"Happiness is good health and a bad memory."

Swedish actress, b. Stockholm 1915-08-29, d. London 1982-08-29. Not to be confused with and not related to director Ingmar Bergman with whom she did not work until her last big screen appearance in 1978.

Ingrid Bergman did not grow up under the most favourable circumstances. She was orphaned at a young age and raised by relatives. After completing high school under otherwise unremarkable circumstances, she enrolled in the Royal Dramatic Theatre (which ten years earlier had produced the other Swedish silver screen goddess, Greta Garbo) and the next year landed her first role. Over the next few years, she played in several Swedish and other European films before Hollywood took note of her and lured her across the Atlantic in 1939.

Intermezzo was the first of a long series of films she would make in the United States over a period of ten years, including classics such as Casablanca and For Whom the Bell Tolls next to names such as Gary Cooper, Humphrey Bogart and Gregory Peck. During her first years in the States she played very wholesome roles, soon becoming one of Hollywood's darlings. Of course being cast only as a pretty girl or a damsel in distress did not suit an artist of her capabilities so, starting with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde she became more selective and chose to be cast as a lot less savoury characters. Her versatility as a dramatic actress was quite remarkable and she put in classic performances in many films of the 1940s in very different roles, not least of all several films directed by Alfred Hitchcock. After her first contract expired in 1946, she worked independently both at Broadway and in Hollywood.

The prolonged honeymoon with Hollywood lasted until 1949 when she scandalised with her extramarital capers with Roberto Rossellini. When she divorced her then husband to marry Rossellini and had three children by him, it took a while for her reputation to recover. For the next seven years she was exiled from Hollywood and worked in Europe until 1956 saw her return to the US to not only star in Anastasia but do so triumphantly.

For the rest of her life and career she diversified her interests, taking stage and television roles in addition to her dwindling number of films, some of which were better than others and she appeared as herself in several documentaries. Despite the material not always being first rate, she continued to show her class well into the 1970s.

She won three Oscars for Casablanca, Anastasia and Murder on the Orient Express and an Emmy for A Woman called Golda. Bergman stands out as one of the most gifted and prolific actresses of four decades.

Filmography (several were for television):
I've used the English titles for her earlier, European work.

CMG Worldwide
Patricio Lopez-Guzman
Original text for E2

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