Ingrid Bergman was one of the most prominent and celebrated actresses of Hollywood’s Golden Age. With timeless films like Casablanca, Gaslight, and Notorious under her belt, Bergman became renowned for her immense acting talents and captivating onscreen presence. Though she passed away in 1982, interest around Bergman’s enduring legacy – including questions about her net worth at the height of her fame – continues even decades later.
What was Ingrid Bergman’s background & early acting career?
Ingrid Bergman was born in 1915 in Stockholm, Sweden under humble beginnings. Her mother died when Bergman was just a young child, after which she was raised by her father. From a young age, Bergman found joy in acting and performance.
After attending the prestigious Royal Dramatic Theatre School in Sweden, Bergman immersed herself in Swedish cinema and theater throughout the 1930s. Her first major breakthrough role came in the 1935 film Countess Walewska, which propelled her career both in Sweden and abroad.
Major Early Roles
- Countess Walewska (1935)
- Intermezzo (1936)
- Dollar (1938)
- June Night (1940)
Though finding much success in Sweden, bigger opportunities awaited young Ingrid in Hollywood. With the outbreak of war in Europe by 1939, an opportune doorway opened for Bergman to transition onto the American movie scene.
When did Ingrid Bergman transition to Hollywood & American films?
By 1938, word of Bergman’s onscreen magnetism had already reached Hollywood. With Europe on the brink of war, American movie producers were eager to import much of the continent’s brightest talent across the Atlantic ocean.
In 1939, iconic producer David O. Selznick offered Bergman a major contract and chance to star in American movies. After just a few English lessons, Bergman made her transition Stateside.
Ingrid Bergman’s US debut
- First American film: Intermezzo (1939)
- Breakout performance in Casablanca (1942)
Casablanca marked Bergman’s major breakthrough, establishing her as one of Hollywood’s most captivating new stars. She won her first Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in 1944’s Gaslight.
What was Ingrid Bergman’s net worth at the peak of her career?
Ingrid Bergman was one of the highest paid stars of her era. According to financial records and reporting, Ingrid Bergman’s net worth likely approached $10 million at the absolute peak of her career in late 1940s Hollywood.
Her paychecks andasking prices for film roles put her on par with contemporaries like Cary Grant and Alfred Hitchcock:
- For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943) – $150,000
- Spellbound (1945) – $130,000
- Notorious (1946) – $100,000
With lucrative studio contracts, consistent leading roles, and popular acclaim, Bergman established herself financially as a bonafide star.
Her accumulating wealth afforded her sybaritic comforts – a far cry from her humble Swedish roots. The peak of her earning power came following consecutive box office smashes in the mid 1940s.
How Ingrid Bergman spent her fortune
- Lavish Los Angeles estate
- Glamorous vacations
- Designer clothing/jewelry
- Child support obligations
Bergman was infamously criticized later when details leaked of her discreet affair with director Roberto Rossellini. The ensuing scandal disrupted her career and source of income.
Did Ingrid Bergman lose money in her career’s downturn?
In 1949, Ingrid Bergman made headlines for more scandalous reasons: her affair with Italian director Roberto Rossellini became public knowledge. Given the era’s strict standards and cultural mores, this proved disastrous for Bergman’s career.
The reaction was swift and harsh:
- Bergman was denounced on the floor of US Senate
- Hollywood studios blacklisted Bergman
- Nearly all endorsements and contracts cancelled
This intense backlash resulted in significant financial loss and disruption to Bergman’s career. Having been Hollywood’s top actress just years earlier, she was now displaced and unable to work for most major studios.
Unable to capture her former level of stardom, it’s estimated that Bergman lost between $1-2 million in potential earnings over this period due to blacklisting. This encompassed both forfeited film income and severed endorsement/public appearance deals.
For a period she worked almost solely with Rossellini abroad, causing her acting talents to be unseen by wider American audiences. As controversies cooled later in 1950s, she tentatively resumed Hollywood ties.
Did Ingrid Bergman ever recover financially?
After nearly a decade since the infamy of her affair, Ingrid Bergman carefully plotted a comeback to American cinema in 1956. Approaching 40 years old, it was unclear if her star power of the 1940s could ever be recaptured.
