Hollywood Celebrity Scandals Ingrid Bergman & Roberto Rosselini Part 2

About the Hollywood celebrity scandal of 1950 involving the love affair between Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rosselini.


The Bergman-Rossellini Affair--1950

Whether Lindstrom had seen or not, he had not discouraged his wife's trip to Rome. A somewhat stiff and humorless man, Peter Lindstrom had always encouraged his wife's career, and had pursued his own career ambitiously, making an unusual switch from successful dentist to respected neurosurgeon. In any event, the Lindstrom marriage had been shaky for a number of years, and the couple's divergent professions had often kept them apart.

The film in Italy might have been just another Bergman film. The way Rossellini saw it was another matter. Returning to Rome after his first meeting with Bergman and her husband in Paris, he told friends, "Swedish women are the easiest in the world to impress, because they have such cold husbands." And the following January, back home after his stay in the U.S. with the Lindstroms, he proudly announced, "I'm going to put the horns on Mr. Bergman."

Although Ingrid's enthusiasm "grew and grew" in Hollywood, the affair obviously hadn't been consummated there.

Within a week after filming had begun, Bergman wrote Lindstrom asking for a divorce. The ebullient Rossellini displayed the letter around Rome, presumably as proof that the horns had finally been put on Bergman's husband.

Dr. Lindstrom refused to consent to the divorce, and the heated Bergman-Rossellini romance began making the gossip columns. Always painfully honest, Bergman didn't try to keep her love a secret. Rossellini flamboyantly reveled in the notoriety. By the time little Robertino was born, Bergman's career had already slipped. The newspapers, loudly critical of the affair, pontificated on the birth of the child. "St. Joan" had committed adultery. It would take 10 years of exile before the American public would forgive her.

In the sixties, with her rocky marriage to Rossellini annulled, and back in public favor after winning an Academy Award for Anastasia--which she ironically had had to film in England--Bergman told the press: "I have had a wonderful life. I have never regretted what I did. I regret the things I didn't do."

What Bergman had done was to shatter a myth she hadn't wanted created in the first place, but it was a blow from which Hollywood never completely recovered.

"Times have changed...," she ventured to reporters several years ago. "No one objects to the Beatles having a holiday with their girls, perhaps because everyone is so pleased they are not taking boys with them."

In 1975 Hollywood gave her a "best supporting" Oscar for her work in Murder on the Orient Express, in which she portrayed a mousy matron. As Bergman said, times have indeed changed. In June, 1977, Rossellini suffered a heart attack and died at his home in Rome. He was 71.

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