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Ingrid Bergman Biography (1915–1982)

Ingrid Bergman was an internationally renowned Swedish actress known for works like Casablanca, Spellbound and Anastasia.


Born on August 29, 1915, in Stockholm, Sweden, Ingrid Bergman starred in the classic Casablanca, forging an international film career that would see her featured in pictures like Spellbound and Viaggio in Italia. She was ultimately nominated for seven Academy Awards, winning for GaslightAnastasia and Murder on the Orient Express. A legend of the stage as well, Bergman died in England on August 29, 1982.

Early Life

Known for her naturally luminous beauty, actress Ingrid Bergman was born on August 29, 1915, in Stockholm, Sweden. Bergman experienced several major losses in her early years. Her mother, originally from Germany, died when she was only a toddler. Her father ran a photography shop and supported her interest in creative endeavors. In her early teens, Bergman lost her father, eventually ending up in the care of an uncle and his family.

Bergman attended private school, where she performed in numerous plays. In the early 1930s, she enrolled at the Royal Dramatic Theater School in Stockholm. Bergman left after a year and began her professional career. In 1934, she made her film debut in Monkbrogreven. Bergman soon landed more movie roles in her native Sweden, including the 1936 romantic drama Intermezzo. The following year, she married Swedish doctor Petter Lindstrom. The couple eventually had a daughter together, Friedel Pia.

Top Film Actress

After seeing Ingrid Bergman in Intermezzo, American film producer David O. Selznick hired her to star in the English language remake of the film. Following this film’s successful release in 1939, Selznick signed Bergman to a multiyear contract. She made a stop on Broadway before tackling Hollywood, appearing in a 1940 production of Liliom.

Her early American film work presented Bergman as a woman of virtue. She played a devoted governess in Adam Had Four Sons (1941), and portrayed a loyal wife in Rage in Heaven (1941). In 1942, Bergman gave a stellar performance as a woman torn between two men—played by Humphrey Bogart and Paul Henreid—during wartime in Casablanca. Her character, Ilsa Lund, puts the good of a political resistance movement ahead of her own heart in this popular film.

With the success of Casablanca, Bergman quickly became a full-fledged movie star. She co-starred with Gary Cooper in the popular film adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943). With Gaslight (1944), the actress won widespread acclaim for her performance as a young wife whose husband attempts to drive her insane. She won her first Academy Award for her work on this movie, which was directed by George D. Cukor.

Working with Alfred Hitchcock, Bergman starred in two of his thrillers: Spellbound (1945) with Gregory Peck, and Notorious (1946) with Cary Grant. She was especially praised for her portrayal of a spy in Notorious, which is considered one of her greatest performances. Movie-goers also loved Bergman in more heart-lighted fare. In 1945, she played a nun opposite Bing Crosby in The Bells of St. Mary’s.

Wanting to diversify her work, Bergman took the Broadway stage to appear in Joan of Lorraine. She took on another challenging role on the big screen, playing the title character in the 1948 drama Joan of Arc. This film and her final collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock, Under Capricorn, failed to make much of an impression on film audiences or critics. Looking to revive her sagging career, Bergman wrote a letter to Italian director Roberto Rossellini, asking for an opportunity to work with him.

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