Inger Stevens

Inger Stevens (born Ingrid Stensland; October 18, 1934 – April 30, 1970)[1] was a Swedish-American film, television, and stage actress.

Inger Stevens
Inger Stevens in 1957
Ingrid Stensland

(1934-10-18)October 18, 1934
Stockholm, Sweden
DiedApril 30, 1970(1970-04-30) (aged 35)
Hollywood, California, U.S.
Cause of deathDrug-related overdose
Resting placeAshes scattered into the Pacific Ocean
Years active1954–1970
Anthony Soglio
(m. 1955; div. 1958)

Ike Jones
(m. 1961)
AwardsBest TV Star – Female
1964 The Farmer's Daughter

Early life

Inger Stevens was born in Stockholm, Sweden, the daughter of Per Gustaf[2] and Lisbet Stensland.[3][4] As a child, she was often ill. When she was nine, her mother abandoned the family and her father moved to the United States, leaving Inger and her sister in the custody first of the family maid and then with an aunt in Lidingö,[5] near Stockholm.[6] In 1944, the girls moved with their father and his new wife to New York City, where he had found work teaching at Columbia University. At age 13, she and her father moved to Manhattan, Kansas, where she attended Manhattan High School.[3]

At 16, she ran away from home to Kansas City, and worked in burlesque shows.[7] At 18, she left Kansas City to return to New York City, where she worked as a chorus girl and in the Garment District while taking classes at the Actors Studio.[6]


Stevens appeared on television series, in commercials, and in plays until she received her big break in the film Man on Fire, starring Bing Crosby.

Roles in major films followed, but she achieved her greatest success in the ABC television series The Farmer's Daughter (1963-1966), with William Windom. Previously, Stevens had appeared in episodes of Bonanza, Route 66, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Eleventh Hour, Sam Benedict and The Twilight Zone.

Following the cancellation of The Farmer's Daughter in 1966, Stevens appeared in several films: A Guide for the Married Man (1967), with Walter Matthau; Hang 'Em High, with Clint Eastwood; 5 Card Stud, with Dean Martin and Robert Mitchum; and Madigan with Henry Fonda and Richard Widmark. At the time of her death Stevens was attempting to revive her television career with the detective drama series The Most Deadly Game.

Personal life

Her first husband was her agent, Anthony Soglio,[8] to whom she was married from 1955 to 1957.

In January 1966, she was appointed to the Advisory Board of the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute by then California governor Edmund G. "Pat" Brown. She was also named Chairman of the California Council for Retarded Children. Her aunt was Karin Stensland Junker, author of The Child in the Glass Ball.[9][10][11][12][13][14][15]

After her death, Ike Jones, the first African–American to graduate from UCLA's School of Theater, Film, and Television, claimed[16] that he had been secretly married to Stevens since 1961. Some doubted this due to the lack of a marriage license, the maintaining of separate homes and the filing of tax documents as single people.[17] However, at the time Stevens' estate was being settled, the actress's brother, Carl O. Stensland, confirmed in court that his sister had hidden her marriage to Jones "out of fear for her career".[18] Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner A. Edward Nichols ruled in Ike Jones's favor[19] and made him administrator of her estate.[20][21] A photo exists of the two attending a banquet together in 1968.[5] Her website also states that the marriage to Jones took place in Tijuana, Mexico.


On the morning of April 30, 1970, Stevens' sometime roommate and companion, Lola McNally, found her on the kitchen floor of her Hollywood Hills home. According to McNally, when she called Stevens' name, she opened her eyes, lifted her head, and tried to speak, but was unable to make any sound. McNally told police that she had spoken to Stevens the previous night and had seen no sign of trouble. Stevens died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. On arrival, medics removed a small bandage from her chin that revealed a small amount of fresh blood oozing from a cut which appeared to have been a few hours old. Los Angeles County Coroner Dr. Thomas Noguchi attributed Stevens's death to "acute barbiturate poisoning"[17][22][23][24][25][26][27] that was eventually ruled a suicide.


