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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Ingrid Bergman's Three Daughters Remember Their Mother
Aired December 4, 2003 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HUMPHREY BOGART, ACTOR: Here's looking at you, kid.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, screen legend Ingrid Bergman's incredible journey. Sixty years ago, she was in the greatest movie romance of all time, idolized as an icon of purity. Then an off- screen love affair became an international scandal. It broke up her marriage, kept her out of America for seven years and got her condemned on the floor of the United States Senate. When she finally did return to the United States, she won an Oscar.
Now, for the first time, all three of Ingrid Bergman's daughters speak out on the controversial legend who they called Mom. With us tonight, exclusive Isabella Rossellini, an accomplished actress in her own right, her twin sister, Ingrid Rossellini, like Isabella, fathered by Ingrid Bergman's second husband, director Roberto Rossellini, and TV reporter and producer Pia Lindstrom. Her father, Ingrid Bergman's first husband, feared Roberto Rossellini might kidnap her and would not let her see her mother alone.
Inside the life, the loves, the scandals of Ingrid Bergman next on LARRY KING LIVE.
One of the great films ever, "Casablanca," is celebrating it's 60th anniversary this year -- it's hard to believe -- and is being re- released on DVD by Warner Home Video. And in that connection, Ingrid Bergman's three daughters are with us -- Isabella Rossellini, Ingrid Rossellini and Pia Lindstrom.
Your mother left your father in order to Mr. Rossellini and then have these two wonderful girls sitting next to you.
KING: How do you explain the friendship of you and them?
PIA LINDSTROM: We're wonderful people, wonderful and understanding and compassionate, and we're able to just move along with loving affection for each other. Is that the right answer?
KING: What is the right answer? How did it happen?
LINDSTROM: That's the truth. That's the truth. How did it happen? You know, nobody ever disliked our mother. I don't think that -- she was a very funny, warm, open person. And she included me, as she could, in her life with my little sisters here.
KING: You never felt anger at the fact that she left your father?
LINDSTROM: Oh, that's the not the same question as saying...
KING: But you didn't take it out on the daughters.
LINDSTROM: It wasn't their fault.
LINDSTROM: No, not at all. And I have a brother, as well, you know. She had a son, Roberto Rossellini. But for some reason, I didn't feel angry at them. They didn't do anything.
KING: Talk about that later. Isabella, let's talk about "Casablanca" first. Did your mother talk about that film much? And did she know how important it was?
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: No, she didn't know how important the film had become with the years. She had a glimpse of it in the '60s. She went to Harvard to talk to the students, and the film was shown and the student recited the lines of the film while they were watching it, and she was very surprised by that. She knew there was something special about "Casablanca" that wasn't happening with the other things she had done.
KING: Is it true, Ingrid, that she did not really have good chemistry with Humphrey Bogart?
INGRID ROSSELLINI: Well, that's -- actually, what I (UNINTELLIGIBLE) read in her book, because Mama never talked about it, is that she didn't know him too well. They -- they -- she said, "well, we kissed, but that's -- but that didn't -- doesn't mean that I knew him that much."
And because he was upset, the movie -- there were so many problems, he often would leave the set and stay on his own. So then, you know, they didn't talk much. They didn't know -- they didn't know each other very well, I guess. But I don't know if -- she never said she didn't like him. She never said anything. She never talked about her movies.
KING: Pia, did she talk to you about "Casablanca"?
LINDSTROM: Yes. Her face would glaze over if somebody would come up to her and say, "Oh, I loved you in "Casablanca." I would see this look come over her face, that would go, oh, because it wasn't a movie that she had her heart in.
She had her heart in "For Whom the Bell Tolls" with Gary Cooper. And it's true that Humphrey Bogart spent a good deal of his time in his trailer being grumpy, and I think my mother spent the rest of her time on the telephone trying to get the part in "For Whom the Bell Tolls." And they had cast somebody else, a dancer.
