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- Who is your favorite Bonanza character?: Adam
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cap by January
Inger Stevens was pitch perfect in the role of Emily Pennington in The Newcomers. At the start of Bonanza there was a policy of having well-known actors play in the guest roles and Inger would have attracted attention. Inger frequently featured in fan magazines of the time, her blonde beauty and a fairly adventurous romantic life put her on many a front cover. She was at the crest of a wave in her career with some good roles behind her and a hit TV series of her own plus staring in films to come when she made The Newcomers.
On the Bonanza front she was the first to wear the dress that was to make many appearances including the Mountain Girl and the War Comes to Warshoe and The Actress amongst them.
cap by January
and the first to don the throw cap by January
And sadly the first in what was to be a very very long line of lovely ladies who win the heart of a Cartwright but don’t make it to the end of the episode.
Inger Stevens was born Ingrid Stensland in Stockholm, Sweden. As a child she was often ill. When she was nine, her parents divorced and she moved with her father to New York City at age 13 she and her father moved to Manhattan, Kansas, where she attended Manhattan High School. At 16 she worked in burlesque shows in Kansas City. At 18 she left Kansas for New York City where she worked as a chorus girl, and in the Garment District while taking classes at the Actors Studio.
Her breakthrough came when she was cast opposite Bing Crosby in the 1957 film Man of Fire; early films included Cry Terror opposite James Mason as well as playing in The Buccaneer which featured Lorne Greene.
She was well respected as an actress – in her recent autobiography Stephanie Powers wrote of her wonderful acting ability. Inger went onto shine in the TV series The Farmers Daughter as well as the early Clint Eastwood western Hang Em High. Other films had her co-staring with the likes of Dean Martin, Walter Mathieu and Richard Widmark.
Inger had secretly married Ike Jones, an African-American actor at a time when inter marriage could still cause problems. At the time of her death they were living apart. Her first husband was her agent Anthony Soglio, with whom she was married from 1955 to 1957.
Sadly hers was a troubled life which ended by her own hand in 1970 had at the terribly young age of 35. Many friends to this day, and this includes Stephanie Powers, insist it was a terrible accident. Her luminous beauty and acting talents were sadly missed.
Sources ; IMB
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