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Ingrid Bergman Biography

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Ingrid Bergman
Ingrid Bergman
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Ingrid Bergman Biography

Ingrid Bergman was born in Stockholm, Sweden, on August 29, 1915. The woman who would be one of the top stars in Hollywood in the 1940s had decided to become an actress after finishing her formal schooling. She had had a taste of acting at age 17 when she played an uncredited role of a girl standing in line in the Swedish film Landskamp (1932) in 1932--not much of a beginning for a girl who would be known as "Sweden's illustrious gift to Hollywood." Her parents died when she was just a girl and the uncle she lived with didn't want to stand in the way of Ingrid's dream. The next year she enrolled in the Swedish Royal Theatre but decided that stage acting was not for her. It would be three more years before she would have another chance at a film. When she did, it was more than just a bit part. The film in question was Munkbrogreven (1935), where she had a speaking part as Elsa Edlund. After several films that year that established her as a class actress, Ingrid appeared in Intermezzo (1936/I) as Anita Hoffman. Luckily for her, American producer David O. Selznick saw it and sent a representative from MGM to gain rights to the story and have Ingrid signed to a contract. Once signed, she came to California and starred in MGM's 1939 remake of her 1936 film, Intermezzo: A Love Story (1939), reprising her original role. The film was a hit and so was Ingrid. Her beauty was unlike anything the movie industry had seen before and her acting was superb. Hollywood was about to find out that they had the most versatile actress the industry had ever seen. Here was a woman who truly cared about the craft she represented. The public fell in love with her. Ingrid was under contract to go back to Sweden to film En enda natt (1939) in 1939 and Juninatten (1940) in 1940. Back in the US she appeared in three films, all well-received. She made only one film in 1942, but it was the classic Casablanca (1942) opposite the great Humphrey Bogart.

Ingrid was choosing her roles well. In 1943 she was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), the only film she made that year. The critics and public didn't forget her when she made Gaslight (1944) the following year--her role of Paula Alquist got her the Oscar for Best Actress. In 1945 Ingrid played in Spellbound (1945), Saratoga Trunk (1945) and The Bells of St. Mary's (1945), for which she received her third Oscar nomination for her role of Sister Benedict. She made no films in 1947, but bounced back with a fourth nomination for _Joan of Arc (1948). In 1949 she went to Italy to film Stromboli (1950), directed by Roberto Rossellini. She fell in love with him and left her husband, Dr. Peter Lindstrom, and daughter, Pia Lindström. America's "moral guardians" in the press and the pulpits were outraged. She was pregnant and decided to remain in Italy, where her son was born. In 1952 Ingrid had twins, Isotta and Isabella Rossellini, who became an outstanding actress in her own right, as did Pia. Ingrid continued to make films in Italy and finally returned to Hollywood in 1956 in the title role in Anastasia (1956), which was filmed in England. For this she won her second Academy Award. She had scarcely missed a beat. Ingrid continued to bounce between Europe and the US making movies, and fine ones at that. A film with Ingrid Bergman was sure to be a quality production. In her final big-screen performance in 1978's Höstsonaten (1978) she had her final Academy Award nomination. Though she didn't win, many felt it was the most sterling performance of her career. Ingrid retired, but not before she gave an outstanding performance in the mini-series A Woman Called Golda (1982) (TV), a film about Israeli prime minister Golda Meir. For this she won an Emmy Award as Best Actress, but, unfortunately, she didn't live to see the fruits of her labor. Ingrid had died on her birthday, from cancer, on August 29, 1982 in London, England. She was 67.


Ingrid Bergman Trivia

Mother of Isabella Rossellini, Isotta Rossellini and Pia Lindström (born 1938). Also, mother of Roberto Ingmar Rosselini (born 1950).

In 1933 she enrolled in the Royal Theatre of Dramatic Art but later changed to films instead.

Married Lars Schmidt in Caxton Hall next to Westminster Abbey, London, England, UK.