Television credits

Broadway credits

  • Debut (1956)
  • Roman Candle (1960)
  • Mary, Mary (1962)[28]

Awards and nominations

Year Result Award Category Series
1958 Nominated Laurel Awards Top New Female Personality
1968 Nominated Best Female Comedy Performance A Guide for the Married Man
1964 Won Golden Globe Best TV Star – Female The Farmer's Daughter
1962 Nominated Emmy Award Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role The Dick Powell Show
1964 Nominated Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Series (Lead) The Farmer's Daughter


  1. "Inger S Stevens". California Death Index, 1940–1997. Retrieved July 1, 2011. Name: Inger S Stevens; Social Security #: 511200818; Sex: Female; Birth Date: 18 Oct 1934; Birthplace: Sweden; Death Date: 30 Apr 1970; Death Place: Los Angeles(subscription required)
  2. "headline -".
  3. Pilato, Herbie J. (2014). Glamour, Gidgets, and the Girl Next Door: Television's Iconic Women from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Rowman and Littlefield. p. 134. ISBN 9781589799707. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  4. Patterson, William T. (September 30, 2017). The Farmer's Daughter Remembered: The Biography of Actress Inger Stevens. Xlibris. ISBN 9780738811925 via Google Books.
  5. / Internet Archive
  6. Brumburgh, Gary. "Inger Stevens: Wounded Butterfly". , Classic Images. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  7. Silverman (February 14, 2015). "TECH 1: The Mysterious Death of Inger Stevens".
  8. Petrucelli, Alan W. (September 29, 2009). Morbid Curiosity: The Disturbing Demises of the Famous and Infamous. Penguin. ISBN 9781101140499 via Google Books.
  9. Turkington, Carol; Anan, Ruth (September 30, 2017). The Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 9780816075058 via Google Books.
  10. Câmara, Emmanoel. "homep\children".
  11.*/ Internet Archive
  12. "The child in the glass ball".
  13. Junker, Karin Stensland. "The Child in the Glass Ball". Kirkus Reviews.
  14. Feinstein, Adam (July 7, 2011). A History of Autism: Conversations with the Pioneers. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781444351675 via Google Books.
  15. "Autism Frequently Asked Questions Memo - Full Text".
  16. Company, Johnson Publishing (May 21, 1970). "Jet". Johnson Publishing Company via Google Books.
  17. Austin, John. Hollywood's Babylon Women, S.P.I. Books, 1994, accessed at Google Books, July 1, 2011.
  18. "Inger's Brother Backs Ike Jones's Claim on Estate", Jet, August 13, 1970, page 22
  19. "Rule Ex-Actor Mate Of Actress, She Took Own Life". Jet. August 20, 1970. p. 23. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  20. " - Informationen zum Thema ingerstevens".
  21. Internet Archive
  22. Company, Johnson Publishing (May 28, 1970). "Jet". Johnson Publishing Company via Google Books.
  23. Schneider, Michel (November 3, 2011). Marilyn's Last Sessions. Canongate Books. ISBN 9781847679147 via Google Books.
  24. "The Saturday Evening Post". Curtis Publishing Company. January 1, 1964 via Google Books.
  25. "Cosmopolitan". Hearst Corporation. March 4, 1972 via Google Books.
  26. Crivello, Kirk (September 30, 1988). Fallen Angels: The Lives and Untimely Deaths of Fourteen Hollywood Beauties. Little, Brown Book Group Limited. ISBN 9780708848364 via Google Books.
  27. Frasier, David K. (March 8, 2005). Suicide in the Entertainment Industry: An Encyclopedia of 840 Twentieth Century Cases. McFarland. ISBN 9781476608075 via Google Books.
  28. Inger Stevens at the Internet Broadway Database

Media related to Inger Stevens at Wikimedia Commons

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