Inger Stevens

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Inger Stevens
IngerStevens.jpg
Born Ingrid Stensland
(1934-10-18)18 October 1934
Stockholm, Sweden
Died 30 April 1970(1970-04-30) (aged 35)
Hollywood, California, USA
Cause of death
Drug-related overdose
Resting place
Cremated; ashes scattered into the Pacific Ocean
Years active 1954–1970
Spouse(s)
Anthony Soglio (1955–1958; divorced)
Ike Jones (1961–1970; her death) (disputed)

Inger Stevens (18 October 1934 – 30 April 1970[1]) was a Swedish-American film and TV actress.

Early life[edit]

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.[citation needed] 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.

Career[edit]

Stevens appeared on television series, in commercials, and in plays until she got her big break in the film Man on Fire starring Bing Crosby.

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.

Personal life[edit]

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.[2] 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."[3]

Death[edit]

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."[2]

Filmography[edit]

Television[edit]

Theatre[edit]

  • Debut (1956)
  • Roman Candle (1960)
  • Mary, Mary (1962)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Result Award Category Series
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

References[edit]

  1. ^ "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)
  2. ^ a b Austin, John. Hollywood's Babylon Women, S.P.I. Books, 1994, accessed at Google Books, July 1, 2011.
  3. ^ "Inger's Brother Backs Ike Jones's Claim on Estate", Jet, 13 August 1970, page 22

External links[edit]