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Inga Swenson

​From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Inga Swenson (born December 29, 1932; Omaha, Nebraska) is an American actress. Inga Swenson was a graduate of Central High School in Omaha, Nebraska, Class of 1950. Swenson was a member of Alpha Phi sorority at Northwestern University where she studied in their famed Drama Department. Swenson is best known to American audiences for her portrayal of "Gretchen Kraus", the autocratic and acerbic German cook (later Head Housekeeper and Budget Director) on 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. Both series were created by Susan Harris and produced by Witt-Thomas-Harris Productions (who later created The Golden Girls and Empty Nest. She also appeared as northern matriarch Maude Hazard in the acclaimed mini-series North and South in 1985 and again in 1986. Earlier in her career, Swenson had a notable turn on 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 "Journey Remembered." The appearances were significant in that she played Lorne Greene's Ben Cartwright character's second wife, the mother of Hoss Cartwright, played by Dan Blocker, She was actually four years younger than Blocker. After Bonanza ended its 14-year run, Swenson guest starred in an episode of Lorne Greene's short-lived crime drama Griff. Also 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. She is a trained lyric soprano and starred on Broadway in New Faces (circa 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 is married to actor-singer Lowell Harris, with whom she had two sons, James (deceased) and Mark. Though her Swedish-sounding name and trademark accent on Benson suggest otherwise, she was born and raised in the U.S., and normally speaks with an American accent. Description above from the Wikipedia article Inga Swenson, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia.

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Dec 29, 1932 In Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the series Hallmark Hall of Fame 1951-12-24
Latest Project:
Movie Broadway's Lost Treasures III: The Best of The Tony Awards 2005-08-07
Known For
Poster of The Golden Girls
Poster of Benson
Poster of Earth II
Poster of Dr. Kildare
Movie Broadway's Lost Treasures III: The Best of The Tony Awards Herself (segment "Rose-Marie") 2005-08-07
Series Doctor Doctor Unknown 1989-06-12
Series Nutcracker: Money, Madness & Murder Marilyn 1987-03-22
Movie Bay Coven Matty Kline 1987-10-25
Series The Golden Girls Holly 1985-09-14
Series North and South Maude Hazard 1985-11-03
Series Newhart Unknown 1982-10-02
Series Benson 1979-09-13
Movie The Betsy Mrs. Craddock 1978-02-02
Series Vega$ Unknown 1978-09-20
Movie Ziegfeld: The Man and His Women Nora Bayes 1978-05-21
Series ABC Weekend Special Unknown 1977-09-10
Series Soap Unknown 1977-09-13
Series ABC Afterschool Special Unknown 1972-10-04
Series The Rookies Unknown 1972-09-11
Movie Earth II Ilyana Kovalefskii 1971-11-28
Movie Androcles and the Lion Lavinia 1967-11-15
Series CBS Playhouse Unknown 1966-12-08
Movie The Miracle Worker Kate Keller 1962-05-23
Movie Advise & Consent Ellen Anderson 1962-06-06
Series Dr. Kildare Unknown 1961-09-27
Movie Heart of Darkness Maria 1958-11-06
Series Hallmark Hall of Fame Unknown 1951-12-24