Inga Swenson

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Inga Swenson
Inga Swenson 1958.JPG
Swenson as Ophelia in the American Shakespeare Festival production of Hamlet, 1958.
Born(1932-12-29) December 29, 1932 (age 81) (some sources say 1934)
Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
ResidenceVenice, CA
OccupationActress
Years active1957–1998
Spouse(s)Lowell M. Harris (an actor and singer), m. February 21, 1953
Childrentwo sons
Parents
  • A.C.R. Swenson (an attorney)
  • Geneva (Seeger) Swenson
Notes
 
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Inga Swenson
Inga Swenson 1958.JPG
Swenson as Ophelia in the American Shakespeare Festival production of Hamlet, 1958.
Born(1932-12-29) December 29, 1932 (age 81) (some sources say 1934)
Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
ResidenceVenice, CA
OccupationActress
Years active1957–1998
Spouse(s)Lowell M. Harris (an actor and singer), m. February 21, 1953
Childrentwo sons
Parents
  • A.C.R. Swenson (an attorney)
  • Geneva (Seeger) Swenson
Notes

Inga Swenson (born December 29, 1932; Omaha, Nebraska) is an American actress.

Inga Swenson graduated from Omaha Central High School in Omaha, Nebraska in 1950. She studied drama at Northwestern University, under Alvina Krause, among others.[2][3] and was a member of Alpha Phi sorority. Early in her career Swenson had supporting roles in the films Advise and Consent (1962) and The Miracle Worker (1962) in which she played Helen Keller's mother. Swenson is a trained lyric soprano [4][5] and starred on Broadway in New Faces (c. 1956), The First Gentleman (1959) and received Tony Award nominations for Best Actress in a Musical for her performances in 110 in the Shade (1964) and Baker Street (1965).

Swenson had a role in the TV western series Bonanza in two episodes: "Inger, My Love" (1962) and "Journey Remembered" (1963). Swenson took a brief leave of absence from her starring role in 110 in the Shade on Broadway to appear in the later episode. In these episodes she played the second wife of Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene), the mother of Hoss Cartwright (Dan Blocker), She was actually four years younger than Blocker. Swenson later guest starred in an episode of Lorne Greene's short-lived crime drama Griff (1973).

Swenson is best known for her portrayal of Gretchen Kraus, the autocratic and acerbic German cook (later Head Housekeeper and Budget Director) in the TV sitcom Benson. She got the part by appearing in a multi-episode stint as Ingrid Svenson, birth mother of Corinne Tate (Diana Canova), on the TV sitcom Soap, which had the same producers. She also appeared as northern matriarch Maude Hazard in the acclaimed mini-series North and South in 1985 and again in 1986.

A life member of The Actors Studio,[6]

Her favorite role was Lizzie Currie in 110 in the Shade.[1]

Personal Life[edit]

Swenson is married to actor/singer Lowell Harris, with whom she had two children, son Mark, and son James Harris, who died in a motorcycle crash in 1987, at age 26.

Though her Swedish-sounding name and (German) accent on Benson suggest otherwise, she was born and raised in the U.S., and normally speaks with an American accent.

Stage credits[edit]

Principal stage appearances[edit]

Major theatrical tours[edit]

Movie credits[edit]

Television credits[edit]

TELEVISION DEBUT--Singer, Chrysler Special, CBC (Canadian television), 1957.[1]

Television series[edit]

Television MINI-SERIES[edit]

Television EPISODIC[edit]

Other television[edit]

Television MOVIES[edit]

Television SPECIALS[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Inga Swenson" (fee, via Fairfax County Public Library). Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television 7. Detroit: Gale. 1989. Gale Document Number: GALE|K1609002225. Retrieved 2013-12-04.  Biography in Context. (subscription required)
  2. ^ Goode, James (December 15, 2004). "Ms. Alvina Krause". Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2013-12-02.  Please see also www.bte.org/alvina-krause/
  3. ^ "New Theater Honors Alvina Krause". Northwestern (magazine). Spring 2010. Retrieved 2013-12-02. 
  4. ^ Gaver, Jack. "What Price Praise?". The Oxnard Press-Courier. March 21, 1964.
  5. ^ Witbeck, Charles. "Gretchen is Thawing". The Hendersonville Times-News. January 19, 1983.
  6. ^ Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 280. ISBN 0-02-542650-8. 

External links[edit]