Folk singer Woody Guthrie wrote a song in praise of her, titled "Ingrid Bergman," but died before he had a chance to record it. The song can now be heard on Billy Bragg's "Mermaid Avenue" CD.

Ashes scattered at sea off the coast of Sweden.

Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#30). [1995]

Attempts were made by Hollywood producers to change her name in 1939, with possibilities discussed such as Ingrid Berriman and Ingrid Lindstrom (actually her legal married name). Bergman refused, in part because she felt she had worked too hard to establish herself as an actress in Europe under her real name.

She played the part of Joan of Arc three times in her career: 1946 (on stage in Maxwell Anderson's 'Joan of Lorraine') 1948 (Joan of Arc (1948)), and 1954 (Giovanna d'Arco al rogo (1954)).

Former mother-in-law of Martin Scorsese.

Has a type of rose named after her, called the Ingrid Bergman rose.

Many of her shorter male co-stars, such as Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains, had to wear lifts to avoid looking small next to this 5' 10" beauty.

Turned down the role opposite Charlton Heston in Planet of the Apes (1968).

Bergman and Sean Connery had topped a list of "greatest actors of all time" compiled by 50,000 readers of German magazine Funk Uhr.

She and her husband were often invited to dinner parties at the Hitchcock home. According to those present, she never seemed to notice that her host was sulking because of his crush on her.

Was fluent in English, Swedish, French, German and Italian.

Sergio Scaglietti, Ferrari's master coachbuilder and aluminum sculptor, shaped some the most beautiful Ferraris of the '50s and '60s, including the 375MM built in 1954 for her. That "Ingrid" car has, in turn, inspired the proportions of today's 612 Scaglietti, the largest Ferrari ever. (There's even a silver Ingrid paint option).

At her funeral service held at Saint Martin's-in-the-fields Church, there was nothing that was as touching as the moment when, a violin played the strains of 'As Time Goes By'.

She wasn't nominated for Best Actress in her role as the sultry Ilsa, but was nominated for her role in For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943) and lost to her close friend Jennifer Jones for The Song of Bernadette (1943). It was also newcomer Jones' 25th birthday, and after winning when Bergman congratulated her, Jones apologized, saying "Ingrid, you should have won." Then, Bergman said, "No, Jennifer, your Bernadette was better than my Maria.".

She broke her foot at the beginning of the American run of The Constant Wife and played the next five weeks in a wheelchair.

Her daughter, Pia Lindström accepted her Best Leading Actress Emmy for A Woman Called Golda (1982) (TV) posthumously. Bergman died 3 weeks prior to the ceremony, after the ballots were cast.

Cary Grant, her great friend, accepted her Anastasia (1956) Oscar at the 29th Annual Academy Awards (1957).

On their last meeting, Alfred Hitchcock was in tears, terrified of his impending death. Suffering from the cancer that would kill her, Bergman told him, "but of course you are going to die sometime, Hitch, we are all going to die." She later recalled that the comment seemed to bring him peace; it was a bittersweet goodbye. Hitchcock died in 1980, followed by Bergman in 1982.

Her famous love affair with the war photographer, Robert Capa was the basis for Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window (1954).

When Ernest Hemingway told her she would have to cut off her hair for the role of Maria in For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), she shot back, "To get that part, I'd cut my head off!" She would rehearse tirelessly until any hour of the night, begging to repeat a scene long after the director was satisfied.

Her luck was as phenomenal as her talent. In New York City, a Swedish couple praised a film of hers to their son, an elevator operator in the apartment building where one of film producer David O. Selznick's young talent scouts lived. Six months later, Ingrid was on her way to Hollywood. "I owe my whole career to that elevator boy", she would say laughingly.

Industrialist Howard Hughes once bought every available seat from New York to Los Angeles to be sure she would accept a ride in his private plane.

