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Bergman in 1944
|Born||29 August 1915|
|Died||29 August 1982 (aged 67)|
|Resting place||Norra begravningsplatsen, Solna, Stockholm, Sweden|
(m. 1937; div. 1950)
(m. 1950; div. 1957)
(m. 1958; div. 1975)
|Children||4, including Pia Lindström and Isabella Rossellini|
|Awards||List of awards and nominations|
Ingrid Bergman[a] (29 August 1915 – 29 August 1982) was a Swedish actress who starred in a variety of European and American films, television movies, and plays. Famed for her natural beauty, Bergman was the most popular actress of the 1940s. She won many accolades, as an actress who achieved the Triple Crown of Acting with three Academy Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and a Tony Award, along with four Golden Globe Awards, and a BAFTA Award.
Bergman was born in Stockholm to a Swedish father and a German mother, and started her acting career in Swedish and German films. Her introduction to Americans came in the English-language remake of Intermezzo (1939). In addition to the classic and Best Picture Academy Award-winning Casablanca (1942) opposite Humphrey Bogart, her notable performances from the 1940s include the dramas For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), Gaslight (1944), The Bells of St. Mary's (1945), and Joan of Arc (1948), all of which earned her nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress; she won the award for Gaslight. She made three films with Alfred Hitchcock including Spellbound (1945), with Gregory Peck, and Notorious (1946), opposite Cary Grant. In 1950, she starred in Roberto Rossellini's Stromboli, following the revelation that she was having an extramarital affair with the director, who she eventually married. The subsequent scandal affected her US career, and she remained in Europe, starring in Rossellini's now acclaimed Journey to Italy (1954). She returned to Hollywood for Anastasia (1956), the debut film for Yul Brynner, winning her second Academy Award for Best Actress. She continued to attract critical acclaim and won a third Academy Award for a small role in Murder on the Orient Express (1974). She died on her sixty-seventh birthday (29 August 1982) from breast cancer.
According to the St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, Bergman quickly became "the ideal of American womanhood" and a contender for Hollywood's greatest leading actress. In the United States, she is considered to have brought a "Nordic freshness and vitality" to the screen, along with exceptional beauty and intelligence; David O. Selznick once called her "the most completely conscientious actress" he had ever worked with. In a career that spanned fifty years, Bergman brought her astonishing screen presence to star in a string of classics, and how she was adored for her transcendent beauty, her vulnerable femininity and her aura of purity.
Childhood and early years
Ingrid Bergman was born on 29 August 1915 in Stockholm, to a Swedish father, Justus Samuel Bergman (2 May 1871 – 29 July 1929), and his German wife, Frieda Henriette Auguste Louise (née Adler) Bergman (12 September 1884 – 19 January 1918), who was born in Kiel. Her parents married in Hamburg on 13 June 1907. She was named after Princess Ingrid of Sweden. She mainly grew up in Sweden, but spent the summers in Germany, and spoke fluent German.
Justus Bergman was a photographer and opened a store at No 3 Strandvagen. His business was quite successful where he took pictures, sold cameras and frames. The Bergmans lived in a large and comfortable apartment above the store. There were six large rooms, a living room, a small kitchen, a space large enough for the three Bergmans. Sadly, her mother, Friedel, died of liver ailment when Ingrid was just only three years old.
Ingrid was her father's favorite photographic subject. He made her dressed up in his coat, hat and glasses. He dreamed his daughter might become an opera singer. She got her singing lessons when she was about 8 years old. Ingrid did not like it very much. At this time she was getting piano lessons too, where she always played in front of Justus. He sent her to the Palmgrenska Samskolan, the most prestigious girls' school in Stockholm. Ingrid was not really a good student, but her father doted on her so much. One day, Ingrid asked her father for one krona of weekly pocket money. Justus fished out a handful of money from his pocket and gave to Ingrid. 'There, take as much as you want. Here, take it.' Ingrid would say 'no, no, no, that's too much. You musn't do that, you musn't spoil me. I should just have one krona a week.' Justus replied 'Oh, don't be silly, money is just there to be spent. Take it.' Ingrid relented but not before saying, 'Here, look I'll take two krona. Put the rest away.'
When Ingrid was twelve years old, Justus developed a stomach cancer and did not have a long time to live. Her aunt from Germany, Frau Adler arrived to take care of her ailing father. Ingrid was at his bedside when he died. For the next six months, Ingrid lived with her aging, fat, Aunt Ellen alone in the big apartment. She, too, died not long after. She woke Ingrid up in the middle of the night. 'I feel very ill. Call Uncle Otto. Read the Bible to me now. Read it now.' Ingrid opened the Bible and began to read without knowing what she was reading while Aunt Ellen's condition getting worse and worse. Uncle Otto arrived with two nurses and Aunt Ellen died right afterward.
Ingrid then lived with her maternal aunt Hulda and her husband Otto, who had five children of their own. She also visited with her other maternal aunt, Elsa Adler, whom the young girl called Mutti (Mom) according to family lore.:294 The family depended on Justus' photographic business, thus Ingrid merited the biggest room in their apartment, furnished with the furnitures from the old apartment including the piano. She was closest to her cousin, Britt, and they remained friends all her life.
Ingrid always dreamed of the stage. She went to her room, shut the door and began playing roles and costumes. Her uncle Otto tried to dissuade her from becoming an actress. He said she was too timid, shy, too unassuming to grace a stage. Ingrid said that her dream of becoming actor started from a pit of loneliness.
Royal Dramatic Theater, Stockholm
There were only one place to begin: The Royal Dramatic Theater. In 1933, the theater began selecting eight would-be actors from seventy five entries. Ingrid prepared her audition well. After finishing she was expecting applause from the judges but only met by silence. Two days later she learned that she had been chosen. That was the proudest moment of her life.
Just three months in and Ingrid caught the attention of one of the judges, Alf Sjoberg. He wanted Ingrid to leave schoolroom and started in rehearsals with the likes of Inga Tidblad and Lars Hanson. Ingrid could not believe her luck. But the other students who had done their full-time in the school were spitting rage. They were jealous and livid. Ingrid was hated and attacked physically. Then the director of the school, Olof Molander saw Alf and wanted him to pull out Ingrid from the cast. The girls just could not accepted the fact that a new girl who barely in school for only three months got the big part, while many of them had been waiting for five years for such part.
Then the summer came and the school closed for three months and everybody went away. Ingrid knew an actress named Karin Swanstrom who often shop at her Uncle Gunnar's florist shop. Karin now worked as the artistic director of Swedish Films. Ingrid thought that she could go to the Swedish Films studios and get a small job as an extra. She met with Karin at the studio. Karin watched Ingrid performed and emoted all over the room and decided to call Gustav Molander, the brother of the Royal Dramatic School director, who was a famous Swedish movie maker. He was less enthusiastic about testing an unknown. She later performed in front of Molander's camera and the images transformed on a silver screen was a total accuracy of star quality. He was impressed. But Ingrid was less optimistic. "I didn't look very good, did I? I think if I did some more I could be better latter.' From then on, she was called 'Miss Betterlater'.