And just after they did the publicity shots for "Casablanca," Mama found out that she had gotten the part. So she was learning that part. She was preparing for this part. And "Casablanca" was something she was just, in a way, sent out to do while she was waiting. The Selznick studio just sent her out to do this film.
KING: Is it true, Isabella, the stories that Humphrey Bogart's wife at the time, before Lauren Bacall, was quite jealous of your mother?
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: We heard that, too. Yes. I asked Steve Bogart, who's a great friend of ours -- Steven is Humphrey Bogart's son.
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: And he said, Yes, I think it's true.
KING: Well, Ingrid, let's discuss that film for a minute. Ingrid, why do you think that film has held up so well?
INGRID ROSSELLINI: Why that specifically became such a (UNINTELLIGIBLE), it's hard to answer. But it's a wonderful movie. I mean, I must say, all of the actors are great. The story, the lines is witty. It's fun. It's extraordinary. I mean, everybody -- you know, the entire group of people is -- you know, works so well all together, and I think that's what made a great movie. But why that specifically and not others, really, I don't have the answer.
KING: Pia, is it true that Ronald Reagan turned it down, George Raft turned it down, Ann Sheridan turned it down?
LINDSTROM: I think a lot of that -- that was just names that were put in gossip columns, things that people said, because the Epstein twins, the boys, as they were known -- that's who wrote it -- knew they were writing for Humphrey Bogart. I mean...
KING: Oh, yes?
LINDSTROM: ...he was the original choice. Michelle Morgan (ph), who was a French actress, had been offered the part before my mother. And I think she wanted $55,000, and that was entirely too much. And Harry Warner known for being very stingy, so they got my mother for $25,000.
KING: Was it true about your mother and Gary Cooper?
LINDSTROM: Well, you know -- you know, I might have another sister there, you see? You don't know!
KING: You mean there was something going on, right?
LINDSTROM: I heard things went on in that -- you know, sleeping bag on the set.
LINDSTROM: I, you know, wasn't there, don't know. But I know that she liked him very, very much. And I'm very, very close to Maria Cooper. So there you go.
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: Maria is the daughter.
LINDSTROM: The daughter of Gary Cooper, yes, in case you don't know.
KING: Did your father pass on, Pia?
LINDSTROM: Yes, he did. He did. Yes.
KING: He was a physician, right?
LINDSTROM: He was a neurosurgeon, yes, and a wonderful, wonderful man whose hobbies were skiing and dancing, ballroom dancing. My fondest memories are going dancing in all sorts of hotels, in that time that people did, and boats and everywhere, and dancing with him. We even won a waltz contest. He was a wonderful, wonderful man, very, very intelligent and funny.
KING: We'll be right back with the daughters of Ingrid Bergman. The occasion is the celebration of the 60th anniversary of "Casablanca" with the re-release on DVD by Warner Home Video. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERGMAN: If you shouldn't get away -- I mean, if -- if something should keep us apart, wherever they put you and wherever I'll be, I want you to know that -- kiss me! Kiss me as if it were the last time!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: For those of you who don't know -- and we have the daughters, Isabella Rossellini, Ingrid Rossellini and Pia Lindstrom with us, of Ingrid Bergman, one of the most major stars ever in the history of American cinema -- it was quite a scandal involved, as we mentioned earlier, when Ingrid Bergman left Pia's father to marry the father of the Rossellinis, the director who was directing her in the film "Stromboli."
So we could start with Pia on this. That was -- would you explain to those who don't know how big that story was?
LINDSTROM: Oh! Well, it was major. It was one of those scandals of an era. And there have been other scandals of other eras that we know, but that was the scandal of that era. And it was weeks and weeks and months and months and months of headline news, speculations, gossip, horror. My mother had always been presented to the American people as a loving wife and a devoted mother and a woman who didn't wear make-up and who was -- played with the dogs and was -- liked to be -- you know, cook and be with the dogs and things like that. And she'd already played a nun and a -- you know, in the movies, and...
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: And a saint.
LINDSTROM: And a saint. Saint Joan. So -- and she was promoted that way. So part of the problem, I guess, was that her...
