This week, ÉCU decided to go back to the classics and spotlight one of the greatest actresses of all time, the lovely Ingrid Bergman.

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Ingrid Bergman was born on the 29th of August 1915 in Stockholm into a Swedish-German family. Ingrid had a difficult childhood; her mother died when she was just three and her father passed away when Ingrid was thirteen. Her father always wanted her to become an opera star, but Ingrid stated later that she always had the dream of becoming an actress.

In 1932, Ingrid had to seize her only chance to become an actress: a competition at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm where she managed to receive with her incredible performance a scholarship for the state-sponsored school.

At the beginning of her career, she appeared mainly in Swedish productions, but had her international breakthrough with the U.S. remake of the Swedish film “Intermezzo“ in 1939, making her well known in Hollywood. With the appearance in this film, Ingrid Bergman was celebrated as the ideal of American womanhood as she combined intelligence and incredible beauty. After performing in the film “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde“ in 1941, she was discovered by Dacid O.Selznick who gave her a seven year acting contract.

Ingrid Bergman holds, after Katharine Hepburn, the second place for most Oscars wins (next to Mery Streep, Jack Nicholson, Daniel Day-Lewis and Walter Brennan). She received three Academy Awards for her roles in “Gaslight” (1945), “Anastasia” (1956) and “Murder on the Orient Express” (1975). Other of her unforgettable performances took place in films like “Casablanca” (1942), “World War II” and Alfred Hitchcock‘s thriller “Notorious” (1946) where she starred next to Cary Grant.

Unfortunately, her personal life was not as smooth as her acting career. Her first marriage with a Swedish dentist Petter Aron Lindström ended with a scandal. In 1950, after a decade of success in American films, she starred in the Italian production “Stromboli” which led to a love affair with the director Roberto Rossellini. Marring Rossellini forced her to remain in Europe until 1956, when she managed to win back her American fans with her performance in “Anastasia”. Only 5 years into the marriage the couple filed for divorce in 1957. Ingrid then married Lars Schmidt, an entrepreneur from a wealthy shipping company, which also sadly ended with a divorce in 1975.Ingrid-Bergman2

With the help of Alan Burgess, Ingrid Bergman published her biography in 1980 called: “Ingrid Bergman: My story“. The book was much urged by Ingrid’s children in order to get rid off the rumors around her life! Ingrid Bergman died of breast cancer on her 67th birthday in London.

It is obvious to say that Ingrid Bergman was an incredible star of entertainment and will always be remembered as one of the greatest actresses of all times! ÉCU sees her as one of the founders of great cinema and filmmaking and we hope that many more unique actresses and actors like Ingrid Bergman will be able to move the film industry to such an extent!

Anna-Louisa Werner

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