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Ingrid Bergman was an internationally renowned Swedish actress known for works like Casablanca, Spellbound and Anastasia.
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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.
Ingrid Bergman became involved with Rossellini while making Stromboli (1950). Both parties in this affair, which became an international scandal, were married to other people at the time. Pregnant with Rossellini's child, Bergman asked her husband for a divorce, but he initially refused. Bergman gave birth to her son, Roberto, just days before her divorce was finalized. She soon married director Rossellini, but the damage to her career was already done.
There was a large public outcry regarding Bergman's behavior, which had shattered her saintly image. Her work with Rossellini, Stromboli, was met with great opposition when it was released. Bergman's next few films, which she also did with Rossellini, proved to commercial disappointments. She had two more children, twin daughters Isabella and Isotta, with Rossellini before divorcing him in 1956.
Shunned by Hollywood for years, Bergman made a triumphant return to American cinema with Anastasia (1956). In the film, she stars as a woman who may or may not be a long-lost member of the Russian royal family. For her performance in Anastasia, Bergman won her second Academy Award. Other film roles soon followed, including the 1958 romantic comedy Indiscreet with Cary Grant.
In her later years, Bergman tackled a range of projects. She co-starred in the popular 1969 comedy Cactus Flower with Walter Matthau and Goldie Hawn. In 1974, Bergman picked up another Academy Award for her supporting role in Murder on the Orient Express. This film adaptation of an Agatha Christie mystery also featured Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall and Sean Connery.
Around this time, Bergman was diagnosed with breast cancer. She continued to work, despite her battle with the disease. In 1978, Bergman starred in Ingmar Bergman's musical drama Autumn Sonata. She gave her final performance in the 1982 television movie Golda, playing legendary Israeli leader Golda Meir. Her portrayal of Meir earned her raves as well as an Emmy Award.
Bergman died in 1982 on her birthday—August 29—in London, England, at the age of 67. With her at the end was her third husband, Lars Schmidt, whom she had divorced a few years earlier. Bergman left behind an array of wonderful performances in more than 50 movies, including the revered classic Casablanca. Two of her daughters followed her into the public eye: Pia Lindstrom became a television reporter and actress, and Isabella Rossellini has enjoyed an extensive career as an actress.
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