The many loves of Ingrid Bergman.


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INGRID BERGMAN (1915 – 82)                  

Most fans are genuinely surprised to find that many of the screen’s biggest movie stars are diminutive in stature. It probably has a lot to do with cinema-goers seeing their idols enlarged on theatre screens, but the illusion surely exists. Ingrid Bergman did not fall into that category, however, for she stood at 5’9” (1.75m) and was taller than several of her co-stars. Humphrey Bogart, Yul Brynner and Bing Crosby were all shorter than her. Another misconception was the impression she gave of being both aloof and as pure as the driven snow, when in reality she enjoyed men, was physically attracted to most of her leading men and slept with many of them. Note: She was not related in any way to director Ingmar Bergman who was, incidentally, married to a Swedish woman named Ingrid Bergman – also no relation.

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1936    At the age of 21 Ingrid met Swedish dentist Petter Lindstrom and married him a year later. The marriage lasted until 1950 and produced one child, a daughter named Pia.

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1938    Hollywood producer David O Selznick brought Ingrid to California to star in Intermezzo: A Love Story (1939), after which she briefly returned to Sweden. Whether her affair with Selznick occurred in 1938 or when she returned to Hollywood with her family in 1940 is still debated, but most pundits declare it happened.

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1939    Burgess Meredith worked with Ingrid on Broadway in ‘Liliom’ and insiders claim they had a brief fling before she ventured back to Sweden.

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1941    Ingrid fell heavily for director Victor Fleming when she starred opposite Spencer Tracy and Lana Turner in his film Dr Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1941). Tracy tried hard to get her but it appears she only had eyes for Fleming. At that time anyway. She and Tracy would eventually have an affair and it would grate on Kate Hepburn’s mind for years. There were even stories of Kate staking out a hotel brandishing a shotgun, convinced that Tracy and Bergman were shacked up inside.

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1943    Gary Cooper had been around the traps a few times, but even he was dismayed how his romance with Ingrid ended after making For Whom the Bell Tolls with her in 1943. ‘In my whole life I’ve never had a woman so much in love with me as Ingrid Bergman was’, he said. ‘The day after the picture ended, I couldn’t get her on the phone.’

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1944    Harmonica-player Larry Adler was raking in $200,000 a year at the height of his popularity, enormous money for a guy playing the ‘mouth organ’, as he preferred to call it. While touring US Army bases with Jack Benny and Ingrid Bergman, he and Ingrid began sleeping together. Their romance ended when she met photographer Robert Capa.


1944    Another of Ingrid’s bed-mates was American General Simon Bolivar Buckland, although any chance of a serious attachment was cut short when he was killed on Okinawa in June 1945.

Image result for robert capa and ingrid bergman    Image result for robert capa and ingrid bergman

1945    Ingrid met world famous war photographer Robert Capa towards the end of World War Two while she was overseas entertaining troops. They were soon intimately involved. Both were heavy drinkers. Their affair inspired Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954). Capa was the only cameraman to go in with the first wave of troops at Omaha Beach on D-Day. He was killed by a land mine in Vietnam in 1954.

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1945    Gregory Peck admitted in an interview to having romanced Ingrid ‘in his younger days’ when they worked together on Spellbound (1945).

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1945    Director Victor Fleming dated Ingrid for three years, from 1945 until their break-up in 1948.


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1950    Ingrid’s enormous world-wide popularity nose-dived after she met Italian director Roberto Rossellini when she made Stromboli (1950) for him. She soon fell in love with the man and became pregnant to him. Still wed to Petter Lindstrom, she left her husband and daughter and moved to Italy. It did not help matters that Rossellini himself was also married and keeping several mistresses on the side, including actress Anna Magnani. The Bergman-Rossellini affair began while he was a house-guest at the Lindstrom home in America. Ingrid had invited him there to discuss the Stromboli script.

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Senator Edwin C. Johnson of Colorado

In March, 1950, Senator Edwin Johnson of Colorado labelled her a ‘free-love cultist’ and a ‘powerful influence for evil’ during an extraordinary tirade delivered on the floor of the Senate! A month or so earlier Ingrid had given birth to Renato Rossellini in Italy and, evidently, her betrayal of her husband was all too much for the good senator. Even a ‘quickie’ divorce in Mexico and marriage to Rossellini did nothing to assuage the public and media indignation. After all, the public perception of Ingrid mirrored her movie roles, particularly as Joan of Arc (1948) and as a saintly nun in The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945). She was many things to many people, but a ‘saint’ she was not. It took until 1956 and her Oscar-winning performance in Anastasia (1956), before she was eventually forgiven her indiscretion.

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1956    Yul Brynner was briefly servicing Ingrid when they made Anastasia together in 1956.

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1958    Swedish film producer Lars Schmidt was Ingrid’s last husband. Together they owned the island of Danholmen, off the coast of Sweden. They divorced in 1978 but remained friends until Ingrid’s death four years later.

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1961    French star Yves Montand met and seduced Ingrid in 1961. Or did she seduce him? The interlude was short-lived and he moved on. As usual.