Petter Lindstrom was a six-foot-two-inch tall, young dentist, who had studied in Sweden and Germany. He was a wonderful dancer, as Ingrid discovered. He was also an athlete, skier, hiker and he knew artists and writers, and found time to go to concerts and theatre. After a matchmaking by Ingrid's cousin, Petter called her and they began dating. According to her cousin, Ingrid had already being courted by many young men at the theatre. But Ingrid was not interested in mere boys. Her career came first.
Ingrid never take Petter out to the studio or her film openings. On 4 July 1935, they left Stockholm to drive to Northern Norway for their first trip together. Petter did not make a formal proposal but they both knew after back from the trip that their fates were intertwined. Then on 10th of July 1936, Ingrid and Petter stood in the same church where her parents had been married. They officially became Mr. and Mrs. Lindstrom.
They set up a home in a small apartment in Stockholm. Ingrid did not do much cooking because she had never been attracted to it or any good at it. They had a maid. But Ingrid loved doing housecleaning and scrubbing. One of her best friends said why she had wasted being an actress when she could had been the best charwoman in the world.
Bergman received a scholarship to the state-sponsored Royal Dramatic Theatre School, where Greta Garbo had some years earlier earned a similar scholarship. After several months, she was given a part in a new play, Ett Brott (A Crime), written by Sigfrid Siwertz. Chandler notes that this was "totally against procedure" at the school, where girls were expected to complete three years of study before getting such acting roles.:33 During her first summer break, Bergman was hired by a Swedish film studio, which led to her leaving the Royal Dramatic Theatre after just one year, to work in films full-time. Her first film role after leaving the Royal Dramatic Theatre was a small part in Munkbrogreven (1935), although she reportedly had previously been an extra in the 1932 film Landskamp.
In Munkbrogreven (1935) Ingrid plays Elsa, a maid in a seedy hotel being pursued by the leading man, Edvin Adolphson who also directed the movie. Her first scene was her looking out of the windows and shouting at Edvin in the street. After the filming all the producers and workers at the studio knew they had seen a young women of immense potential. They tried talk to her into leaving the school and come work at the Swedish studios. Why wasting time studying for three years when golden opportunities just waiting in front of her. At last, after a heat argument with Olof Molander, the director of the school, Ingrid was leaving.
After finished Munkbrogreven, Ingrid was offered a studio contract and placed under Gustav Molander. She soon left the Royal Dramatic Theater to pursue acting career in film rather than in stage. She soon starred in "Ocean Breakers" (1935) in which she played a fisherman's daughter. The lead man in the film, Sten Lindgren believed their love scenes were so passionate they were not get pass the censorship. The film was considered one of the best Swedish films of the year. In her next film "Swedenhielms" (1935), Ingrid got to play alongside her idol, one of the famous Swedish actors at the time, Gosta Ekman. It was only after this was released that the critics really took notice. The Gothenburg newspaper Ny Tid wrote "There’s probably something big in the young woman’s future." They could never have imagined just how big Ingrid Bergman would become. She soon starred in "On the Sunny Side" (1936), casted as an orphan from a good family who marries a rich older gentleman.
She later starred in Only One Night (1938), playing a manor house girl, an upper-class woman living on a country estate, beautiful but aloof. In the film, her character is pursued by Edvin Adolphson, who fell in love with Ingrid off the set as well. According to another actor in the film, Ingrid, who just got married, was upset because Adolphson trying to flirt with her. Ingrid told her husband if they were going to continue with the film he should act properly.
She went on to act in a dozen films in Sweden, including Intermezzo (1936) which is graced by a leading performance by Ingrid Bergman (her first). The film paired he once again with Gosta Ekman. They played lovers with him being a married man. Although Ekman was the leading man, the picture was totally hers. Critics and audience loved her. So wonderful her performance, it caught the attention of Hollywood which soon knocking on her door.
In her next film, a role created especially for her, En kvinnas ansikte, (1938) which was later remade as A Woman's Face with Joan Crawford, she played against her usual casting. She played a woman whose face had been hideously burned. The critics loved her performance. They called her as good as Garbo in her earlier years. In 1938, Ingrid signed a three-picture contract with UFA, the German major film company. At this time, she was pregnant but still she arrived in Berlin to begin filming The Four Companions (1938). She later said that she knew little and a little bit naive of what was happening. She was too young and had no political view. For the shooting Ingrid's stomach was bound up. In September 1938, she was back in Sweden to give birth to Pia. She never return to work in Germany again.
Hollywood period: 1939–1949
David O. Selznick, in the midst of producing Gone With the Wind (1939) at the time, was looking for foreign-born actresses to be brought to America and work in Hollywood films. He sent memos to his East Coast story editor, Kay Brown to look at foreign pictures for remake purposes. Kay shipped a copy of Intermezzo (1936) to Selznick the next day. Selznick was so enthusiastic about Bergman and determined to remake the film with its female star. He bought the rights to Intermezzo for $12,500 but he initially had less luck with Bergman. Through her husband, Petter, she said she was not interested in pictures away from home. Bergman was just had a baby and could not come to America at the moment. The baby must be older. They explored to sign another young Swedish actress, Signe Hasso but Selznick still wanted to sign Bergman even if she could not co-star in Intermezzo. Jenia Ressiar, Selznick's London representative was having a tough time negotiating with Bergman on the phone. She will write to Ressiar as soon as she was available. In the week of February 1939, Kay flew to Stockholm to seal the deal. Bergman signed for Intermezzo at $20,000 with the salary increasing to $40,000 a picture for the next five years.
Ingrid Bergman arrived in New York on 20 April 1939. She was greeted by Kay Brown and immediately whisked away to Selznick's home. She met Selznick who was devouring food in the kitchen. He took one long look at his new discovery and complained about her height. Bergman might have appeared shy, but when it came down to her career, she was single-minded. She insisted that her name not be changed. She refused to cap her teeth or fix her eyebrows.
Intermezzo: A Love Story (1939)
Bergman's first acting role in the United States came when Hollywood producer David O. Selznick brought her to America to star in Intermezzo: A Love Story (1939), an English language remake of her earlier Swedish film Intermezzo (1936). Unable to speak English, and uncertain about her acceptance by the American audience, she expected to complete this one film and return home to Sweden. Her husband, Dr. Petter Aron Lindström, remained in Sweden with their daughter Pia (born 1938).:63 In Intermezzo, she played the role of a young piano accompanist opposite Leslie Howard as a famous violin virtuoso. She arrived in Los Angeles on 6 May 1939, and stayed at the Selznick home until she could find another residence. According to Selznick's son Danny, who was a child at the time, his father had concerns about Ingrid: "She didn't speak English, she was too tall, her name sounded too German, and her eyebrows were too thick."
