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Ingrid Bergman Overview:

Legendary actress, Ingrid Bergman, was born on Aug 29, 1915 in Stockholm, Sweden. Bergman appeared in over 50 film and TV roles. Her best known films include Casablanca, Notorious, Spellbound, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1941, Gaslight, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Bells of St. Mary's, Saratoga Trunk, Joan of Arc, Indiscreet, Anastasia and Cactus Flower. Bergman died at the age of 67 on Aug 29, 1982 in Chelsea, London and was laid to rest in Norra begravningsplatsen (Northern Cemetery) in Stockholm, Sweden.

Early Life

Ingrid Bergman was born on August 29th, 1915 in Stockholm, Sweden. Her early life was marred with tragedy when at just three years old her mother passed away. Her father was an artist who earned his living as a photography shop owner. He had high hopes for his young daughter, enrolling Ingrid in voice lesson with dreams of seeing his child become an opera singer. The lessons gave Bergman her first tastes of performance, however, acting was always Bergman's dream, not singing. Her father encouraged her artistic side, helping her to stage scene's she would perform in front of his home movie camera.  When Bergman was 13 her father died and she was sent to live her aunt. Unfortunately, she would die a mere six months after Ingrid's arrival and Bergman would spend the rest of her teenage years with her Uncle. 

Early Career

In 1932 Bergman landed an auction at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm. She impressed the judges so much with her natural talent and bold demander that not only was she accepted but offered a state-sponsored scholarship, as well. Soon, she was given a prominent role in the play, Ett Brott (A Crime), despite having only been at the school for a few months. During summer break, Bergman was given hired by Svenskifilminustri, Swedish movie studio, and began working as a full-time film actress. She then left the Royal Dramatic Theatre after only one year of training. Soon Bergman became one of Sweden's most promising young actors, appearing in four films in 1935. The next year Bergman starred in the Gustaf Molander's romance Intermezzo. The story follows a married famed violist as he begins an affair with his daughter piano teacher, played by Bergman. With that film she caught the eye of American Producer David O' Selznick. Three years later, he would invite Bergman to Hollywood.

Early Hollywood Career

In 1939, with little command over the English language, Bergman arrived in Hollywood. Selznick immediately put her to work on the remake of Intermezzo opposite Leslie Howard and was impressed by her dedication, work ethic, and sincere demeanor. Intermezzo: A Love Story was a huge critical and commercial hit and with it, so was Bergman. Her unpretentious attitude, make-up free face, and generally lack of synthesized glamour was a breath of fresh air to Hollywood. Never one to pass on great investment, Selznick quickly signed Bergman to a seven-year contract. She returned to Sweden to shoot one more film, Juninatten, before returning to America. Without any projects immediately available, Selznick sent her to Broadway to star in well-reviewed Liliom. In 1941, Selznick began forming her on-screen persona as a wholesome good-girl that refused to succumb to the glitzier side of Hollywood. He perpetuated that images with her first two films of 1941's, Adam Had Four Sons and Rage in Heaven. Bergman, however, did not like the idea of being typecast and fought for the role of the flirtatious bad girl, Ivy, opposite Spencer Tracy in Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. That same year she also appeared on stage in Eugene O' Neill's Anna Christie. A year later, Bergman would land the role that was to define her career.


In 1942, Bergman starred opposite Humphrey Bogart in the now classic-of-all-classics, Casablanca. In the film Berman plays Ilsa Lund, a woman torn between anti-fascist rebel hero, Victor Lazlo, and cynical yet secretly noble saloon owner, Rick Blaine. The film was a tremendous hit both critically and commercially. It would go to be nominated for seven Academy Awards and taking home three: Best Writing, Best Director and Best Picture. The film also helped to catapult Bergman into superstardom and solidified her place in film history. Today, Casablanca remains popular as ever and is by far Bergman's most associated role. The next year she would star in another romantic wartime drama, the big screen adaptation of Ernst Hemmingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls opposite Gary Cooper. Hemmingway handpicked Bergman for the much-coveted role of Maria, saying he wanted Bergman and no one else. The film was nominated for nine Academy Awards including Bergman's first nomination for Best Actress. The following year, she starred opposite Charles Boyer in George Cukor's Gaslight. The Victorian era-period piece follows a young woman as she is driven to near madness by her husband. The film was stellar success and gained seven Academy Awards nominations. On Oscar night in 1945, Bergman won her first of three Academy Awards.

