Sunday, 17 May 2009

Ingrid Bergman

Born in Stockholm, Sweden, on August 29, 1915 - Ingrid Bergman was one of the greatest actresses from Hollywood's lamented Golden Era.
Her natural and unpretentious beauty and her immense acting talent made her one of the most celebrated figures in the history of American cinema.
Bergman is also one of the most Oscar-awarded actresses, second only to
Katharine Hepburn.

Before she came to Hollywood in 1939, she was already an established actress in Sweden. She had completed 11 Swedish films when producer David O. Selznick invited her to come to Hollywood to reprise her role in the American version of her biggest hit,
Intermezzo: A Love Story (1939) opposite Leslie Howard.
Her performance in her American debut captured America's heart.
She later appeared in Adam Had Four Sons(1941), Rage in Heaven (1941) and
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941).
However, it was
Casablanca (1942) that launched her to superstardom, establishing her as a romantic leading lady.
The pairing with
Humphrey Bogart made them one of the best romantic cinema couples of all time and the film still vows audiences, more than 60 years after its release.
In 2002 the American Film Institute named
Casablanca (1942) as the top American love story of all time, beating such favorites as Gone with the Wind (1939) and West Side Story (1961). Ironically enough, both Bogart and Bergman tried to quit the film during shooting, feeling that the story was ridiculous and unbelievable.
Bergman herself said at the time that she hoped it would never be shown again after she died.

After Casablanca (1942), she became Hollywood's top box-office draw. All of her films became smash hits; she starred opposite
Gary Cooper in Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), which she cited as her personal favorite film.
She also gave an Oscar-winning performance as the persecuted wife of Charles Boyer in George Cukor's Gaslight (1944) and Leo McCarey's very popular
The Bells of St. Mary's (1945).
Later, she worked with the master himself, Alfred Hitchcock in Spellbound (1945), Notorious (1946) with
Cary Grant and the less successful Under Capricorn (1949).

Ingrid Bergman will always be remembered as Bogart's lost love Ilsa Lund in Casablanca (1942). It's sad because she also gave spectacular performances as Maria in For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), Paula Alquist in Gasligt (1944), Dr. Constance Peterson in Spellbound (1945),
Alicia Huberman in Notorious (1946),
the title role in Anastasia (1956), Gladys Aylward in The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958) and Charlotte in Höstsonaten (1978).
She worked in films, television and on the stage in New York, London, Paris, Rome and Stockholm.
She worked right up to her death. In 1999 she was ranked #4 in the American Film Institute's list of greatest female screen legends. As
Humphrey Bogart said, "Here's looking at you kid", and until this day, we are still looking at you, Ingrid!