22 March 2011

The affair of Robert Capa and Ingrid Bergman

When I was looking for some material on Robert Capa, I stumbled across an interesting story about Capa and Hollywood actress, Ingrid Bergman.

In 1945 after the fall of Nazi Germany, Capa was staying at the Hotel Ritz on Place Vendôme where he met Hollywood actress, Ingrid Bergman. Bergman was travelling around Europe to see the devastation caused by the war, and entertaining the troops.
When they met, Bergman was still married to Petter Lindström who she had a baby with. Capa asked Bergman for dinner, and soon after they started to have an affair.

Bergman is having Christmas dinner with servicemen, Alaska 1942-44

Robert Capa 1949

In 1946, Bergman asked Capa to come to Hollywood with her, and he did. While Capa was in Hollywood, he visited her at a studio where she was filming, Alfred Hitchcock's 'Notorious'. Capa had shot some still photos for the film which he was given no credit for when they were published.

Hitchcock later made a film with James Stewart and Grace Kelly in 1954, called 'Rear Window', loosely based on Capa and Bergman.

Bergman wanted to marry Capa and also tried to convince him to quit his job to work in Hollywood. Capa knew that he wouldn't fit in, and told Bergman that he can't have a wife and kids because of his duties of work. Their affair ended when Capa left Hollywood for an assignment in Turkey.

'Arch of Triumph' 1946 photographed by Capa

'Notorious' 1946 photographed by Capa

Robert Capa 1945

Robert Capa is on the back of a jeep with a camera in front of his face, 
during Paris liberation 1945 

The liberation of Paris 1944

All photos by Capa

Ingrid Bergman & Robert Capa


  1. in the process of reading a book about the affair wasn't sure it was a true story.how sad it finished i believe they really did love each other.

    1. I would like to think that the story is true but their ending was sad. Would you mind if I ask you which book you read?

    2. I have just read Seducing Ingrid Bergman - all about their affair by Chris Greenhalgh. Sobbed for hours after. Tragic.

    3. This was a real hot broad! Not only was she dishonorable and cuckolded her husband with that "greasy" director, she did it with someone else prior to that! Don't cry for her, Argentina!
      The Lone Haranguer
      Never accuse a great actor of having any real brains!

  2. `I too found the Chris Greenhalgh novel engrossing and a beautiful expression of a tragic love affair. I finished the novel on a plane from London to Turin and the next day, while visiting the Palazzo Reale in Turin I saw there was an exhibition of Capa's photography. I spent a couple of hours there, examining his work. It was brilliant. He got inside his subject and revealed it in an extraordinary and insightful way. It pleased me to think that he had a few years of happiness with Ms Bergman. Capa was an attractive man in a particularly masculine way, more real flesh and blood than the movie stars she worked with seemed to be. His death at 40 seems a tragic end to the story, but in fact, the affair finished years before and Capa's death in war was inevitable. He took so many risks he appeared to have a death wish. If so, his wish was granted.

  3. I love Ingrid Bergman and admire Robert Capa, a real woman and a real man. I will miss them both. I will also read the book, Seducing Ingrid Bergman and therefore always have those two wonderful people with me.

  4. I LOVED INGRID BERGMAN DEARLY!she reminds me of my grandma in her senior years.until today i look at all her movies over and over again. i am not going to judge her cause i know she was a victim of circumstances from a very tender age which led to a lot of psychological hangups.these can bother you for a lifetime if not dealt with in the early stages poor woman!there is so many like her out there!

  5. They have a word for Ingrid Bergman in Swedish 'Slampa Hora' as she liked to put it around. My Swedish grandfather told me that in 1936 putting it in Ingrid was quite a common pasttime for the young men around Stockholm.