Bergman was soon accepted without having to modify her looks or name, despite some early suggestions by Selznick.:6 "He let her have her way", notes a story in Life magazine. Selznick understood her fear of Hollywood make-up artists, who might turn her into someone she wouldn't recognize, and "instructed them to lay off". He was also aware that her natural good looks would compete successfully with Hollywood's "synthetic razzle-dazzle". During the following weeks, while Intermezzo was being filmed, Selznick was also filming Gone with the Wind. In a letter to William Hebert, his publicity director, Selznick described a few of his early impressions of Bergman:
Miss Bergman is the most completely conscientious actress with whom I have ever worked, in that she thinks of absolutely nothing but her work before and during the time she is doing a picture ... She practically never leaves the studio, and even suggested that her dressing room be equipped so that she could live here during the picture. She never for a minute suggests quitting at six o'clock or anything of the kind ... Because of having four stars acting in Gone with the Wind, our star dressing-room suites were all occupied and we had to assign her a smaller suite. She went into ecstasies over it and said she had never had such a suite in her life ... All of this is completely unaffected and completely unique and I should think would make a grand angle of approach to her publicity ... so that her natural sweetness and consideration and conscientiousness become something of a legend ... and is completely in keeping with the fresh and pure personality and appearance which caused me to sign her.:135–136
Intermezzo became an enormous success and as a result Bergman became a star. The film's director, Gregory Ratoff, said "She is sensational", as an actress. This was the "sentiment of the entire set", writes Life, adding that workmen go out of their way to do things for her, and the cast and crew "admired the quick, alert concentration she gave to direction and to her lines". Film historian David Thomson notes that this became "the start of an astonishing impact on Hollywood and America", where her lack of make-up contributed to an "air of nobility". According to Life, the impression that she left on Hollywood, after she returned to Sweden, was of a tall (5 ft. 9 in.) girl "with light brown hair and blue eyes who was painfully shy, but friendly, with a warm, straight, quick smile". Selznick appreciated her uniqueness, and with his wife Irene, they remained important friends throughout her career.:76
Adam Had Four Sons (1941), Rage in Heaven (1941), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)
After Intermezzo, Bergman was loaned out to Columbia Pictures for Adam Had Four Sons (1941). She found her part as a governess was a bit negative. But she had no other offers waiting in the wing. She took the job with illusion that the movie would not be a success. Bergman could not stand to be idle. She felt that she had to work even if it was in a movie that would do her career little good. Bergman was also doing Rage in Heaven (1941). She played Stella, a woman who finds that she has married a man who is a borderline psychotic. But the production was plagued with problems. She did not like the director. She knew that she was again caught in inferior and unforgettable film.
After Rage in Heaven and Adam Had Four Sons, Bergman was tired of playing saintly, good girl roles. For her next film, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde co- starring Spencer Tracy and Lana Turner, Bergman was slated to play Tracy's character fiancée but pleaded with director Victor Fleming that she played "bad girl" Ivy instead of Turner. Victor Fleming laughed, 'That's impossible. How can you with your looks? It's not to be believed. I mean a barmaid, a tart....it's Lana Turner's part.' Bergman later did a screen test and Fleming was convinced. He rang Selznick about the switch. Selznick screamed over the phone but after they send him the tape, he pulled a face and said, 'Well....okay.'
Spencer Tracy did not like his part. He hated it that he had to play this two parts, double-nature character. He didn't like one particular scene where he had to race up the stairs carrying Bergman to the bedroom. They had to use a sling to support her. During one of the takes, the sling broke and Bergman dropped down into Tracy's arms. He couldn't hold her, and they went rolling head over heels to the bottom of the stairs. The whole set broke out in laughter. Nobody got injured. The critics were so enthusiastic when the film released. Howard Barnes from New York Herald Tribune commented, 'With the great Spencer Tracy in the central role, the ineffable Ingrid Bergman heading the supporting cast, and Fleming taking every advantage of prodigal production in his direction, it is a stunning presentation.'
During filming, Tracy said to be infatuated with the 26-year-old Bergman. Despite of them both being married at the time, they did have a short affair. Tracy even threatened to leave the film if MGM picked Turner to play his love interest. John Houseman remembered that Tracy was extraordinarily attracted to her. He came up to Selznick that he had never seen her equal, that she is clearly on the path of greater success in Hollywood. When reporter Thornton Delehanty came to interview Tracy, he suggested that he interviewed her as well.
After the onset of World War II, Bergman "felt guilty because she had so misjudged the situation in Germany" while she was there filming Die vier Gesellen (The Four Companions). According to one of her biographers, Charlotte Chandler (2007), she had at first considered the Nazis only a "temporary aberration, 'too foolish to be taken seriously'. She believed Germany would not start a war." Bergman felt that "the good people there would not permit it". Chandler adds, "Ingrid felt guilty all the rest of her life because when she was in Germany at the end of the war, she had been afraid to go with the others to witness the atrocities of the Nazi extermination camps".:293–295 In 1945, she and her first husband, Dr. Petter Aron Lindström, who wed on 10 July 1937 in Stöde, became United States citizens.
After completing a final film in Sweden and appearing in three moderately successful films (Adam Had Four Sons, Rage in Heaven, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, all 1941) in the United States, Bergman co-starred with Humphrey Bogart in the classic film Casablanca (1942), which remains her best-known role. She knew nothing about the film except its name, Casablanca on 20 April 1942, the day she learned that she just got the part. Bergman was signed for $25,000. Casablanca was not shot sequentially since the script was not finished. While Bergman did not make her first appearance until 20 minutes into the film, she was busy with wardrobe tests. She didn't look good in most of the hats, so was an evening dress that made her look bulky.
—Bob William, Bogart's publicist on Casablanca
Both Bogart and Paul Henreid insisted that they be the one to walk off with Bergman. Henreid had just finished Now, Voyager. After a strong role, he felt that his involved in this little film would ruin his career. Bogart was not much happier either. He never believed that a woman as beautiful as Bergman would fall for a man with a mug like his. He owned the film but Bergman had a task to convince the audience that his character could be so devastated by a mere love affair. The audience has to feel for Ilsa the moment she walks into his gin joint. As soon as Ilsa makes her appearance, it is as if a ray of light has entered Rick's Cafe Americain. Many moviegoers would assume that Bogart and Bergman had an affair off set. But as soon as his scenes were done, Bogart was usually off to his trailer, getting advice, talking to Howard Koch or playing chess. At the time, Bogart was married to Mayo Methot, a wife so jealous of Bergman that he didn't dare get near his co-star.
Her role in Casablanca was as close as in the movie as in Bergman's personal life. Both Rick and Victor represented the two poles of male attractiveness. Here she was drawn back and forth between the two men. Rick is sexy as Victor is stoic. Rick is warm as Victor is distant. Bergman's attitude towards Henreid was just as distant. As much as how she arranged her private life to be in order, here she found herself in chaos, indiscipline, and uncertainty. Michael Curtiz, the director was not an easy to work with but he always civil to her. She had to know whom she was in love with. Curtiz only replied, 'We don't know yet...just play it..in between.' She went along, and became the emotional centre of the film. In a typical Hollywood ending, Rick and Ilsa would have flown off together after Lazslo died heroically.