During the making of Casablanca (1942), Humphrey Bogart's wife Mayo Methot continually accused him of having an affair with Bergman, often confronting him in his dressing room before a shot. Bogart would come onto the set in a rage.

Her daughter, Pia Lindström, with first husband Petter Lindstrom, is a television personality and actress. Another daughter, Isabella Rossellini, became a model and actress, and has appeared in such films as Blue Velvet (1986), Immortal Beloved (1994), Merlin (1998/II) (TV) and Don Quixote (2000) (TV).

The studio of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941) had originally cast her in the Beatrix Emery role and Lana Turner in the Ivy Peterson role. Bergman felt the role of Ivy was more challenging and persuaded the producers to switch roles with Turner.

She has the distinction of having inadvertently been one of the first Hollywood performers to help break down the studio contract system.

On the first anniversary of her death, stars, friends and family came to Venice Film Festival to honor her. Among the many guests were Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau, Charlton Heston, Roger Moore, Claudette Colbert, Olivia de Havilland and Prince Albert of Monaco.

Swedes are very proud of Bergman. They even have "Ingrid Bergman Square" with a statue of the screen goddess looking out over the water to her former home. Her ashes were scattered over the sea nearby.

Was named #4 on The Greatest Screen Legends actress list by the American Film Institute.

To prepare for her role of Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, in A Woman Called Golda (1982) (TV), she traveled around Israel and interviewed those who had known Golda. She spent hours studying old newsreels to master Golda's mannerisms. She was 66 years old at the time.

Her father encouraged her play-acting and even helped her find funny hats and costumes to dress up in while he photographed her.

Anthony Quinn had said about her: "Sometimes in motion pictures you love someone so much, but it doesn't work on the screen. And you don't like somebody and you're wonderful on the screen. The two greatest talents I worked with were Ingrid and Anna Magnani. But I would prefer to work with Anna Magnani, whom I didn't like, than Ingrid, whom I loved".

Received a fan letter from James Stewart on his way to combat duty for World War II (1943).

One day at the studio she hooked bumpers with another car. A studio policeman found her tugging and heaving with all her might. The policeman said, "Darndest thing I ever saw. First film star I ever knew that didn't mind getting her hands dirty".

Enjoyed working with Gary Cooper, for she did not have to take off her shoes.

Received a fascinating 1939 telegram from the great Greta Garbo reading, "I would like to see you when I am free, if you would be willing".

Visited Hotel Panamonte in Panama so frequently, her favorite suite was kept on reserve. Flavored with vibrations from Hollywood's "Golden Heyday," her luxurious rooms retain their original décor.

Cannes jury secretary Christiane Guespin was remembering all the different stars at the festival and she said the most impressive was Bergman back in 1973 when she was President of the jury. Guespin said, "Every night, when she arrived at the evening screenings, people would stand and give her an ovation and applause. Every single night. I have never seen that happen for anyone else".

Cary Grant remembered that she had come on the set one morning and was simply out of it: "We went over and over the scene, and she was in some sort of haze. You know, she just wasn't there. But Director Alfred Hitchcock didn't say anything. He just sat there next to the camera, pulling on his cigar. Finally, around 11 a.m., I began to see in Ingrid's eyes that she was starting to come around. And for the first time all morning, the lines were coming out right. And just then Hitchcock said, 'Cut.' Hitch just sat and looked up at Ingrid and said, quietly, 'Good morning, Ingrid.'".

In 1971, when Daily Variety had noted filmmakers select the best films and performers of the sound era, she was named Best Actress.

A tough negotiator, as David O. Selznick said, "Her angelic nature is not above being tarnished by matters of mere money".

Her arrival for her first day's work; wheeled into the studio on a bicycle and wearing sunglasses.

Her autobiography, My Story, published in 1980 was a best-seller.

Lived in five interesting cities in five different countries; Stockholm, Hollywood, Rome, Paris and London.

When Selznick told his prospective new 23-year-old star that they would have to change her name, cap her teeth and pluck her eyebrows, she threatened to return to Sweden.

