Every now and then I stumble across something rare and super cool at work, which is weird because our libraries are filled with rare and super cool stuff.
Today I found a great letter from Ingrid Bergman to her good friend Cary Grant in 1957 thanking him for accepting her Best Actress Oscar a few days previous. He had accepted the award for her because she was in quasi exile in Europe because she was in a scandalous relationship that was even denounced on the floor of the U.S. Senate(!).
The scandal was so intense that Ed Sullivan wouldn’t have her on as a guest even though a poll voted on by viewers overwhelmingly said they wanted her on the show.
Still Sullivan said no!
What was the scandal? She fell in love with Roberto Rossellini her Italian director and divorced her husband to be with him and live in Italy and have little Italian bambinos.
For 6-7 years she stayed in Europe making weird neorealistic films and being a mommy until her career shifted and she left Rosellini.
Her first major studio movie in her comeback was Anastasia, which earned her the Oscar. It was a mild upset because she beat out Deborah Kerr who starred in the hugely popular My Fair Lady. Only problem was Kerr didn’t sing in the musical. There was a stunt singer. And how do you give someone an Oscar for a musical where they didnt sing?
Thus Bergman won and her career was back on track. But first Grant accepted for her. And she sent him a terrific letter filled with cute little typewriter typos and actual real insights about her “getting” it that she had omg won an Oscar.
The year after she won she returned to the U.S. to present the Best Picture at the Oscars and was given a standing ovation by the audience.
they loved her again.
they had never stopped.
screw the senate, screw ed sullivan’s really big shoe, screw anyone who said a woman couldnt divorce her husband.