The film premiered on 26 November 1942 at New York's Hollywood Theater, playing to standing-room-only audiences. Bogart received his first best actor nomination but did not win. Casablanca however nabbed the Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay at the 1944 Academy Awards ceremony.
Her line "Play it, Sam. Play As Time Goes By", has been voted at no 28 in the list of AFI's 100 Movie Quotes. In this film, she played the role of Ilsa, the beautiful Norwegian wife of Victor Laszlo, played by Paul Henreid, an "anti-Nazi underground hero" who is in Casablanca, a haven from the Nazis.
In 2002, Casablanca was voted the greatest American romantic film by the American Film Institute. Casablanca also appeared at no 2 on their 1998 original list of greatest American movies and ranked no 3 on the 2007 revised list. It has six quotes named among the most iconic, make it the most quotable movie of all time. Rick and Ilsa's love theme, As Time Goes By rated no 2 on the AFI's best songs in the movies, only one behind the most popular, Somewhere Over the Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz. Bogart’s character Rick Blaine was ranked fourth on AFI’s list of the greatest screen heroes and both Bogart and Bergman appeared on the greatest screen legends list ranked first and fourth respectively. Writers Guild of America selected Casablanca as American best screenplay beating out the likes of The Godfather, Chinatown, Citizen Kane and All about Eve, all rounding up the top five. Casablanca was among the first 25 movies selected by the National Film Registry in 1989 to their preservation list. 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." In later years, she stated, "I feel about Casablanca that it has a life of its own. There is something mystical about it. It seems to have filled a need, a need that was there before the film, a need that the film filled".:88
Biographer Charlotte Chandler said that Bergman wanted to get out of the film because it had no finished script and having scenes rewritten as the filming progressed. Bergman also had difficulty of connecting with Bogart whose wife accused them of having an affair despite Bogart choosing to mostly remain in his trailer when filming was not taking place. In his romantic scenes with his costar, Bogart said that he did not do anything he hasn't done before but when someone looks like Ingrid Bergman and she tells you that she loves you, that would make anybody feel romantic.
For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943)
After Casablanca, with "Selznick's steady boosting", she played the part of Maria in For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), which was also her first color film. For the role, she received her first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. The film was taken from Ernest Hemingway's novel of the same title and co-starred Gary Cooper. When the book was sold to Paramount Pictures, Hemingway stated that, "Miss Bergman, and no one else, should play the part". His opinion came from seeing her in her first American role, Intermezzo, although he hadn't yet met her. A few weeks later, they did meet, and after studying her, he said, "You are Maria!".
Paramount had casted a bellarina named Vera Zorina despite Hemingway's preference of Bergman playing Maria. She was still filming Casablanca and worried that they would casted Vera instead. But after a few rushes turned bad, they wanted to screen test Bergman for Maria. The stakes were high. If the screen test failed and Bergman lost the part, her whole career would falling apart. She had heard that Zorina was worrying of damaging her legs from running on the rock-strewn passages of the Sierra Nevadas. For Bergman, legs would not be a problem, it was her face that would win her the part of Maria. The day after the screen test, she was doing publicity shots for Casablanca with Paul Henreid. She seemed ill at ease. They had a conversation about how bad she wanted the part. Then the phone rang. She shrieked, 'I got it, Paul, I got it..we've got to celebrate.'
On Friday, 7 August 1942, Bergman left for the Sierra Nevadas, 450 miles from Los Angeles. There, up on the mountains, she met Gary Cooper whom she described as a beautiful man. They spent a lot of time together. She was mesmerized by Cooper's personality charm. The crew surmised immediately that a romance had begun. Her feet and legs were black and blue and scratched. Her fingernails broken and her ears were full of dust but she did not complain. The shooting took ten weeks to complete and the crew were overjoyed to go down the mountain for good.
For Whom the Bell Tolls premiered on 16 August 1943 at Los Angeles's Cathay Circle Theater, the most star-studded opening since the beginning of the war. Bergman was on the cover of Time magazine as Maria and she was nominated for an Academy Award as best actress. Later, in her autobiography, she wrote that she failed at playing Maria.
The following year, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress for Gaslight (1944), a film in which George Cukor directed her as a "wife driven close to madness" by her husband, played by Charles Boyer. Going into filming, Bergman was worried that she was unable to portray a timid and fragile character. She viewed herself as an independent and strong woman and her taking the role as a great challenge as an actress. Bergman even went to a mental hospital in order to study about nervous breakdowns. David O. Selznick wanted Ingrid Bergman as top billing instead of Boyer. Bergman pleaded to Selznick that she was very keen on the role and wanted so much to work with Boyer she did not even care not to get top billing. Selznick relented. The film also starred Joseph Cotten and Angela Lansbury in her acting debut. Bergman received her first Oscar from previous year winner, Jennifer Jones. She faced some stiff competition from Barbara Stanwyck for Double Indemnity who was rumored to be the frontrunner. Stanwyck was gracious in her defeat. She claimed that she did not feel bad losing because her favorite actress won and she deserved it.
Filming their first love scene made Bergman really uncomfortable. She had just met Boyer. Bergman was known to have like rehearsals to get to know her costars better. The film, according to Thomson, "was the peak of her Hollywood glory".:77 Because the movie was not shot sequentially, director George Cukor employed a technique of replaying previous scenes up to the current scene. Bergman who was frustrated with the method reacted, 'I'm not a dumb Swede, you've told me before.' But she soon grew to appreciate Cukor's method after seeing a sharp decline in their acting quality in the daily rushes.
Gaslight was voted at no 78th in American Film Institute list of greatest American thrillers of all time. It also has been added by the National Film Registry to the list deemed culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.
Saratoga Trunk (1945), The Bells of St. Mary's (1945)
Selznick did not want Bergman to star in The Bells of St. Mary's, a sequel to the extremely popular, Going My Way. He then negotiated one of the most lucrative loan-out agreements, setting the price high for director Leo McCarey if he really wanted Ingrid Bergman. McCarey agreed. Bergman played Sister Benedict opposite Bing Crosby who played Father O'Malley who always clashed with Bergman's character on how to run the school.
On the evening of 1945 Academy Awards, she still worked on the set of film until six o'clock. McCarey and Crosby were also nominated for Going My Way and her for Gaslight. Before the best actress was announced, Mc Carey and Crosby had been announced as the winners in their respective category. Bergman sat nervously, sandwiched between Selznick and her husband, Petter. When she too won an oscar, she made a polite speech, 'I'm deeply grateful for this award. I am particularly glad to get it this time because I'm right now working on a picture with Mr McCarey and Mr Crosby. And I'm afraid if I went to the set tomorrow without an award, none of them would speak to me.'
