Inger Stevens (1934 – 1970)

Inger Stevens: Swedish-American actress born Ingrid Stensland 18 October 1934, Stockholm Sweden; died 30 April 1970, Hollywood Hills California; acute barbiturate poisoning (suicide).

Stevens emigrated to USA as a child, and grew up first in New York and then rural Kansas. She ran away from home as a teenager to become an actress. Guided by her agent and husband Anthony Scoglio, she broke into films and TV in 1957, starring in The Farmer’s Daughter (TV 1963–66) and feature films including Cry Terror! (1958), A Guide for the Married Man (1967), Madigan (1968), Hang ‘Em High (1968) and House of Cards (1968).

Stevens’ personal life was complicated: she had a serious affair with her first co-star, the married Bing Crosby, during her marriage. In 1961, Stevens secretly married African-American actor-producer Ike Jones in Mexico, although the affair with Crosby continued. On the night of her death she dined and argued with her latest lover Burt Reynolds. Although Stevens attempted suicide several times and was frequently depressed, her paid companion and housemate – former actress turned makeup artist Lola McNally – and some sensationalist authors have peddled the claim that Stevens was murdered.

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