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Scandal Rocks Ingrid Bergman's Career

Actress Ingrid Bergman was one of the most popular European actresses of her time. Amongst the film roles she appeared in, Bergman as “Ilsa Lund” in the romantic classic “Casablanca” (1942) solidified her image in everyone’s mind forever. But Bergman was always looking for more ways to express and challenge herself as an actress. Being a fan of Italian director Roberto Rossellini, Bergman sought him out to be a part of one of his films through a letter dictating her admiration for him. Rossellini cast Bergman in the title role as “Karin” in “Stromboli” (1950).

By the end of the film’s production, Bergman and Rossellini had fallen in love and Bergman was to have their first child. The problem was both were married at the time with Bergman already having a husband and daughter living in the United States. The scandal hit like wildfire, reaching as far as the United States Senate. The majority of the vote exiled Bergman from the country.

Friend of Bergman and actor Cary Grant continued to support her. “For years he was the only one in Hollywood who ever contacted me... I had done nothing wrong in his eyes,” Bergman had once said about Grant’s loyalty to her. As a testament to their friendship, Bergman asked Grant to pick up her Oscar if she were to win for “Anastasia” (1956) – the first film Bergman had starred in after her exile from Hollywood. Indeed, Bergman won for her performance and amidst the applause, Grant as able to say, “We all send you our love and admiration.”

Following “Anastasia,” Bergman was cast opposite Grant in the romantic-comedy “Indiscreet” (1958). The irony of “Indiscreet” laid within the script which called for Bergman to play “Anna Kalman” – an actress who risks her reputation in order to have a relationship with a married diplomat (Grant). In reality, Bergman had just divorced from her husband. “Indiscreet” was a hit when the film was released to theaters. The film was nominated for three Golden Globes including one for Bergman in the “Best Motion Picture Actress – Comedy/Musical” category. Although she did not win the Golden Globe for her performance, Bergman was able to rebuild her career to newer heights from that point on.

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