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Ingrid Bergman Died On Her Birthday

Ingrid Bergman was born on 29 August 1915 and Ingrid Bergman died on 29 August 1982, her 67th birthday.

Born in Sweden, Ingrid Bergman was orphaned by the time she was 13 years old. Five years later she was getting started in the movie business. She quickly became a popular leading lady, and David Selznick brought her to Hollywood to make her first American movie, 1939’s Intermezzo: A Love Story. It was a remake of the 1936 version she’d made in Sweden.

During the 1940s Ingrid Bergman became a beloved Hollywood star. She played opposite Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca (1942). She got her first Oscar nomination with For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943). She won her first Oscar for Gaslight (1944). She was nominated two more times, for The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945) and Joan of Arc (1948). She starred in three films by Alfred Hitchcock: Spellbound (1945), Notorious (1946) and Under Capricorn (1949).

Then came the 1950s. Ingrid Bergman, married to a Swedish doctor and the mother of a daughter, ditched it all to become the lover of film director Roberto Rossellini. On top of that, she was pregnant by Rossellini.

Traditional lore says this made Ingrid Bergman an outcast in Hollywood and, well, all of America. From this distance it’s hard to say how much weight to give to such stories. Sure, you can read that she was denounced on the floor of the United States Senate, that she was called out for being a “free-love cultist” and a “powerful influence for evil,” and that she was called “Hollywood’s apostle of degradation” (that’s a pretty big title to hold). But, of course, by now we all know that such things don’t amount to much. Now we know that such denunciations are done so that a politician can get his name in the paper.

In this case, by the way, the politician was Colorado’s Edwin “Big Ed” Johnson. He was a senator at the time, but he’d also been Colorado’s governor. In fact, he was to be Colorado’s governor again. Johnson served two terms as governor in the 1930s, then went to the U.S. Senate for three terms (1937-55), then served another term as governor (1955-57).

As it turns out, her “outcast” status didn’t last too long, and maybe didn’t even really exist. She made some unsuccessful films with Rossellini, and their marriage didn’t last more than half a dozen years. She had a son in 1950 (a few months before she and Roberto were married), and in 1952 she had twin daughters, one of whom grew up to be a famous model and actress (Isabella Rossellini). But she was back in Hollywood for Anastasia, which was released in 1956 and brought Ingrid Bergman her second Oscar.

She did not appear at the Oscar ceremony that year, and the award was accepted on her behalf by Cary Grant.

Ingrid Bergman kept on working, and she won her third Oscar for a supporting role in 1974’s Murder On The Orient Express (based on the novel by Agatha Christie). For her acceptance speech, she spoke mostly about how nominee Valentina Cortese (Day For Night) probably should have won. And Ingrid has a point — the film Cortese starred in won the Oscar the previous year for Best Foreign Film.

Just before she died, Ingrid Bergman was nominated for an Emmy award for her portrayal of Golda Meir in the TV movie A Woman Called Golda. Three weeks before she won that award, Ingrid Bergman died after a long battle with cancer.

And she died on her birthday.

With Cary Grant in 'Notorious'

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