|Subject: More insight in Stevens' untimely death. ...
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Date Posted: Friday, May 01, 01:14:55pm
In reply to:
's message, "Tribute" on Thursday, April 30, 04:26:33pm
...On the morning of April 30, 1970, the actress was discovered on the floor of her kitchen by her housekeeper.
Pronounced dead at Hollywood Hospital, Inger’s cause of death was listed as “acute barbiturate intoxication.” For
all intents and purposes, her death appeared to be a suicide but William Patterson’s book does offer substitute theories.
...Following her passing, it came out in the tabloids that Inger had been secretly married for nearly a decade to African-American Ike Jones (they wed in Tijuana, Mexico on November 18, 1961). Jones, five years older than Inger and a former U.C.L.A. athlete turned musician, actor, writer and producer, was once a part of Nat King Cole’s entourage and later produced the Sammy Davis Jr. film A Man Called Adam (1966). The career backlash suffered by Mai Britt after her marriage to Sammy Davis was reason enough for Inger and Ike to keep their union under wraps. They never attended premieres or public functions together and denied all persistent rumors of marriage throughout the decade. The relationship was fraught with tension and was marked by long separations. At the time of Inger’s death, they had been estranged for some time.
The shock of Inger’s untimely death was widespread. Her suicide just did not seem to gel with her on-screen sense and sensibility. Unlike the opaque and artificial Monroes and Mansfields of her generation, Inger appeared genuine and far too intelligent and unpretentious to ever fall into a blurring, destructive fusion of fact and Hollywood fantasy. Among those who commented was Anthony Quinn, who stated, “She had idealism and purity, and maybe she came to a sort of desperation. The great competitiveness and phony sense of accomplishment we have here can be very destructive.”
...Inger herself was very candid about her dissatisfaction with the Hollywood game. “A career can’t put its arms around you,” she once lamented. “You end up like Grand Central Station with people just coming and going. And there you are, left alone.” In a chapter dedicated to her in Kirk Crivello’s book “Fallen Angels”, Inger is quoted as saying, “Once I felt that I was one person at home and the minute I stepped out the door I had to be somebody else. I had a terrific insecurity and extreme shyness that I covered up with coldness. Everybody thought I was a snob. I was really just plain scared.”
With no public funeral services held, according to her wishes, mourners at her May 4 memorial service included director Leo Penn, and actors Peter Falk, Beau Bridges, Jack Warden, France Nuyen, Marge Redmond and Shelley Morrison, in addition to several family members. Excerpts from friend and Hollywood columnist Ben Irwin’s eulogy summed up the actress most appropriately: “[She was] essentially a hopeful and gay human being capable of imparting that to others . . . For that really was what Inger was about—honesty and love. And she spent her life working harder than most of us practicing the first and living the second.” Jerry Lam, the primary contributor to her on-line memorial website, adds: “Inger remains a gifted actress, an unforgettably beautiful woman and a kind, caring human being who lives on in our memories. The years since her untimely death have done little to diminish the impression she left us—Her legacy has touched our lives.”