Bergman also starred in Saratoga Trunk (1945), reuniting with Gary Cooper though the film was originally shot in 1943 but not released until 1945. She played Clio Dulaine, a French woman of revenge, greed, lust and ambition based on the novel by Edna Ferber. It was going to be her first period film in which she had to wear tightly laced bodice, black wig, satin petticoats and a bright lipstick. With her dark wig and French accent, she exuded such wanton sensuality to her character.
Spellbound (1945), Notorious (1946), Under Capricorn (1949)
Bergman starred in the Alfred Hitchcock films Spellbound (1945), Notorious (1946), and Under Capricorn (1949). She was a student of the acting coach Michael Chekhov during the 1940s. Chekhov acted with Bergman in Spellbound and received his only Academy Award nomination for his performance.Spellbound, Bergman first of three collaborations with Alred Hitchcock was a story about psychoanalysis which famous for a dream sequence by Salvador Dalí. Bergman played Dr Constance Petersen, a cold, bookish and detached psychiatrist whose analysis could determine whether or not Dr Anthony Edwardes, played by Gregory Peck is guilty of murder or not. Along the way, they fell in love. Bergman at first was disturbed to find that she was going to play with a slightly younger than she was, a new promising young male prospects of the silver screen named Gregory Peck. The cast was told to pronounce such esoteric terms and therapy and Freud ('Froyd') correctly. Bergman had first wanted to turn down Spellbound because she did not believe the love story. She wanted to have her say about how Dr Constance Peterson should be portrayed but Hitchcock would have none. Bergman regarded said, 'Us actors as intruders to his fantasy.'
—Gregory Peck on Hitchcock and Bergman relationship
Hitchcock had considered working with Ingrid Bergman as far back as 1941 in a rather 'erotic story'. He pitched the idea to Selznick but he was not very receptive. Even when Spellbound was still shooting, Hitchcock was thinking about working with her again. His quasi-obsession with her was apparent on the set. Bergman and his husband were often invited to Hitchcock's home for dinner parties. They shared a mutual inclination to drift toward a martini after shooting. He called her 'The Human Sink'. One night he was cooking dinner for him and her at his home. They were laughing and drinking away until Bergman said, 'Hitch, I'm getting sleepy.' Hitch said, 'Well, go and lied down on the sofa and recover.' When she woke up in the middle of the night, she found Hitchcock on the other sofa sleeping like a baby. She asked him, 'What happened to our meal?' Then she looked across the living room. The dinner was left stone cold.
The film was a box office hit when it was released in 1945, which had been a very successful year for Bergman. She had two of her films, Spellbound and The Bells of St. Mary's, in the top 10 grossing movies of 1945.
Then, came Notorious, the second and perhaps the most successful out of three films with Hitchcock. Bergman played a US spy, a daughter of convicted traitor during World War II who had been given an assignment to infiltrate the Nazi sympathizers in South America. Along the way, she fell in love with her fellow spy, played by Cary Grant. On the day they were about to film perhaps one of the most memorable kissing scenes ever filmed, Hitchcock said just discuss anything you want to discuss. It was very awkward moment for both Grant and Bergman. The scene lasted over two and a half minutes. Grant remembered, 'It was a very cuddly-looking scene. Noses are a difficult business in the kissing scene.'
The making of the film proved to be one of the most satisfying experience for Hitchcock and his two megastars. Bergman was known for her perfectionism. Despite that, she was able to enchant both Hitchcock and Grant during the production. Hitchcock was even ready to accept Bergman's input and suggestions regarding her role of Alicia. It also helped that Grant and Bergman had a remarkable and sizzling chemistry. Dubbed as two most iconic of Hitchcock stars who brought their most attractive and mysterious qualities to the film.
It was not Grant who was infatuated with Ingrid, but the director, Alfred Hitchcock. His biographer, Donald Spoto calls it as 'unrealized and mishapen, romantic impulses of a lovesick, middle-aged director towards an unapproachable goddess.' On-screen she and Grant had extraordinary chemistry and they, together with Hitchcock formed a lifelong friendships.
Cary Grant also was very fond of Bergman. When asked by interviewer about great beauties, he said he was smitten by Sophia Loren and later recalled an evening with Bergman at a cocktail party in New York. It was raining, and they were doing window shopping and both were soaking wet arriving at the party. Nevertheless, the men there could not keep their eyes off Bergman and kept asking Grant for introduction.
According to Roger Ebert, Notorious is the most elegant expression of the master's visual style. On its 70th anniversary, BFI wrote, 'It is a perverse love story that presents one of the most anguished relationships in American film.' Hitchcock has a three top-tier actors in Grant, Bergman and Claude Rains, a cast made in movie heaven. BFI called it a 'perfect' film. It has been selected by National Film Registry in 2006 as culturally and significantly important. The movie has a place at no 38th on the AFI list of greatest 100 thrillers  and no 86th on their list of American greatest 100 passions. Claude Rains was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor and Ben Hecht was nominated in the Best Writing (Original Screenplay) category (1947).
Bergman and Hitchcock later collaborated once again in a period film, Under Capricorn (1949). She saw the film as a chance to get away from the studio set and Hollywood. The shooting then took place in England.The film set in 1770 Australia about a successful ex-convict who bought lands and businesses around the New South Wales. The ex-convict played by Joseph Cotten has a wife (Bergman) who is alcoholic and being keep locked in their mansion. Soon, it's all changed when a character played by Michael Wielding comes to their mansion to talk about their land deal.
Hitchcock was experimenting a new technique of shooting with long takes which he had been experimenting in Rope. Bergman famously argued with the director. She did not like his new technique. She resented that his camera following her without cuts. It made her nervous. They argued about her first entrance in the film. Then one day she burst and in tears. There was one part of the film which took for eleven minutes without cuts. They had to rehearse a whole day with the walls and furniture falling backwards as the camera went through. Bergman loathe every moment on the set. She told Hitchcock off. He just left the set and went home.
The film met with negative reactions from critics and immediately bombed at the box office. Others blamed Bergman who would later cause a major scandal with Italian director, Roberto Rossellini shortly after its release.
Joan of Arc (1948), Arc of Triumph (1948)
Ingrid Bergman had been the number one female star in America, the biggest box office draw of them all. Her contract with Selznick was at the end of 1945. She was already negotiating her new project, a big-budget; $4,000,000, a big-name novelist; Erich Maria Remarque, a big co-star; Charles Boyer, and a big director, Lewis Milestone famous for All Quiet on the Western Front. And for Bergman alone she would get $175,000 and 25 per cent of the net profits. In November, she was on the cover of Life magazine, 'Bergman's Year'. Saratoga Trunk, Notorious, Spelbound, and The Bells of St. Mary's opened to blockbuster business. The popular joke of the time was 'I just saw a movie without Ingrid Bergman.'
Bergman played Joan Madou who loves an Austrian refugee and anti-Nazi underground leader, Dr. Ravic played by Boyer. She loved the idea of playing the part. It was an archetypal Ingrid Bergman role, lovers torn apart with the World War setting. The film was a sad, gloomy and depressing story of a Paris on the eve of the second world war. She wanted to keep the romantic parts protected although no one would believe of some scenes which shot so beautifully while the place was raging with war. And it showed her in a swimsuit.
