Charlotte Chandler
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Buy *Ingrid: Ingrid Bergman, a Personal Biography* by Charlotte Chandler online

Ingrid: Ingrid Bergman, a Personal Biography
Charlotte Chandler
Applause Theatre and Cinema Books
336 pages
Feburary 2008
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Ingrid is the story of Ingrid Bergman, one of Hollywood’s most beloved actresses. The star of such hits as Casablanca, Notorious and Indiscreet, and a three-time Academy Award winner, Ingrid was just as famous for her amazing movies as for her scandalous personal life. Born and raised in Sweden, she came to the United States in her early 20s in order to pursue a career in Hollywood. She almost immediately became a huge star, but there was trouble on the home front. Ingrid was having trouble with her husband, Petter, and decided to go to Italy to work with Roberto Rossellini, a well-respected but small-time Italian director whom Ingrid really admired.

While in Italy, Ingrid fell in love with Rossellini. When she finally filed for divorce from Petter, she was pregnant with Roberto’s child. When the affair became public knowledge, she was villified in the American press and it was clear that she wouldn’t be accepted back into the Hollywood limelight easily. Ingrid stayed in Italy for some time, almost ruining her American film career, and had a total of three children with Roberto Rossellini - one of whom is Isabella Rossellini, former wife of Martin Scorsese and an actress and model in her own right (Ingrid also had a daughter from her marriage to Petter).

After some time, as Ingrid became estranged from Roberto, she returned to the American film scene to see if she would be accepted. She made the film Anastasia, for which she won her second Oscar. (Her first was for Gaslight, her third for Murder on the Orient Express). In her late life, Ingrid married and divorced again before succumbing to cancer at 67.

The sources for the book are impressive; Charlotte Chandler sought interviews with everyone who knew Ingrid Bergman, even the actress herself. She interviewed Roberto Rossellini, Ingrid’s children, anyone and everyone who might have some insight into the complex and beautiful woman. Ingrid comes across as an affable woman who was devoted to her family and loved her career. There might be some bias in this book because it is as close to an autobiography as Ingrid ever got, but the views seem relatively balanced.

By today’s standards, Ingrid Bergman’s life may not seem scandalous or rife with drama. However, Ingrid was a woman ahead of her time. Ingrid will appeal to diehard Bergman fans; it’s probably too detailed for the casual fan of the actress. It will be most appreciated by those avid fans who have seen many of her movies. In fact, there are descriptions of all of her movies in the book, complete with spoilers. If you haven’t seen many of these films, skipping over these can become trying. Therefore, Ingrid is best suited to real fans of the actress and her movies.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Swapna Krishna, 2009

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