Appearing with Cary Grant in Alfred Hitchock’s Topaz in 1956, Bergman enjoyed a warm public reception. Finally back in the good graces of Hollywood, film offers again came steadily her way.
Though unable to demand her former $100k+ paychecks of the 40s, Bergman worked consistently through the late 50s and 1960s. Estimates have her net worth recovering to the $2-4 million range during this period.
While no longer the undisputed queen of Hollywood, Bergman enjoyed a career revival through crowd-pleasing roles:
- Indiscreet (1958)
- The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964)
- Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
Approaching the twilight of her life and career, Ingrid Bergman unfortunately battled breast cancer for several years. She passed away surrounded by her children in 1982 at just 67 years old.
What was Ingrid Bergman’s final net worth at the time of her death?
According to estate records and estimates made public after her passing, Ingrid Bergman’s net worth totaled between $5-7 million at the time of her death in 1982. This reflected her late career revival back amongst Hollywood’s elite.
While far below the $10 million+ figures she once commanded in pure salary 60 years earlier, Bergman still remained financially secure. Having overcome career setbacks and exile, she joins the ranks of Golden Age icons whose work stays culturally treasured for generations.
Even adjusting for inflation, experts believe Bergman’s earnings likely still captured both the intrinsic artistic value and nostalgia that her filmography retains even today.
In closing, Ingrid Bergman represented the pinnacle of Hollywood fame and fortune during cinema’s golden era. With an Oscar winning talent that enraptured global audiences, her onscreen brilliance translated to real world riches off the screen. From humble Swedish origins, Bergman became an icon and millionaire many times over through her prolific acting.
Yet with controversy and exile, Bergman saw her income plunge and access to Hollywood royalty severed temporarily. Triumphantly rebuilding her career years later, audiences and studios alike warmly embraced her up through the 1970s. When passing away in 1982, with dozens of timeless films under her belt, Ingrid Bergman left behind an artistic legacy only few can match – accompanied by nearly $7 million in personal wealth marking the financial fruits of this enduring talent.
Frequently Asked Questions
Did Ingrid Bergman become a millionaire from her early Swedish film career?
No, Ingrid Bergman was not a millionaire prior to arriving in Hollywood in the late 1930s. Though known as a prominent star of Swedish cinema, Hollywood is where her fortune truly accelerated the quickest.
She earned a very comfortable living acting in Sweden throughout the 1930s. However, her paychecks and net worth surged once she became a marquee name in American film after 1939.
What was Ingrid Bergman’s salary for Casablanca?
Surprisingly, Ingrid Bergman was still early enough in her career that she did not command an outsized paycheck for Casablanca. She earned $20,000 for what became her breakthrough performance.
While not yet amongst Hollywood’s highest paid actresses, the success of Casablanca amplified her quotes for subsequent films later in the 1940s once she was an established star.
Did Ingrid Bergman do her own stunts and benefit financially?
No, Ingrid Bergman did not typically perform her own stunts. Like most non-action stars of Hollywood’s studio era, stunt doubles were used to undertake scenes requiring physica risk.
There were no financial incentives or clauses tied to doing stuntwork built into Bergman’s contracts. Even without this, as one of the era’s most popular actresses, she earned very handsomely from her on-screen acting alone.
How did Ingrid Bergman’s affair financially impact co-stars like Cary Grant?
Ingrid Bergman’s affair directly hampered projects involving her co-stars as well due to widespread public scorn and studio hesitancy. Films starring Bergman alongside others like Cary Grant faced boycotts, low attendance, or cancellations altogether.
For wealthy, established male co-stars like Grant, they were financially insulated enough to withstand disruption. But losing Bergman as a frequent collaborator did impact their short term earning potential. Projects they had in development with her were shelved or recast.
Did Ingrid Bergman lose money in her divorce settlement?
Ingrid Bergman’s complicated personal relationships resulted in some financial loss when her marriages ended in divorce. Namely, her years long affair culminating in divorce from first husband Dr. Petter Lindström proved costly.
When divorcing Lindström after over a decade of marriage, Bergman paid a $300,000 settlement – a hefty sum in 1950s dollars. This was tied to both spousal support obligations and rights to see daughter Pia Lindström.