Inger Stevens was a Swedish-American actress who was active in the movie industry in the early 1950s to 1970. She became a movie star by starring in 101 episodes of the American situation comedy series, The Farmer’s Daughter, which earned her a Golden Globe Award in 1964 and a Primetime Emmy Awards nomination in the same year. She also appeared in several other TV series such as Playhouse 90, Follow the Sun, Route 66, The Eleventh Hour, among others.
Stevens also starred in many movies including The New Interns, Man on Fire, A Guide for the Married Man, and others. She was also a stage actress who featured in plays like Roman Candle, Mary Mary, and Debut. Her acting career, however, abruptly ended following her mysterious death in 1970 at the age of 35. For an overview of the details concerning the death of the television star, continue reading!
The Mysterious Death of Inger Stevens
The Golden Globe-winning actress was born as Ingrid Stensland in Stockholm, Sweden on October 18, 1934; she was born to Lisbet Stensland and Per Gustaf. At the age of 9, her father emigrated from Sweden to the United States, handing over Inger Stevens and her sister to their family maid. He later kept them in the custody of their aunt who resided in Lindingo, Sweden, as Stevens’ mother left her family during that time. She later joined her father alongside her sister in New York City in 1944 and at that time, their father had remarried.
She acquired her basic education from Manhattan High School. When she was 16 years old, she left home to reside in Kansas City where she began working in a genre of a variety show, American Burlesque. Two years later, Inger Stevens started performing chorus line in New York while undergoing acting training at the Actor’s Studio.
In the early stage of her career, she made appearances in advertisements, a few TV series and plays until 1957 when she got her breakthrough in the movie industry by starring in the movie, Man on Fire. Later on, she bagged major roles in other films and was eventually shot to fame by appearing in the comedy TV series, The Farmer’s Daughter which was produced by Screen Gems Television and aired on ABC from September 20, 1963, to April 22, 1966. She portrayed different characters in 101 episodes of the aforementioned series.
Her other TV credits include Studio One, The Joseph Cotten Show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Twilight Zone, The Detectives, and The Dick Powell Show which clinched her a Primetime Emmy Awards nomination for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role. She also showcased her acting talents in many movies such as The New Interns, The Borgia Stick, Finecreek, House of Cards, Hang ‘Em High, 5 Card Stud, and A Guide for the Married Man, with the latter earning her a nomination in Laurel Awards for Best Female Comedy Performance.
Aside from being known as an actress, Stevens was known as a member of the University of California, Los Angeles Neuropsychiatric Institute advisory board, a position assigned to her by the then-governor of California, Edmund G. Brown. She was also the Chair of the California Council for Retarded Children.
Tragically, after her appearance in three series – The Most Deadly Game, The Mask of Sheba, and Run, Simon, Run in the year 1970, Inger Stevens was pronounced dead on the 30th of April that same year.
How Exactly Did Inger Stevens Die?
Inger Stevens’ body was found on the floor of her kitchen by her friend, Lola McNally on the 30th of April 1970. According to Lola, she spoke with Stevens the previous night and she sounded well on the phone. Then on getting to her home that very day, she saw her on the floor, unable to make any sound. She tried to rush her to the hospital where she can get medical help, but unfortunately, Inger Stevens passed away in the ambulance and didn’t get to the hospital alive.
It was later revealed by the medics that she had a cut on her chin that oozed little amount of fresh blood on the removal of the bandage that was used to cover the cut which seemed to have been sustained a few hours earlier. Inger Stevens’ cause of death was reported to be drug overdose and was attributed to chronic poisoning by barbiturate, a drug that acts as a central nervous system depressant which can produce a wide range of effects, from mild sedation to death. Her ashes were later scattered at the Pacific Ocean.