Inger Stevens in 1957
October 18, 1934
|Died||April 30, 1970 (aged 35)|
Hollywood, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Drug-related overdose|
|Resting place||Ashes scattered into the Pacific Ocean|
(m. 1955; div. 1958)
|Awards||Best TV Star – Female|
1964 The Farmer's Daughter
Inger Stevens was born in Stockholm, Sweden, the daughter of Per Gustaf and Lisbet Stensland. As a child, she was often ill. When she was nine, her mother abandoned the family and her father moved to the United States, leaving Inger and her sister in the custody first of the family maid and then with an aunt in Lidingö, near Stockholm. In 1944, the girls moved with their father and his new wife to New York City, where he had found work teaching at Columbia University. At age 13, she and her father moved to Manhattan, Kansas, where she attended Manhattan High School.
At 16, she ran away from home to Kansas City, and worked in burlesque shows. At 18, she left Kansas City 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 (1963-1966), with William Windom. Previously, Stevens had 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. 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.
In January 1966, she was appointed to the Advisory Board of the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute by then California governor Edmund G. "Pat" Brown. She was also named Chairman of the California Council for Retarded Children. Her aunt was Karin Stensland Junker, author of The Child in the Glass Ball.
After her death, Ike Jones, the first African American to graduate from UCLA's School of Theatre, Film, and Television, claimed that he had been secretly married to Stevens since 1961. Some doubted this due to the lack of a marriage license, the maintaining of separate homes and the filing of tax documents as single people. However, at the time Stevens' 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." Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner A. Edward Nichols ruled in Ike Jones's favor and made him administrator of her estate. A photo exists of the two attending a banquet together in 1968. Her website also states that the marriage to Jones took place in Tijuana, Mexico.
On the morning of April 30, 1970, Stevens' sometime roommate and companion, Lola McNally, found her on the kitchen floor of her Hollywood Hills home. According to McNally, when she called Stevens' name, she 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 and had seen no 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) - Nina Wylie
- Cry Terror! (1958) - Mrs. Joan Molner
- The Buccaneer (1958) - Annette Claiborne
- The World, the Flesh and the Devil (1959) - Sarah Crandall
- The New Interns (1964) - Nancy Terman
- The Borgia Stick (1967, TV) - Eve Harrison
- A Guide for the Married Man (1967) - Ruth Manning
- A Time for Killing (1967) - Emily Biddle
- Firecreek (1968) - 'Evelyn' / Evelyn Pittman
- Madigan (1968) - Julia Madigan
- 5 Card Stud (1968) - Lily Langford
- Hang 'Em High (1968) - Rachel Warren
- House of Cards (1968) - Anne de Villemont
- A Dream of Kings (1969) - Anna
- Kraft Television Theatre (1 episode, 1954)
- Robert Montgomery Presents (1 episode, 1955)
- Studio One (3 episodes, 1954–1955) - Lucy Henderson / Mary / Sue Ellen
- Crunch and Des (1 episode, 1956) - The Actress
- Matinee Theatre (1 episode, 1956)
- Crusader as Alicia in "The Girl Across the Hall" (CBS, 1956) - Alicia
- Conflict (1 episode, 1956) - Lady Arabella
- The Joseph Cotten Show, or On Trial (1 episode, "Law Is for the Lovers", 1956) - Ruth
- The Millionaire (1 episode, 1956) - Betty Perkins
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1 episode, 1957) - Laura Ross
- Climax! (1 episode, 1957) - Marge
- Playhouse 90 (2 episodes, 1956–1959) - Gail Lucas / Johanna - Chambermaid
- Bonanza (1 episode, 1959) - Emily Pennington
- Sunday Showcase (1 episode, 1959) - Nina Kay
- Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater (1 episode, 1960) - Beth Watkins
- Moment of Fear (1 episode, 1960)
- Checkmate (1 episode, 1960) - Betty Lyons
- Hong Kong (1 episode, 1960) - Joan Blakely
- The Twilight Zone
- The DuPont Show of the Month (1 episode, 1961) - Princess Flavia
- Adventures in Paradise (1 episode, 1961) - Dr. Britta Sjostrom
- The Aquanauts (1 episode, 1961) - Margot Allison
- The Detectives (1 episode, 1961) - Thea Templeton
- Route 66 (2 episodes, 1960–1961) - Julie Brack / Wendy
- Follow the Sun (2 episodes, 1961) - Lisa Mannheim / Abby Ellis
- The Eleventh Hour (1 episode, 1962) - Christine Warren
- Sam Benedict (1 episode, 1962) - Theresa Stone
- Your First Impression (1963) - Herself
- The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (1 episode, 1963) - Karen Wilson
- The Nurses (1 episode, 1963) - Clarissa Robin
- The Dick Powell Show (2 episodes, 1962–1963) - Adele Hughes / Anna Beza
- Empire (1 episode, 1963) - Ellen Thompson
- The Farmer's Daughter (101 episodes, 1963–1966) - Katy Holstrum / Katy Morley / Ann Carpenter
- The Danny Kaye Show (1 episode, 1966) - Herself
- The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1 episode, 1967) - Eve Harrison
- The Most Deadly Game (1 episode, 1970) - Vanessa Smith
- The Mask of Sheba (1970) - Sarah Kramer
- Run, Simon, Run (1970) - Carroll Rennard (final film role)
- 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|
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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)
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- Inger Stevens at the Internet Broadway Database
Media related to Inger Stevens at Wikimedia Commons