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Ingrid Bergman 1915-1982
 


Country : Stockholm, Sweden
Profession : Actress
Date of birth : 1915-08-29
Date of death : 1982-08-29
Cause of Death : Breast cancer

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Bergman

Ingrid Bergman (August 29, 1915 – August 29, 1982) was a Swedish three-time Academy Award-winning and two-time Emmy Award-winning 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 American cinema of all time by the American Film Institute. She is widely remembered for her performance as Ilsa Lund in the 1942 classic Casablanca .

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 of age, her mother died. Her father died 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, 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, Bergman 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, Die vier Gesellen (1938), 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.

Hollywood period: 1938-1949

After completing one last film in Sweden and appearing in three moderately successful films in the United States, Bergman joined Humphrey Bogart in the 1942 classic film Casablanca, which remains her best-known role. Bergman did not consider Casablanca to be one of her favorite performances. "I made so many films which were more important, but the only one people ever want to talk about is that one with Bogart." About Bogart, she said "I never really knew him. I kissed him, but I didn't know him."

That same year, Bergman received her first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), which was also her first color film. The following year, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress for Gaslight (1944). After losing to Ingrid Bergman for the 1944 Best Actress Academy Award, Barbara Stanwyck told the press she was a "member of The Ingrid Bergman Fan Club," declaring, "I don't feel at all bad about the Award because my favorite actress won it and has earned it by all her performances." Bergman received a third consecutive nomination for Best Actress with her performance as a nun in The Bells of St. Mary's (1945). Bergman had been considered for the role of Mother Maria-Veronica in 1944's The Keys of the Kingdom, but the part ultimately went to Rose Stradner, who was then the wife of the film's producer, Joseph Mankiewicz.

Later, Bergman would receive another Best Actress nomination for Joan of Arc (1948), an independent film based on the Maxwell Anderson play Joan of Lorraine, produced by Walter Wanger, and initially released through RKO. Bergman had championed the role since her arrival in Hollywood, which is one of the reasons she had played it on the Broadway stage in Anderson's play. Partly because of the pregnancy-out-of-wedlock scandal involving Bergman with Italian film director Roberto Rossellini, the film, which was still in theatres when the scandal broke, was not a big hit with the public. Even worse, it received disastrous reviews, and although nominated for several Academy Awards , did not receive a Best Picture nomination. It was subsequently shorn of 45 minutes, and it was not until its restoration to full length in 1998 and its 2004 appearance on DVD that later audiences could see it as it was intended to be shown.

Bergman starred in the Alfred Hitchcock films Spellbound (1945), Notorious (1946), and Under Capricorn (1949). Unlike her earlier Hitchcock films, Under Capricorn, the only one of the three made in color, was a slow-paced costume drama, and has never received the acclaim that the other films that Bergman made with Hitchcock have. Ingrid Bergman was a student of the acting coach Michael Chekhov during the 1940s. Coincidentally, it was his role in Spellbound, of which she was a star, that he received his only nomination for an Academy Award.

Between motion pictures, Bergman appeared in the stage plays Liliom, Anna Christie, and Joan of Lorraine. Furthermore, during a press conference in Washington, D.C. for the promotion of Joan of Lorraine, she protested against segregation after seeing it first hand at the theater she was acting in. This led to a lot of publicity and some hate mail.

Bergman went to Alaska during World War II in order to entertain troops. Soon after the war ended, she also went to Europe for the same purpose, where she was able to see the devastation caused by the war. It was during this time that she began a relationship with the famous photographer Robert Capa. She became a smoker after needing to smoke for her role in Arch of Triumph.

Italian period: 1949-1957

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, Renato Roberto Giusto Giuseppe ("Robin") Rossellini (born February 7, 1950).

The pregnancy caused a huge scandal in the United States. It even led to Bergman 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, Dr. Petter Lindström, and daughter, Pia Lindstrom in the United States. Dr. Lindstrom eventually sued for desertion and waged a custody battle for their daughter.

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, Bergman 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 Bergman's 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, Ed 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

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, Bergman 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 Bergman 22 years earlier by Edwin C. Johnson. She was the President of the Jury at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival.