Suffered a physical breakdown during the filming of Saratoga Trunk (1945).

Received the enormous amount of $129,000 for her role in Broadway's Joan of Lorraine. She also received at least twenty-one awards for that play.

High above Times Square in New York, stood an eight-storey-high figure of her in white plastic armour, (as part of the 1948's Joan of Arc promotion), which had cost $75,000.

She and her third husband, Lars Schmidt, had their own island called Danholmen, off the coast of Sweden.

She was voted the 12th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.

In 1960, she became the third performer to win the Triple Crown of Acting. Oscars for Gaslight (1944), Anastasia (1956), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), Tony-Joan of Lorraine (1947), and Emmys in (1960 and 1982).

Won Broadway's 1947 Tony Award as Best Actress (Dramatic) for "Joan of Lorraine" - an award shared with Helen Hayes. They would later co-star in Anastasia (1956), for which Ms. Bergman won her second Oscar.

Was a good friend of author Ernest Hemingway, whom she called "Papa." He, in turn, called her "Daughter.".

Bergman was making The Bells of St. Mary's (1945), the sequel to Going My Way (1944), when the 1944 Academy Awards ceremony took place. She, co-star Bing Crosby and director Leo McCarey had all been nominated for Oscars, Crosby and for Going My Way (1944). They all won that night, Bergman for Gaslight (1944), the first of her three Academy Awards. When she picked up her Best Actress statuette, she said, "I'm afraid that if I went on the set tomorrow without an Oscar, neither of them would speak to me.".

She was ranked #5 in the Premiere's list of "The 50 Greatest Movie Stars of All Time"

President of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1973.

She and Roberto Rossellini made 6 movies together: Europa '51 (1952), Giovanna d'Arco al rogo (1954), Paura, La (1954), Siamo donne (1953), Stromboli (1950) and Viaggio in Italia (1954).

No relation to Swedish director Ingmar Bergman.

One of the first tall leading ladies in Hollywood in an era where most famous actresses were just over five feet.

Was originally offered the role of Princess Dragonmiroff in _Murder on the Orient Express_ (1974) . She later ended up playing Greta Ohlsson which won her an Oscar. Virtually all of her Oscar-winning performance is contained in a single scene: her interrogation by Poirot, captured in a single continuous take, nearly five minutes long. As she spoke such fluent and accent-less English in real life, a dialogue coach had to be employed for this film, to coach her in giving her character a thick Swedish accent.

Upon accepting her Oscar for Murder on the Orient Express (1974), she apologized to fellow actress Valentina Cortese, who was nominated for Nuit américaine, La (1973), saying that she would have deserved the award more.

She is the favorite actress of poet Cheryl Scott.

Her former French estate was up for sale for $3 million. The country compound, comprising five buildings on 18.5 acres in the pastoral town of Choisille, is located 30 minutes from the center of Paris. The property includes 10 bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a greenhouse, a 55-foot indoor-outdoor pool and a small barn.

On Broadway, her portrayal of Joan of Arc, in Maxwell Anderson's 'Joan of Lorraine,' won her an Antoinette Perry award, the highest honor in the American theater.

Shares the distinction with actors José Ferrer, Helen Hayes and Fredric March of being the first winners of acting Tony Awards when the annual event was established in 1947.

Took acting class from Michael Chekhov in Hollywood.

Bergman and Humphrey Bogart were voted the second greatest on-screen couple of all time in a poll commissioned by British chain store Woolworths for their work in Casablanca (1942). (2005)

In DigitalDreamDoor's 100 Greatest Female Acting Performances, she was ranked 7# for Gaslight (1944), 20# for Casablanca (1942), 62# for Anastasia (1956), 67# for Notorious (1946), 74# for Spellbound (1945) and 86# for Höstsonaten (1978).

