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18 October 1934
|Died||30 April 1970
Hollywood, California, USA
Cause of death
|Cremated; ashes scattered into the Pacific Ocean|
Anthony Soglio (1955–1958; divorced)
Ike Jones (1961–1970; her death) (disputed)
Inger Stevens was born Ingrid Stensland in Stockholm, Sweden. As a child she was often ill. When she was nine, her parents divorced and she moved with her father to New York City. At age 13 she and her father moved to Manhattan, Kansas, where she attended Manhattan High School. At 16 she worked in burlesque shows in Kansas City, Missouri. At eighteen, she left Kansas to return to New York City, where she worked as a chorus girl and in the Garment District while taking classes at the Actors Studio.
Roles in major films followed, but she achieved her greatest success in the ABC television series The Farmer's Daughter with William Windom. Previously, Stevens appeared in episodes of Bonanza, Route 66, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Eleventh Hour, Sam Benedict and The Twilight Zone.
Following the cancellation of The Farmer's Daughter in 1966, Stevens appeared in several films: A Guide for the Married Man (1967) with Walter Matthau, Hang 'Em High with Clint Eastwood, 5 Card Stud with Dean Martin and Robert Mitchum, and Madigan with Henry Fonda and Richard Widmark, all in 1968. Stevens was attempting to revive her television career with the detective drama series The Most Deadly Game when she died.
Her first husband was her agent, Anthony Soglio, to whom she was married from 1955 to 1957. After her death Ike Jones, an African American actor claimed that he was secretly married to Stevens from 1961 to her death. This claim was put in doubt due to the lack of a marriage license, the maintenance of separate homes and the filing of tax documents as single people. However, at the time Stevens's estate was being settled, the actress's brother, Carl O. Stensland, confirmed in court that his sister had hidden her marriage to Jones "out of fear for her career."
On the morning of April 30, 1970, Stevens's sometime roommate and companion, Lola McNally, found Stevens on the kitchen floor of her Hollywood Hills home. According to McNally, when she called Stevens's name, Stevens opened her eyes, lifted her head, and tried to speak but was unable to make any sound. McNally told police that she had spoken to Stevens the previous night without any sign of trouble. Stevens died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. On arrival, medics removed a small bandage from her chin that revealed a small amount of what appeared to be fresh blood oozing from a cut which appeared to have been a few hours old. Los Angeles County Coroner Dr. Thomas Noguchi attributed Stevens's death to "acute barbiturate poisoning."
- Man on Fire (1957)
- Cry Terror! (1958)
- The Buccaneer (1958)
- The World, the Flesh and the Devil (1959)
- The New Interns (1964)
- The Borgia Stick (1967, TV)
- A Guide for the Married Man (1967)
- A Time for Killing (1967)
- Firecreek (1968)
- Madigan (1968)
- 5 Card Stud (1968)
- Hang 'Em High (1968)
- Firecreek (1968)
- House of Cards (1968)
- A Dream of Kings (1969)
- Debut (1956)
- Roman Candle (1960)
- Mary, Mary (1962)
Awards and nominations
|1958||Nominated||Laurel Awards||Top New Female Personality||—|
|1968||Nominated||Best Family Comedy Series||A Guide for the Married Man|
|1964||Won||Golden Globes||Best TV Star – Female||The Farmer's Daughter|
|1962||Nominated||Emmy Award||Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role||The Dick Powell Show|
|1964||Nominated||Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Series (Lead)||The Farmer's Daughter|
- "Inger S Stevens". California Death Index, 1940–1997. Ancestry.com. Retrieved July 1, 2011. "Name: Inger S Stevens; Social Security #: 511200818; Sex: Female; Birth Date: 18 Oct 1934; Birthplace: Sweden; Death Date: 30 Apr 1970; Death Place: Los Angeles"(subscription required)
- Austin, John. Hollywood's Babylon Women, S.P.I. Books, 1994, accessed at Google Books, July 1, 2011.
- "Inger's Brother Backs Ike Jones's Claim on Estate", Jet, 13 August 1970, page 22
- Inger Stevens at the Internet Movie Database
- Inger Stevens at Find a Grave
- The Inger Stevens Memorial Site.