LONDON -- Three-time Academy Award winning actress Ingrid Bergman, who captivated movie audiences worldwide with her portrayal of strong heroines, exemplified by her role as Ilse in 'Casablanca,' died Sunday, BBC radio reported. She was 67.
Miss Bergman rose from an unknown Swedish immigrant to the most popular movie actress in the world in only six years, then was driven from the United States by one of the great scandals of the mid-20th century -- the discovery she was having a child by Italian director Roberto Rossellini, while she was still married to her Swedish husband.
A decade later, as public mores changed and her talent endured, she returned in triumph.
'I've gone from saint to whore and back to saint again, all in one lifetime,' she said in 1980. The experience left her with her feet on the ground, she said, 'because you never know when people will change their minds again.'
Miss Bergman had bouts with breast cancer in 1974 and 1978, undergoing two mastectomies.
She aged gracefully and never attempted to look younger than her years. For this reason, she was the ideal actress to portray the role of Golda Meir in a television special on the life of the late Israeli prime minister that was to be shown to American audiences in 1982.
Miss Bergman won Academy Awards over a 30-year span, starting with the best actress Oscar in 1944 for her portrayal of a trusting wife being driven mad by a conniving husband in 'Gaslight.'
In 1956, in an 'all-is-forgiven' gesture after the Rosselini scandal waned, she won a second Oscar for her hauntingly ambiguous portrayal of a woman who might have been the long-lost daughter of the last czar in 'Anastasia.'
She won the best supporting actress award in 1974 for playing a mousy spinster in 'Murder On the Orient Express.'
But her best remembered performance was in a role that was never nominated for an Oscar. In 1942 she played Ilse, the hauntingly beautiful married woman who drove the cynical Rick, played by Humphrey Bogart, to drink and to heroism in 'Casablanca.'
The goodbye scene between Bogart and Bergman on the foggy Casablanca airfield, to the strains of 'As Time Goes By,' became a classic. It stirred a generation faced with the confused early days of World War II, drew tears to the eyes of otherwise skeptical youths decades later and inspired Woody Allen's play and movie, 'Play It Again, Sam.'
Miss Bergman, a teenage star in her native Sweden, was brought to Hollywood in 1939 to make an English language version of one of her most popular Swedish pictures, 'Intermezzo.'
She had a well-scrubbed style of her own that turned upside down the movie star traditions of Europe and Hollywood, what one writer described as 'outdoor glamour' that enabled her to play princesses and peasants with equal ease.
She wore no makeup and refused studio requests to pluck her eyebrows, change her name and lose weight. She preferred to stay home with her husband, Dr. Petter Lindstrom, and baby daughter Pia instead of going to parties.
But her transparently honest character limited her acting ability. She could not play vicious or deceitful people. In 'Indiscreet,' a scene called for her to lie to co-star Cary Grant. It had to be shot repeatedly because, even on screen, she had trouble lying convincingly.
She starred in 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' in 1941 and 'For Whom the Bells Toll' in 1943.
In 'The Bells of St. Marys' in 1945 she played Sister Benedict, a nun so virginal that even the sternest Catholics were not offended by the romantic tension between her and the parish priest played by Bing Crosby.
Her cheerfully radiant performance motivated Catholic girls across the nation to take the veil. Angry parents wrote her that she was depriving them of grandchildren.
She was the biggest female boxoffice draw in the world and even awed her peers. Daily Variety, the show business trade paper, polled 200 professionals in 1948 with more than 25 years experience apiece, who ranked her as the greatest film actress of the sound era.
(Countrywoman Greta Garbo, who attended the same dramatic academy in Stockholm where Miss Bergman studied, was chosen as the greatest of the silent era.)
But the public confused Miss Bergman with the characters she played, creating a public image of madonna-like purity that did not fit the restless, bored, ambitious -- and, at heart, unconventional - actress.
The pedestal the public put her on emphasized the long fall in their eyes when it was revealed that she was having an affair with Rossellini in 1949 while filming 'Stromboli' in Italy.
A bitter public uproar followed. She was assailed from pulpits across the nation for betraying her husband and abandoning her 11-year-old daughter.
She was condemned in Congress by Sen. Edwin Johnson of Colorado as 'a horrible example of womanhood and a powerful influence for evil.' Noting that 'under the law, no alien guilty of turpitude can set foot on American soil again,' he said she had 'deliberately exiled herself from the country that was so good to her.'