In DigitalDreamdoor's 100 Greatest Movie Actresses, Bergman ranked third, only Katharine Hepburn and Meryl Streep topped her in the list.

Took a $7000 pay cut to appear in Casablanca (1942). David O. Selznick gave her the role, not giving her an option to take it or not.

According to her daughter, whenever anyone would come up to her and say "I loved you in Casablanca", she would look at them like she didn't know what they were talking about.

At Stockholm Arlanda airport, there is a large billboard; "Welcome To My Hometown, Ingrid Bergman, legend".

Aigner's Autumn/Winter collection was held at a runway on the Cavenagh Bridge next to the Fullerton Hotel in Singapore. The collection is inspired by Ingrid Bergman, with relaxed elegance, sophistication and, of course, the trench coat from Bergman's scene in Casablanca. The "It" bag this season is the Stromboli, (named after another of Bergman's famous movies).

Harpers & Queen magazine, along with the Getty Images Gallery, put a photographic exhibition together titled (April 2003) 'Queens of the 20th Century at Getty Images Gallery' in London which pay homage to 100 women who have defined style in the past, their ability to influence the wardrobes of their legions of fans and about "women with the most incredible sense of style". Ingrid Bergman was named first among other names like Katharine Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Madonna, Catherine Deneuve, Marilyn Monroe and Jane Fonda.

Jean Renoir, the famed French director adored Ingrid. When she was in desperate straits after splitting with Roberto Rossellini, Renoir quickly got to work and wrote two things for her, the film Elena et les hommes (1956) (Elena and Her Men) and the play Carola.

Was portrayed by her daughter, Isabella Rossellini, in her tribute to her father, the famed Italian director, Roberto Rossellini in My Dad Is 100 Years Old (2005).

San Francisco Chronicle's "The Objects Of Our Affection" ranked her fourth in the female category after Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren. and Marilyn Monroe.

The British magazine 'Harpers and Queen' ranked her fifth on their 'The World's 50 most Alluring Women. Audrey Hepburn was first, followed by Ava Gardner, Julie Christie, and Catherine Deneuve.

In Israel, under The Jewish National Fund, a memorial forest for Ingrid Bergman has been established as part of the Kennedy Memorial Forest near Jerusalem. On the plaque wrote, 'In Memory of Ingrid Bergman, A Great Actress and An Outstanding Person'.

At Warner Bros Studios in Burbank, there's a special area at the museum devoted strictly to Casablanca (1942) which includes Humphrey Bogart & Ingrid Bergman's clothes, the film's script, its costumes, and even the small piano on which Sam "played it again" for Rick and Ilsa.

Frank Sinatra was a good friend of hers.

She considered herself somehow awkward because of her tallness. In "Anastasia" she suggested putting a little block under Yul Brynner. He refused saying: "You think I want to play it standing on a box? I'll show the world what a big horse you are!"

She was sitting in a Paris bathtub in 1957, listening to the Oscars broadcast on the radio, when she heard Cary Grant, her dear old friend for many a year, accept her Best Actress award. Her Notorious (1946) and Indiscreet (1958) costar also introduced her when she returned to the Oscars in 1959 to present Gigi (1958) with Best Picture honors. The standing ovation that met her was as thunderous as any in Oscar history.

Although she played Helen Hayes's granddaughter in Anastasia (1956), she was less than fifteen years younger than her.

Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume One, 1981-1985, pages 67-69. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998.

In Italy, almost all her films were dubbed by Lidia Simoneschi. Only twice, was she dubbed by another Italian actress: Dhia Cristiani in Joan of Arc (1948) and Giovanna Scotto in Casablanca (1942).

Was the first choice to play Terry McKay in "An Affair to Remember" (1957).

The very first Montreal World Film Festival was held in 1977. The festivities were opened by Ingrid Bergman, who was joined by motion-picture greats Fay Wray, Gloria Swanson, Howard Hawkes and Jean-Luc Goddard. It was the only non-competitive year of the festival's history.




 
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