She experienced a succession of tragedies in her early life – her mother died when she Ingrid was three years old, her father when she was thirteen. The aunt with whom she went to live following her father’s death died only six months later. She then moved in with another aunt, who had five children.
Despite these personal difficulties she established herself as a leading actress in Swedish films.
In 1950, after a decade of stardom in American films, she starred in the Italian film Stomboli, which led to a love affair with director Roberto Rossellini, while they were both married. The affair created a scandal in Hollywood and forced her to return to Europe until 1956, when she made a successful Hollywood comeback in Anastasia.