Bergman became one of the elite actors to receive three Oscars when she won her third (and first for Best Supporting Actress) for her performance in Murder on the Orient Express (1974), which she graciously accepted paying tribute to her fellow nominee Valentina Cortese - nominated for Day for Night - concluding her acceptance speech with the words "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, Bergman 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.

Bergman 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.

Death

Bergman died in 1982 on her 67th birthday in London, England, following a long battle with breast cancer. The exact cause was lymphoma complications following a breast cancer operation. 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.

Autobiography

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.

Legacy

For her contributions to the motion picture industry, 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 Bergman.

Bergman was the topic of a Woody Guthrie song entitled "Ingrid Bergman", which was composed in 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.

Awards

Year

Group

Award

Won?

Film/Play

 

1944

Academy Award

Best Actress

No

For Whom the Bell Tolls

 

1945

Academy Award

Best Actress

Yes

Gaslight

 

Golden Globe

Best Actress - Motion Picture

 

1946

Academy Award

Best Actress

No

The Bells of St. Mary's

 

Golden Globe

Best Actress - Motion Picture

Yes

 

NYFCC Award

Best Actress

Yes

Spellbound

 

1947

Tony Award

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play

Yes

Joan of Lorraine

 

1949

Academy Award

Best Actress

No

Joan of Arc

 

1956

NYFCC Award

Best Actress

Yes

Anastasia

 

1957

Academy Award

 

Golden Globe

Best Motion Picture Actress - Drama

 

1958

NBR Award

Best Actress

Yes

The Inn of the Sixth Happiness

 

1959

BAFTA

Best Foreign Actress

No

 

Golden Globe

Best Motion Picture Actress - Drama

No

 

Best Motion Picture Actress - Comedy/Musical

Indiscreet

 

1960

Emmy Award

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie

Yes

Turn of the Screw

 

1961

Emmy Award

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie

No

24 Hours in a Woman's Life

 

1970

Golden Globe

Best Motion Picture Actress - Musical/Comedy

No

Cactus Flower

 

1975

Academy Award

Best Supporting Actress

Yes

Murder on the Orient Express

 

BAFTA

 

1976

César Award

Honorary Award

Yes

 

1978

NBR Award

Best Actress

Yes

Höstsonaten

 

NYFCC Award

 

1979

Academy Award

Best Actress

No

 

Golden Globe

Best Motion Picture Actress - Drama

 

NSFC Award

Best Actress

Yes

 

1982

Emmy Award

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie

Yes

A Woman Called Golda

 

1983

Golden Globe

Best Actress in a Mini-series or Motion Picture Made for Television

 

Filmography

FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
A Woman Called Golda (26-Apr-1982)
Autumn Sonata (8-Oct-1978)
A Matter of Time (31-Oct-1976)
Murder on the Orient Express (24-Nov-1974)
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (1973)
Cactus Flower (16-Dec-1969)
The Yellow Rolls-Royce (31-Dec-1964)
The Visit (11-Sep-1964)
Goodbye Again (29-Jun-1961)
The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (11-Dec-1958)
Indiscreet (20-May-1958)
Anastasia (13-Dec-1956)
Elena and Her Men (12-Sep-1956)
Voyage to Italy (7-Sep-1954)
Europa '51 (28-Aug-1952)
Stromboli (15-Feb-1950)
Under Capricorn (8-Sep-1949)
Joan of Arc (11-Nov-1948)
Arch of Triumph (17-Feb-1948)
Notorious (15-Aug-1946)
The Bells of St. Mary's (7-Dec-1945)
Saratoga Trunk (21-Nov-1945)
Spellbound (31-Oct-1945)
Gaslight (4-May-1944)
For Whom the Bell Tolls (14-Jul-1943)
Casablanca (26-Nov-1942)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (12-Aug-1941)
Adam Had Four Sons (27-Mar-1941)
Rage in Heaven (7-Mar-1941)
Intermezzo: A Love Story (22-Sep-1939)

Author of books:
My Story (1980, memoir)

 

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