which Bergman plays Stella Bergen, a woman who marries a mentally unstable man, Philip Monrell.
- Casablanca (1942): A classic romance film in which Bergman plays Ilsa Lund, the former lover of Rick Blaine, who runs a nightclub in Morocco during World War II.
- For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943): A war film in which Ingrid Bergman plays Maria, a young Spanish woman who falls in love with an American guerrilla fighter, Robert Jordan.
- Gaslight (1944): A psychological thriller film in which Ingrid Bergman plays Paula Alquist, a woman who is manipulated and tormented by her husband, Gregory Anton.
- The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945): A drama film in which Bergman plays Sister Benedict, a nun who works as a teacher at a Catholic school.
- Spellbound (1945): A psychological thriller film in which Bergman plays Dr. Constance Petersen, a psychiatrist who tries to help a man who suffers from amnesia and may have committed a murder.
- Notorious (1946): A spy film in which Ingrid Bergman plays Alicia Huberman, a woman who is recruited by a U.S. agent to infiltrate a group of Nazis in Brazil.
- Arch of Triumph (1948): A drama film in which Bergman plays Joan Madou, a woman who becomes involved with a refugee doctor in Paris before World War II.
- Joan of Arc (1948): A historical film in which Ingrid Bergman plays the title role of Joan of Arc, a French peasant girl who leads the French army against the English.
- Under Capricorn (1949): A historical film in which Bergman plays Lady Henrietta Flusky, a woman who lives in Australia with her alcoholic husband.
- Stromboli (1950): An Italian drama film in which Ingrid Bergman plays Karin, a Lithuanian refugee who marries a fisherman and moves to his island of Stromboli.
- Europa ’51 (1952): An Italian drama film in which Bergman plays Irene Girard, a wealthy woman who becomes a social activist after the death of her son, and is misunderstood and rejected by her family and society.
- Viaggio in Italia (1954): An Italian drama film in which Bergman plays Katherine Joyce, a woman who travels to Italy with her husband, Alex, and faces the dissolution of their marriage.
- La Paura (1954): An Italian-German drama film in which Bergman plays Irene Wagner, a woman who is blackmailed by her lover’s ex-girlfriend, and tries to hide her affair from her husband, Albert.
- Giovanna d’Arco al rogo (1954): An Italian-French film, in which Bergman plays the title role of Joan of Arc, a French peasant girl who leads the French army against the English and is tried and burned at the stake, based on a stage play by Paul Claudel.
- Elena and Her Men (1956): A French comedy film in which Ingrid Bergman plays Elena Sokorowska, a Polish princess who becomes involved with a French general, François Rollan, and influences the political situation in France.
- Anastasia (1956): An American historical film in which Bergman plays Anna Anderson, a woman who claims to be the surviving daughter of the last Russian czar, Nicholas II.
- Indiscreet (1958): An American romantic comedy film in which Ingrid Bergman plays Anna Kalman, a famous actress who falls in love with a diplomat, Philip Adams, who pretends to be married to avoid commitment.
- The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958): An American biographical film in which Ingrid Bergman plays Gladys Aylward, a British missionary who works in China and helps the Chinese people during the Second Sino-Japanese War.
- The Turn of the Screw (1959): An American television film in which Ingrid Bergman plays Miss Giddens, a governess who is hired to look after two children, Miles and Flora, at a haunted estate, based on the novella by Henry James.
- Startime (1960): An American anthology television series, where Bergman appears in one episode, “The Turn of the Screw”, reprising her role as Miss Giddens.
- Twenty-Four Hours in a Woman’s Life (1961): A British television film in which Bergman plays Alice, a woman who meets and falls in love with a young gambler, Robert, in Monte Carlo, based on a novella by Stefan Zweig.
- Goodbye Again (1961): A French-American drama film in which Bergman plays Paula Tessier, a middle-aged interior designer who has an affair with a young man, Philip Van der Besh, while being in love with a married businessman, Roger Demarest.
- The Visit (1964): A French-American drama film in which Ingrid Bergman plays Karla Zachanassian, a wealthy woman who returns to her hometown and offers the residents a large sum of money to kill the man who wronged her many years ago.
- Cactus Flower (1969): An American romantic comedy film in which Bergman plays Stephanie Dickinson, a dentist who is secretly in love with her married boss, Julian Winston, played by Walter Matthau.
- A Walk in the Spring Rain (1970): An American drama film in which Ingrid Bergman plays Lillian Moore, a housewife who has an affair with a younger man, Robert Eaton, played by Anthony Perkins.
- The Touch (1971): An American-Swedish drama film in which Bergman plays Karin Borg, a woman who has an affair with a married man, David Sanders, played by Elliott Gould.
Bergman’s filmography is one of the most impressive and diverse in Hollywood history. She was a versatile actress who could play a wide range of roles, from romantic leads to complex and challenging characters. Her films continue to be enjoyed by audiences around the world.
Ingrid Bergman was a star of the Golden Age of Hollywood, who captivated audiences with her natural charm, freshness, intelligence, and vitality. She was the image of sincerity and idealized womanhood, but also a complex and independent woman who followed her heart and her art. She was one of the most influential screen figures in cinematic history, who won numerous accolades and inspired generations of actors and filmmakers. She was a Swedish actress who became a global icon, and a legend who lives on in her films and in the hearts of her fans.
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions about Ingrid Bergman people ask on Google and their answers:
What is Ingrid Bergman famous for?
Ingrid Bergman was a Swedish actress who was famous for her roles in classic films such as Casablanca, Notorious, and Gaslight. She was known for her natural beauty, versatile talent, and international appeal. She won three Academy Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, a Tony Award, four Golden Globe Awards, and a BAFTA Award, among many other honors.
When was Ingrid Bergman born?
August 29, 1915
When did Ingrid Bergman die?
August 29, 1982
What did Ingrid Bergman died of?
Ingrid Bergman died of breast cancer on August 29, 1982, her 67th birthday. She had been battling the disease for eight years.
What was Ingrid Bergman’s most famous role?
Ilsa Lund in Casablanca (1942)
What other famous movies did Ingrid Bergman star in?
Notorious (1946), Gaslight (1944), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), Anastasia (1956), Intermezzo (1936), The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945), Spellbound (1945), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941), Joan of Arc (1948), The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958), and The Visit (1964)
What awards did Ingrid Bergman win?
Three Academy Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, a Tony Award, four Golden Globe Awards, and a BAFTA Award
Was Ingrid Bergman married?
Yes, she was married three times.
Did Ingrid Bergman have any children?
Yes, she had four children.
Is Ingrid Bergman still alive?
No, she died in 1982.