Bergman received 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 was one of the reasons she had played it on the Broadway stage in Anderson's play. The film was not a big hit with the public, partly because of the scandal of Bergman's affair with Italian film director Roberto Rossellini, which broke while the film was still in theatres. Even worse, it received disastrous reviews, and, although nominated for several Academy Awards, did not receive a Best Picture nomination.
Between motion pictures, Bergman had appeared in the stage plays Liliom, Anna Christie, and Joan of Lorraine. During a press conference in Washington, D.C. for the promotion of Joan of Lorraine, she protested against racial segregation after seeing it first hand at the theater she was acting in. This led to much publicity and some hate mail. Bergman went to Alaska during World War II to entertain US Army troops caused by the war.
Italian period: 1949–1957
The Bergman-Rossellini Scandal
Bergman strongly admired two films by Italian director Roberto Rossellini that she had seen in the United States. In 1949, Bergman wrote to Rossellini, expressing this admiration and suggesting that she make a film with him. This led to her being cast in his film Stromboli (1950). During production, Bergman fell in love with Rossellini, they began an affair, and Bergman became pregnant with their son, Renato Roberto Ranaldo Giusto Giuseppe ("Robin") Rossellini (born 2 February 1950).:18
This affair caused a huge scandal in the United States, where it led to Bergman being denounced on the floor of the United States Senate. Ed Sullivan chose not to have her on his show, despite a poll indicating that the public wanted her to appear. However, Steve Allen, whose show was equally popular, did have her as a guest, later explaining "the danger of trying to judge artistic activity through the prism of one's personal life". Spoto notes that Bergman had, by virtue of her roles and screen persona, placed herself "above all that". She had played a nun in The Bells of St. Mary's (1945), and a virgin saint in Joan of Arc (1948). Bergman later said, "People saw me in Joan of Arc, and declared me a saint. I'm not. I'm just a woman, another human being."
As a result of the scandal, Bergman returned to Italy, leaving her husband and daughter Pia. She went through a publicized divorce and custody battle for their daughter. Bergman and Rossellini were married on 24 May 1950. In addition to Renato, they had twin daughters (born 18 June 1952): Isabella Rossellini, who became an actress and model, and Isotta Ingrid Rossellini, who became a professor of Italian literature.
Rossellini directed her in a brief segment of his 1953 documentary film, Siamo donne (We, the Women), which was devoted to film actresses.:18 His biographer, Peter Bondanella, notes that problems with communication during their marriage may have inspired his films' central themes of "solitude, grace, and spirituality in a world without moral values".:19
Rossellini's use of a Hollywood star in his typically "neorealist" films, in which he normally used non-professional actors, did provoke some negative reactions in certain circles. In Bergman's first film with Rossellini, her character was "defying audience expectations" in that the director preferred to work without a script, forcing Bergman to act "inspired by reality while she worked, a style which Bondanella calls 'a new cinema of psychological introspection'".:98 Bergman was aware of Rossellini's directing style before filming, as the director had earlier written to her explaining that he worked from "a few basic ideas, developing them little by little" as a film progressed.:19
Later years: 1957–1982
With her starring role in 1956's Anastasia (1956), Bergman made a triumphant return to working for a Hollywood studio (albeit in a film produced in Europe) and won the Academy Award for Best Actress for a second time. Its director, Anatole Litvak, described her as "one of the greatest actresses in the world". He also offered his description of her at the time:
Ingrid looks better now than she ever did. She's 42, but she looks divine. She is a simple, straightforward human being. Through all her troubles she held to the conviction that she had been true to herself and it made her quite a person. She is happy in her new marriage, her three children by Rossellini are beautiful, and she adores them.
She starred in the 1958 picture The Inn of Sixth Happiness, based on a true story about a Christian missionary woman to China. Bergman made her first post-scandal public appearance in Hollywood at the 30th Academy Awards in 1959 when she was the presenter of the Academy Award for Best Picture. She was given a standing ovation after being introduced by Cary Grant as she walked onto the stage to present the award. She continued to alternate between performances in American and European films for the rest of her career and made occasional appearances in television dramas such as The Turn of the Screw (1959) for the Ford Startime TV series—for which she won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress.
During this time, she performed in several stage plays. She married producer Lars Schmidt, a fellow Swede, on 21 December 1958. This marriage ended in divorce in 1975. After a long hiatus, Bergman made the film Cactus Flower (1969), with Walter Matthau and Goldie Hawn. In this movie, she played a dental nurse-receptionist who is secretly in love with her boss, the dentist, played by Matthau. The New York Times wrote "The teaming of Matthau, whose dour, craggy virility now supplants the easy charm of Barry Nelson, and the ultra-feminine Miss Bergman, in a rare comedy venture, was inspirational on somebody's part. The lady is delightful as a (now) 'Swedish iceberg', no longer young, who flowers radiantly while running interference for the boss's romantic bumbling. The two stars mesh perfectly." After the success of Cactus Flower, Bergman moved on to another film that paired her once again with Anthony Quinn, A Walk in the Spring Rain. It was critically panned.
In addition to her film work, Bergman also acted on the stage. In 1940 she made her Broadway debut in Liliom. She later appeared in such critically acclaimed plays as Hedda Gabler (Paris, 1962), A Month in the Country (Great Britain, 1965), and Captain Brassbound’s Conversion (London, 1971). She won a Tony Award for her performance in Joan of Lorraine (1946–47), and her last Broadway appearance was in The Constant Wife (1975). She also starred in the television plays The Turn of the Screw (1959) and Hedda Gabler (1963).
Cactus Flower (1969)
In 1969, Bergman was eager to work in American screen again after many years hiatus. Producer Mike Frankovic later contacted her to offer her a role of a spinster, prim, nurse assistant to Walter Matthau in Cactus Flower, based on a successful Broadway play. The film also will be costarring a newcomer, Goldie Hawn as Matthau's doe-eyed, giddy girlfriend. The studio offered her $800,000 or about $5.3 million in today's value. Bergman hesitated to take the role after the long absence. When the film came out, it got rave reviews and Hawn later won an Oscar for her supporting role.
Both Walter Matthau and newcomer Goldie Hawn were in awe of Bergman. They were worried whether they all can get along during the set. But Bergman's warmth and graciousness won them over. Later, Goldie Hawn said;
"I thought I'd be awfully intimidated by her, so intimidated I wouldn't be able to function. It wasn't that way at all. I didn't feel I had to compete. I just felt privileged to be in the same picture with her. She has a regal quality. It's too bad she isn't the queen of some country or something."
Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
Bergman became one of the few actresses ever to receive three Oscars when she won her third (and first in the category of Best Supporting Actress) for her performance in Murder on the Orient Express (1974). Director Sidney Lumet offered Bergman the important part of Princess Dragomiroff, with which he felt she could win an Oscar. She insisted on playing the much smaller role of Greta Ohlsson, the old Swedish missionary. Lumet discussed Bergman's role:
She had chosen a very small part, and I couldn't persuade her to change her mind. She was sweetly stubborn. But stubborn she was ... Since her part was so small, I decided to film her one big scene, where she talks for almost five minutes, straight, all in one long take. A lot of actresses would have hesitated over that. She loved the idea, and made the most of it. She ran the gamut of emotions. I've never seen anything like it.:246–247
Bergman could speak Swedish (her native language), German (her second language, learned from her German mother and in school), English (learned when brought over to the United States), Italian (learned while living in Italy), and French (her third language, learned in school). She acted in each of these languages at various times. Fellow actor Sir 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 commented: "She speaks five languages, and can't act in any of them." (This is from a Dorothy Parker quote which became a snowclone, "That woman speaks eighteen languages, and can't say 'No' 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), Gielgud in The Constant Wife (1973) and Dame Wendy Hiller in Waters of the Moon (1977–1978).
Autumn Sonata (1978)
In 1978, Bergman played in Autumn Sonata (Höstsonaten), by Ingmar Bergman (no relation), for which she received her 7th—and final—Academy Award nomination. This was her final performance on the big screen. In the film, Bergman plays a celebrity pianist who travels to Norway to visit her neglected daughter, played by Liv Ullmann. The film was shot in Norway.
A Woman Called Golda (1982)
She was offered the starring role in a television mini-series, A Woman Called Golda (1982), about the late Israeli prime minister Golda Meir. It was to be her final acting role and she was honored posthumously with a second Emmy Award for Best Actress. Her daughter Isabella described Bergman's surprise at being offered the part and the producer trying to explain to her, "People believe you and trust you, and this is what I want, because Golda Meir had the trust of the people." Isabella adds, "Now, that was interesting to Mother." She was also persuaded that Golda was a "grand-scale person", one that people would assume was much taller than she actually was. Chandler notes that the role "also had a special significance for her, as during World War II, Ingrid felt guilty because she had so misjudged the situation in Germany".:293
According to Chandler, "Ingrid's rapidly deteriorating health was a more serious problem. Insurance for Bergman was impossible. Not only did she have cancer, but it was spreading, and if anyone had known how bad it was, no one would have gone on with the project." After viewing the series on TV, Isabella commented,
She never showed herself like that in life. In life, Mum showed courage. She was always a little vulnerable, courageous, but vulnerable. Mother had a sort of presence, like Golda, I was surprised to see it ... When I saw her performance, I saw a mother that I'd never seen before—this woman with balls.:290
Bergman was frequently ill during the filming although she rarely complained or showed it. Four months after the filming was completed, she died, on her 67th birthday. After her death, her daughter Pia accepted her Emmy.:296
Famed film critic, a Pulitzer winner, the late Roger Ebert always cited that his favorite actress of all time was Ingrid Bergman. While he found that Bergman was certainly one of the most beautiful faces ever to grace the silver screen, that was not the only source of her mysterious appeal. Her voice, her gaze and the way her mouth saying the dialogue is simply inimitable in the movies. She has a way of looking into her co-star's eyes. She searches for clues, she does not simply memorizing her next lines. Bergman's ability to instantly change emotions was one of her greatest talents. He found that Bergman's face seems to have an inner light on film. In film like Elena and Her Men (1956), her rare eroticism showed.
Ingmar Bergman, the great Swedish director who directed her in Autumn Sonata (1978), written later that he was not impressed by Ingrid's Hollywood movies but always attracted to her face, that she was very beautiful. He stressed the skin, the mouth, the eyes, the radiance and strong erotic attraction.
—Howard Hampton on Ingrid Bergman
According to an article by Sarah Kerr titled Human, All Too Human (1998), Bergman has the greatest downcast eyes in the history. In his article ACTRESS 2 for 1: Ingrid Bergman in ‘Notorious’ (1946) and ‘Indiscreet’ (1958), Alex Carlson states that, so strong a presence Bergman has, she manages to make viewers drawn to her rather than her giant co-stars like Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, and Humphrey Bogart. Bergman's ability to change emotions with control and subtlety show us why she is in a league of her own.
In his article A Woman's Voice: Ingrid Bergman in Five Languages, Dan Callahan commented that there is element of suspense in watching how Bergman emotes, enhanced by her voice and the way she read her lines. While speaking in other languages, often actors are dubbed, but Bergman, a polyglot, was able to use her own voice and nuance. He commented that Bergman was less effective while performing in German, a more strenuous language, as if she were void of creative energy. Likewise, she did not particularly excelled at French, as the language does not lilt up and down like Italian.
A 2019 article titled Notorious: The Same Hunger describes how Bergman's performance is the "crowning jewel" in the film amidst superb performances by both Cary Grant and Claude Rains. Her acting set her apart from the other iconic Hitchcock blondes. The writer also added that Bergman's secret weapon is her voice. Audience can chart the emotional flow of the film simply by hear Bergman's voice.
In 1937, at the age of 21, Bergman married a dentist, Petter Aron Lindström (1 March 1907 – 24 May 2000), who later became a neurosurgeon. The couple had one child, a daughter, Friedel Pia Lindström (born 20 September 1938). After returning to the United States in 1940, she acted on Broadway before continuing to do films in Hollywood. The following year, her husband arrived from Sweden with Pia. Lindström stayed in Rochester, New York, where he studied medicine and surgery at the University of Rochester. Bergman traveled to New York and stayed at their small rented stucco house between films, her visits lasting from a few days to four months. According to an article in Life magazine, the "doctor regards himself as the undisputed head of the family, an idea that Ingrid accepts cheerfully". He insisted she draw the line between her film and personal life, as he has a "professional dislike for being associated with the tinseled glamor of Hollywood". Lindström later moved to San Francisco, California, where he completed his internship at a private hospital, and they continued to spend time together when she could travel between filming.
On 27 August 1945, two days before her 30th birthday, as Ingrid Lindstrom, she and her husband both filed "Declaration of Intention" forms with the United States District Court, Southern District of California.
According to Victor Fleming's biographer, Michael Sragow, Bergman and the director had an affair during the filming of Joan of Arc. Fleming was married. Fleming's daughter said that if her father was leaving his wife for another woman, it would have been for Ingrid Bergman. Bergman and Fleming were co-producing the big-budget 1948 film. Fleming became terribly excited by the project because he had not seen a success since Gone With Wind. Bergman had been attracted to Fleming once from their past collaboration but she had gone on to other films. During production, Fleming made regular trips back to Hollywood. Wherever he was, he wrote her passionate letters. One of those letters wrote, 'tears are just as wet and salty in my bed as in your own and night just as dark. For what I've lost is lost forever...I love you.' When he arrived at the station in Los Angeles, he was crying, saying, 'There's no fool like an old fool.'
