My father, bless him, used to tell me that I looked like Ingrid Bergman and Grace Kelly. I didn’t and I don’t. If he had been alive to watch the show, The Good Wife, he might have likened me to Christine Baranski…less a movie star and more a character actress with attractive flaws.
I was mesmerized by all things Hollywood, despite my mother’s disdain for “that hoofer, Fred Astaire”, or even my all time favorite, Marilyn Monroe. My mother’s opinion resembled Laurence Olivier’s, who before his overacting debut in The Prince and the Showgirl, mortified my idol by telling her, “All you have to do is be sexy, dear Marilyn.” The camera, forever loyal, loved her, and Marilyn stole the show.
But I digress. Ingrid Bergman, my father’s favorite and at the top of my list, was a star from another era. Luminous in Gaslight, exciting in Notorious, lovestruck in Casablanca, beautiful in Spellbound, she scandalized the world by an affair and then marriage with Roberto Rossellini. Forced to remain in Europe for several years, she was denounced on the floor of the US Senate. Ed Sullivan refused to have her on his show, despite polls indicating that the public was ready.
At last, America forgave her. In 1956, she returned to make the film, Anastasia in 1956, winning her second Academy Award.
Yesterday, at the post office, I purchased a book of Ingrid Bergman stamps with genuine pleasure. Bravo, Ingrid. I have always loved you.