Protests from theater owners forced RKO to cut the last scene from 'Joan of Arc,' in which Miss Bergman played the title role, her last appearance in a Hollywood film for six years.
The scene showed Joan, being burned at the stake, crying to Jesus. Her critics objected that it was blasphemous for an adultress to invoke the name.
'It was absolute hell,' Miss Bergman said later. 'I didn't think it would upset the whole world, but it did. I cried so much I thought there wouldn't be any tears left.'
She was so stunned that she announced she would marry Rossellini as soon as legally possible -- he too was then married to someone else -- and retire from acting for good.
'I felt the newspapers were right. I was an awful woman, but I had not meant it that way.'
'It was to be expected because so many people, who knew me only on the screen, thought I was perfect and infallible and then were angry and disappointed that I wasn't ... A nun does not fall in love with an Italian.'
Years later, she said a Hollywood studio executive came to her after the birth of their son, Robertino, and told her she could return to Hollywood if she would leave Rossellini, put the baby in an orphanage and 'apologize to your husband and the people of America over the radio.' She said she told him to get out.
After complicated international legal manuevering -- Dr. Lindstrom sued her in Los Angeles for desertion -- she and Rossellini were married by proxy in Mexico and she lived with him in Rome for the next six years, ostracized by Hollywood.
She plunged from No. 1 box office attraction in the world to near oblivion, narrating some commercially unsuccessful documentaries by Rosellini.
In June 1952, they had twin daughters, Isabelle and Astrid Ingrid.
Then came the offer of the title role in 'Anastasia,' and a comeback right out of a Hollywood script.
'I had been so hurt. I had taken it for granted that I would not go back to the United States,' she said at the time.
'But then came this outstretched hand. I felt that many Americans wanted to see me and, with all the letters that streamed into Italy during the years, I realized there were a lot of people who wanted me back.'
Nevertheless, she did not return to collect the Oscar. It was another two years before she was coaxed back to Hollywood, to serve as a presenter at the Academy Award ceremony in 1959.
'If a drop of sorrow remained,' she said, 'it vanished the night I first appeared on the Los Angeles stage and all Hollywood was there, and the applause went on endlessly and I didn't know what to do.
'I walked up and down feeling embarrassed and grateful.'
But even while America was forgiving her, the love affair that cost her so much cooled.
While she was filming 'Anastasia,' Rosselini went to Bombay, where he fell in love with scriptwriter Sonali das Gupta, who was also married. Rosselini and Ingrid separated the next year and were divorced in 1958.
She starred in several American films in the late 1950s, including 'Indiscreet' and 'The Inn of Sixth Happiness.' But, having promised Rossellini she would raise their children in Europe, she lived most of the time in Paris, appearing in stage plays such as 'Tea and Sympathy' and 'Joan of Arc.'
She kept a summer home off the Swedish coast but spent most of her adult life in Rome or Paris.
'Sweden is too far from the rest of the world,' she once said, complaining that 'psychologically you feel confined on an island' and that Swedes could not tolerate people who were 'different.'
In 1959 she married Swedish entrepeneur Lars Schmidt. It was her longest marriage.
Ingrid Bergman was born in Stockholm on Aug. 29, 1915. Her mother, a German, died when she was 2 years old and she was raised by her father, Justus Bergman, a bohemian photographer who gave her a love for the theater.
She won admittance to the Royal Dramatic Theatre School in Stockholm. Before completing her first term, she was spotted by a movie talent scout and became an overnight sensation in Sweden, starring in nine films in two years while still only a teenager.
The Swedish version of 'Intermezzo' was such a success that it was refilmed, first in German, then in English by producer David O. Selznick, whose wife heard about it from a Swedish-speaking bellboy in a New York hotel.
Actors are 'larger than life, but that's why they are actors,' she said during the Rossellini scandal.
'I don't think they should try to live like Mrs. Jones in her little house with her humdrum life and limited ideas. Actors should get everything they can out of life.
'I have always tried to get the most out of life -- sometimes though, I discovered the most can be too much.'
She said in an article in McCall's magazine in 1982 that she had accepted canceras her fate and would try to enjoy what was left of her life.
'Cancer victims who don't accept their fate, who don't learn to live with it, will only destroy what little time they have left. Six months ago I announced my retirement.
'I thought my acting days were over. But just look -- 'I've completed a strenuous four-hour film that has been an acting challenge from beginning to end.
'I honestly didn't think I had it in me. But it has been a wonderful experience, as an actress and as a human being who is getting more out of life than expected.'