Fleming was nearly sixty, old enough to be her father. He called her 'angel'. During the weeks of filming, the intensity of their work gave them no time for anything else. Bergman was worried he wore himself out on the picture. She thought that he was so anxious to make this picture a great success, because he knew how Joan of Arc meant to Bergman. Some weeks later after the premiere, Fleming died of heart attack. Deeply grieved, she attended his funeral. Now it was time to stand back and look at herself.
Cary Grant set up for Bergman to meet Howard Hughes in New York at Sherry Netherland Hotel. Grant made the introduction. While Bergman talked to Hughes, one man after another approached Grant to ask for introduction. Later, they went out dancing at El Morocco. Hughes's associates kept calling Bergman, but Bergman was only mildly interested. Soon, when it was time to return to Hollywood, Hughes wanted to flying Bergman back in his private plane, Lockheed Lodester. He decided to fly another craft when the plane developed minor engine trouble. He flew the craft hundreds of miles out of the way so Bergman could look down over the Grand Canyon. Little did he know that Bergman was falling asleep in the co-pilot's seat beside Hughes. Hughes told her that he would make her the great star of RKO Pictures. He had been smitten with Ingrid Bergman. He met Petter, her husband five times. Peter always gave him a flat no.
Bergman had a brief affair with war photographer Robert Capa after she met him as she entertained the Allied troops in 1945. She even invited him to come visit her on the set of Hitchcock's Notorious. After the shooting ended, they broke up. Their affair had been the basis of Hitchcock making Rear Window years later.
During her marriage with Lindström, Bergman also had a brief affair with Spellbound co-star Gregory Peck. Unlike her later affair with Rossellini, the affair with Peck was kept private until he confessed it to Brad Darrach of People in an interview five years after Bergman's death. Peck said, "All I can say is that I had a real love for her (Bergman), and I think that's where I ought to stop ... I was young. She was young. We were involved for weeks in close and intense work."
Bergman returned to Europe after the scandalous publicity surrounding her affair with Italian director Roberto Rossellini during the filming of Stromboli in 1950. In the same month the film was released, she gave birth to a boy, Renato Roberto Ranaldo Giusto Giuseppe ("Robin") Rossellini (born 2 February 1950). A week after her son was born, she divorced Lindström and married Rossellini in Mexico. On 18 June 1952, she gave birth to the twin daughters Isotta Ingrid Rossellini and Isabella Rossellini. In 1957, Rossellini had an affair with Sonali Das Gupta and soon after, Bergman and Rossellini separated. Rossellini later married Sonali Das Gupta in 1957.
In 1958, Bergman married Lars Schmidt, a theatrical entrepreneur from a wealthy Swedish shipping family. While vacationing with Lars in Monte Gordo beach (Algarve region, Portugal) in 1963, right after recording the TV movie Hedda Gabler, Ingrid was ticketed for wearing a bikini that showed too much according to the modesty standards of conservative Portugal. After almost two decades of marriage, Ingrid and Lars divorced in 1975. He was, however, by her side when she died.
Death and legacy
Bergman died on 29 August 1982 at 12:00 am, her 67th birthday, in London, of breast cancer. Her body was cremated at Kensal Green Cemetery, London, and her ashes taken to Sweden. Most of them were scattered in the sea around the islet of Dannholmen off the fishing village of Fjällbacka in Bohuslän, on the west coast of Sweden, where she spent most of the summers from 1958 until her death in 1982. The rest were placed next to her parents' ashes in Norra Begravningsplatsen (Northern Cemetery), Stockholm, Sweden.
Her friends and costars expressed their feelings, stricken by the news of her death. Cary Grant, who led a private life after his retirement, chose not to give any comments. Joseph Cotten who himself was ailing at the time said that she has earned herself a place in the history of cinema. Bergman's husband in Casablanca, Paul Henreid said that he was deeply distressed by the news. Bergman, whom he said was terribly beautiful in her youth, has led a colourful life and considered her a great actress and a dear friend. Liv Ullmann, Leonard Nimoy and Yossi Graber who all had worked with her in some of her later films also revealed their deep sadness, alluding to her courage in fighting the cancer that eventually cost her life.
According to biographer Donald Spoto, she was "arguably the most international star in the history of entertainment". After her American film debut in the film Intermezzo: A Love Story (1939), co-starring Leslie Howard, Hollywood saw her as a unique actress who was completely natural in style and without need of make-up. Film critic James Agee wrote that she "not only bears a startling resemblance to an imaginable human being; she really knows how to act, in a blend of poetic grace with quiet realism".
According to film historian David Thomson, she "always strove to be a 'true' woman", and many filmgoers identified with her:
There was a time in the early and mid-1940s when Bergman commanded a kind of love in America that has been hardly ever matched. In turn, it was the strength of that affection that animated the "scandal" when she behaved like an impetuous and ambitious actress instead of a saint.:76
Writing about her first years in Hollywood, Life magazine stated that "All Bergman vehicles are blessed", and "they all go speedily and happily, with no temperament from the leading lady". She was "completely pleased" with her early career's management by David O. Selznick, who always found excellent dramatic roles for her to play, and equally satisfied with her salary, once saying, "I am an actress, and I am interested in acting, not in making money." Life adds that "she has greater versatility than any actress on the American screen ... Her roles have demanded an adaptability and sensitiveness of characterization to which few actresses could rise".
She continued her acting career while suffering from cancer for eight years, and won international honors for her final roles. "Her spirit triumphed with remarkable grace and courage", adds Spoto. Director George Cukor once summed up her contributions to the film media when he said to her, "Do you know what I especially love about you, Ingrid, my dear? I can sum it up as your naturalness. The camera loves your beauty, your acting, and your individuality. A star must have individuality. It makes you a great star. A great star.":11
In 1996, Entertainment Weekly named her 12th on their list of 100 Greatest Movie Stars of All Time.
In March 2015, a picture of Bergman photographed by David Seymour was chosen for the main poster for the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. A documentary titled Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words was also screened at the festival.
In August 2015, US Postal issued the Ingrid Bergman Commemorative Forever stamp to celebrate the cinema icon's centennial.
In 1980, Bergman's autobiography, Ingrid Bergman: My Story, was written with the help of Alan Burgess. In it, 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.
Awards and nominations
Bergman was only the second actress to win three Academy Awards for acting: two for Best Actress, and one for Best Supporting Actress. She is tied for second place of Oscars won, with Walter Brennan, Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, and Daniel Day-Lewis. Bergman won the inaugural Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her portrayal of Joan of Arc in Joan of Lorraine.
Woody Guthrie composed "Ingrid Bergman", a song about Bergman in 1950. The lyrics have been described as "erotic" and make reference to Bergman's relationship with Roberto Rossellini, which began during work on the film Stromboli. This song was never recorded by Guthrie but it was set to music and recorded by Billy Bragg on the album Mermaid Avenue after being discovered in the Woody Guthrie Archive with thousands of other songs. Bergman was also referenced in an early version of "Lobachevsky," a song by American satirist Tom Lehrer, that pokes fun at plagiarism in mathematics.
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