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Tony Quinn and Ingrid in The Visit             Pia and Ingrid

1963    Ingrid began a lengthy and torrid romance with Anthony Quinn on the set of The Visit in 1963, and if we can accept Quinn’s word for it, he was also servicing her daughter Pia Lindstrom at the same time! In his memoirs he delighted in revealing how both women plied him with questions regarding the other’s performance in the sack. He also wrote that he was too much of a gentleman to answer their questions, (but not too gentlemanly to keep the story to himself it seems). When he and Ingrid re-teamed for A Walk in the Spring Rain in 1970 they renewed their relationship, although by then Pia had moved on.

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1964    Omar Sharif indulged himself with Ingrid as she was approaching 50 years of age on the set of The Yellow Rolls Royce (1964).

As with every major star, there are other names that have been linked to Ingrid Bergman other than those mentioned above – writer John Steinbeck, Joseph Cotten, Howard Hughes, Marlon Brando, Paul Henreid and Bing Crosby are some I can think of, but I was unable to verify them. Not yet anyway.


  1. Alan Doyle’s comments are spot on. Considering that Bergman and her husband were separated much of their marriage due to his national service, his medical studies, and her career, the length of the marriage was not anyone’s fault. Those were difficult years for many marriages.

  2. It is kind of strange – of all the male star’s she made movies with and had affairs with, the two biggest male stars of the whole time period were not on her lists of affairs – Humphrey Bogart and Cary Grant.

    • Bogart’s wife, Mayo Methot, suspected her husband was having an affair with Ingrid when they made ‘Casablanca’, but it is extremely doubtful because nobody has ever confirmed this. Grant was probably not heterosexual enough for her. That would be my guess anyway, Kevin.

      • However excitingly interesting she is to men, ingrid was probably traumatized by her family’s death & the war at a fairly young age. She feared abandonment so much and so picked people who were not esp. faithful for the most part or anyone when she felt it necessary to marry who seemed faithful. Not a happy woman, Id say, esp. when you consider her ambivalence regarding her emotions between motherhood and acting. I doubt she had any real security growing up, no continuity, even consistency. I can’t say I exactly feel sorry for her but I wouldn’t have wanted to be her.

        • Thank you for your comments, Lynn. I think Ingrid, like many in that cut-throat profession, struggled to handle the adoration and the need to remain at the top of her game. I suppose many truly beautiful men and women are wary of love – is it genuine or role-playing? Today, her love life would scarcely rate a comment. Back then, however,…

    • Another possibility is these were two really classy men that respected her more than entertaining their own interests…. Grant had a deep friendship with her and perhaps that was more important

    • Bogart did not like her and did not spend time with her. Cary Grant was a really close friend, and she may have seen his sexuality as too fluid.

  3. How do you now she had affairs with all these men? Did she confide in you? What would this world be without GOSSIP?

    • Of course she did not confide in me. For that matter, I never knew Hitler either, but I know he ordered the deaths of millions of people. It is called RESEARCH. Surely you have heard of it.

    • I agree with you entirely, Lynne. In fact, I believe her performance in ‘Casablanca’ is the single most memorable performance in Hollywood history. Hollywood’s greatest ever movie (in my opinion) was due primarily to her, Bogie and a great score.

  4. She had no memory of her mother who died when she was 3. Idolized her father, who constantly photographed and filmed her, and then died when she was still very young, I forget the year. Many women who have such strong attachments to their father and little or no love for their mother tend to have many lovers as father substitutes. If they happen to be Catholic, the attraction of a priest (“Father”) seems irresistible. In Ingrid’s case it was often the director behind the camera, as her father often was. I’m writing the biography of a star musician who was similar. Where is the boundary between neurosis/addiction and simple enjoyment? Greetings to all Ingrid fans, Glen

  5. She was blessed not to have numerous STD’S! I wonder if she was raped as a youth. Women who are sexually abused will either hate men,
    or sleep with anyone and everyone. It sounds like she possibly suffered
    from rape or incest disorder. How sad!

    • Hi Alice. As far as I am aware, Ingrid had a gentle upbringing living with her uncle until she was about 18 when she asserted her independence and enrolled in drama classes. Her promiscuity, in my opinion, was no more than that of most healthy, beautiful young people. She liked men and was physically attracted to them. Simple as that.

  6. Ingrid did not have an affair with Howard Hughes, Yves Montand, David O’Selznick and she and Lars got divorced in 1975, not 1978.

  7. Yes, and Mayo’s presence may have had something to do w/ his behavior.
    Somebody from studio said ‘we never brought our mates to work’, but Mayo would
    glower at everybody. ” One day, a wreath arrived w/ condoms hanging from it. We all
    knew who it was from.” The one person I feel the most sorry for in “whose sleeping
    with who,” was Mayo Methot; deeply disturbed, crying out for help and it was all fun
    and games, “The Battling Bogarts.”

  8. I’m usually dismissive of Darwin Porter, but found following: Claims he interviewed Bergman
    at home before her death. Re. she and Bogart. “What could I say then. We were both married. He fell madly in love with me; wanted to marry me but I was in love with Gary
    Cooper.” Somewhere, someone said that reason Bogart was nasty to Bergman was
    because Mayo was constantly on Casablanca set, suspiciously waiting to catch those two
    behaving far to friendly.

    • Intriguing, Sheila. Cooper claimed that he had never found a woman who was more in love with him than Ingrid, yet the moment filming finished on ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ he could not even get her on the phone. Bogart, as far as I know, was not interested in her when they made ‘Casablanca’, although Mayo seemed to be present during shooting pretty much all the time.

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