The Bergman Scandal
While doing in-depth research into 1950s Hollywood, we came across scandals that shocked and amazed us. Remember, people especially women had a special society code of decency they needed to follow. Though things were slowly changing it the 50's many women and men were caught in the web of change and did not recuperate. Really, you can't make this stuff up!
Ingrid Bergman was a Swedish actress who was known for her graceful beauty and wholesome persona. She is remembered for playing Ilsa in Casablanca. She endured a scandal that was large and profound.
She married a much older man, neurosurgeon, Petter Lindstrom and had a daughter, Pia. After producer David O. Selznick saw Ingrid's Swedish films. He offered her a contract and she went to Hollywood.
When Bergman arrived, she refused to undergo a makeover, she didn’t want a new name, said no to thick pancake make-up, and most of all wouldn't let them pluck her bushy Nordic eyebrows. Selznick decided that Bergman’s image would be NO IMAGE AT ALL.
Bergman wrote a letter to Italian director Roberto Rossellini offering to appear in his next movie Stromboli. Along with giving her the part, Rossellini immediately replaced his previous lover, Anna Magnani, with Bergman.
Rumors of an affair soon started. Her old friend and famous columnist, Hedda Hopper, interviewed Bergman who refused to admit she was pregnant. But when Hopper’s arch-rival, columnist, Louella Parsons, announced the pregnancy days later, Hopper retaliated by shaming Bergman as much as possible. Ed Sullivan refused to allow Bergman on his show, and she was denounced on the floor of the United States Senate as an “Instrument of Evil.”
On top of that, Bergman’s husband, Lindstrom refused to grant her a quick divorce, effectively ensuring that Bergman would give birth to a “bastard child.” Bergman’s Hollywood image was damaged beyond repair. (Lindstrom granted her a divorce just days before her child was born.)
Soon after, Rossellini and Bergman married causing an international scandal.
Bergman left America, had more children with Rossellini including a pair of twins (model Isabella Rossellini),
The couple divorced in1957 and Bergman’s career made a comeback. She earned another Academy Award for Anastasia in 1956
Ingrid Bergman died August 29, 1982 in London from Breast Cancer