For her next film, Bergman would work with Alfred Hitchcock in their first of three collaborations, 1945's Spellbound opposite Gregory Peck. Although somehow lost in the lexicon of great Hitchcock films, it is noted for it's early description Freudian psychoanalysis and dream sequence designed by Salvador Dali. In 1946 Bergman received her third connective Oscar Nomination for playing Sister Mary Benedict in The Bells of Saint Mary's. The following year, she starred opposite Cary Grant in Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious. In the film Bergman plays Alicia Huberman, a socialite/daughter of a Nazi sympathizer who is asked by the CIA to infiltrate a group of Nazis in South America. The film was one of the biggest hits of the year and is considered one of Bergman's greatest performances. Although she received another Oscar Nomination for the title role in 1948's Joan of Arch, the film flopped at the box office. The next year, her final collaboration with Hitchcock, Under Capricorn, also flopped.

Years in Exile

In 1949, Bergman wrote a letter to Italian film director Roberto Rossellini that would forever change her career and her wholesome Hollywood image. Having seen the damage done to Europe post-WWII Europe, Bergman became enamored with the Rossellini's neo-realist classic Rome Open City (Roma Citta Aperta). She wrote a letter expressing her desire to work with him, an invitation he was happy accepted and immediate wrote a part of her in his 1950 film Stromboli. During the films production, the actress and the director fell deeply in love and soon Bergman was with child. She union proved exceptionally sensational because at the time the two were both married with Bergman also having a child back in the states. After divorcing her husband and immediately marrying Rossellini, Bergman was literally labeled Persona bon Grata by congress. As a result, Stromboli was a massive failure at the American box office, with the film either banned or boycotted in most countries. The two worked on together numerous times during their six-year marriage and forming an important artistic partnership.  Films such as Europa '51, Journey to Italy, and Stromboli are considered artistic landmarks in filmmaking and have inspired countless avant-garde and independent filmmakers. During this period, Bergman worked exclusively with Rossellini. Their marriage and professional partnership would come to end in 1957.

Return to Hollywood

To quote Bergman, "I've gone from a saint to a whore to a Saint again. In 1956, after seven years in exile, Bergman returned to Hollywood to star in Anastasia opposite Yul Brynner. The historical epic centering on the possible Grand Duchess was both a critical and financial success. Audiences around the world appeared to have forgiven Bergman for her perceived betrayals and critics were ecstatic to her back on the American Screens. For her efforts, Bergman was awarded with her send Academy Awards, which was accepted by Cary Grant. Two years later when Bergman made her first Academy Awards appearance since the Rossellini scandal, she was greeted with a standing ovation. She teamed up Cary Grant for a second time in Stanley Donen's 1958 film Indiscreet. After starring in The Inn of Sixth Happiness, Bergman took a hiatus from film work to try her craft in other mediums. The move proved to be a good once, when she won an Emmy Award for her role in the 1959 television production of The Turn of the Screw.

Later Career and Life

She returned to the big screen for the 1961 May-December romance Goodbye Again, starring opposite Anthony Perkins and Yves Montand. She continued to work through the decade in films such as The Visit, The Yellow Rolls-Royce, and Stimulantia. Bergman ended the decade starring opposite Walter Mathau and Goldie Hawn in romantic-comedy. The Cactus Flower. In 1974, became on of few actresses to receive a third Academy Award, this time as supporting actress in the star studded Murder of the Orient Express.  In 1978 she teamed for the first and only time with Swedish director, Ingmar Bergman for the film Autumn Sonata. Her final performance was in the 1982 television movie, Golda. She was awarded her second Emmy for the role. Ingrid Bergman died on August 29th, 1982 from breast cancer. It was her 67th birthday.

(Source: article by Minoo Allen for Classic Movie Hub).


Bergman's autobiography Ingrid Bergman My Story was first published in 1980.



Ingrid Bergman was nominated for seven Academy Awards, winning three for Best Actress for Gaslight (as Paula Alquist) and Anastasia (as The Woman) in 1944 and 1956 respectively for Best Supporting Actress for Murder on the Orient Express (as Greta Ohlsson) in 1974.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1943Best ActressFor Whom the Bell Tolls (1943)MariaNominated
1944Best ActressGaslight (1944)Paula AlquistWon
1945Best ActressThe Bells of St. Mary's (1945)Sister BenedictNominated
1948Best ActressJoan of Arc (1948)Joan of ArcNominated
1956Best ActressAnastasia (1956)The WomanWon
1974Best Supporting ActressMurder on the Orient Express (1974)Greta OhlssonWon
1978Best ActressAutumn Sonata (1978)Charlotte AndergastNominated

She was honored with one star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of Motion Pictures.

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Ingrid Bergman Quotes:

Stephanie: Well... I am no sex goddess, but I haven't spent my life up on a tree.

Stephanie: You go to your church and I'll go to mine.

Stephanie: I was married, when I was young.
Dr. Julian Winston: Married? I had no idea!
Stephanie: Neither did he!

read more quotes from Ingrid Bergman...

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Ingrid Bergman Facts
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.

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

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

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