LINDSTROM: The image had already been set. So if people assume you are one way and then you behave a different way -- her fans were angry and confused. And then, of course, my mother was married. It wasn't just that she had a child with somebody else, she was married to my father. And she left the country and went to live in Italy and didn't come back. And then...
KING: For how long?
LINDSTROM: Oh, gosh. She didn't come back until I think she made "Anastasia." Well, she came back to receive an award. Actually, she came back to New York to receive an award in the '50s, late '50s, I think.
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: She was gone a total of what, 8, 9, 10 years.
LINDSTROM: For 8 or 9, 10 years.
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: For 10 years.
LINDSTROM: She was forbidden to enter the country. There was a vote in Congress, where she was made persona non grata.
KING: Hard to believe.
LINDSTROM: So it was as though a prized child or someone that you'd adored abandoned you, went off and left and went to Italy, for heaven's sakes. We'd just come out of the Second World War. I think there was a whole feeling of, What did she leave for? She left for an Italian director. And I think Hollywood felt, After all we've done for you? You know, We've given you a career, we've given you all of this, and now you just turn up your nose and say, I don't like America and I'm going to live in Italy.
KING: Your father had...
LINDSTROM: So probably many forces at work there.
KING: Your father had to sue her for desertion, eventually.
LINDSTROM: Yes, and for custody. And there was a -- we went on to a long custody battle that went on for years, as well.
KING: Did you see your mother during those years?
LINDSTROM: No, I didn't. I went to London. My father took me to London to visit her. So I did see her then, and that is difficult because if you've been separated from a parent, then to try to see someone for a week is very awkward.
KING: How old were you when it happened?
LINDSTROM: I was 10. And I saw her again at 12. And then we reunited in Paris when I was 18. And I flew over there to see her, but I hadn't seen her since then.
KING: And you were close at the end of her life, right?
LINDSTROM: I was very -- I was always close to her. I was crazy about her. I mean, I didn't always -- I certainly didn't like the fact that she left us. I mean, that's not something that you can like, but it was only because I loved her. And the great quality she had was the thing that many actresses have, a childishness, and I mean that in the best sense of the world, a playfulness.
KING: Isabella, did she talk about this a lot to you, growing up?
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: Yes.
KING: Did she? She did talk about it?
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: She did. I think she was wounded in a very deep way, and she was very confused about how to handle it. She felt guilty toward Pia, not to her public. She felt the public and the press had abused her and interfered and violated her privacy and her choices. I think that was a terrible adventure.
KING: Ingrid, did your father talk to you about it?
INGRID ROSSELLINI: He did. He told us about this great scandal and the pressure, and also the terrible -- you know, they made three movies together when -- at first, and then there were -- the reviews were horrendous, and it was so hard for them. It practically destroyed them also, from a professional point of view. It was really hard. And it's incredible because this movie have tremendously appreciated...
KING: Yes. INGRID ROSSELLINI: ... and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) like it -- so innovative and important for the time.
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: And our father, you know, was a great filmmaker and a great artist, more dedicated to the art than success and commerce. But that scandal destroyed him, too. It was very hard for him to find money. They saw him as an opportunist who was stealing a great Hollywood actress.
KING: She loved him a great deal, though, did she not?
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: They loved each other immensely. Yes, you could see it even in the photos, in the photos album of the family. You could see it in their eyes. They did -- they were very much in love.
KING: Ingrid, how were they as parents?
INGRID ROSSELLINI: As parents? Well, they didn't have to -- they were not present the way we three have been parents much -- you know, with our kids all the time. And the work took them away. Mama -- we -- for example, the three of us lived in Rome and Mama lived in Paris. So we didn't see her that much. But when she was with us, she was wonderful. And father, too. I mean, I think -- as my sister said, I adored Mama, and also our father. For me, they were the greatest people in the world. But yes.
What I'm sorry is that they died when we were very young, and we didn't have the chance to have a relationship with them as older people, you know, not as (UNINTELLIGIBLE) children. It would have been wonderful, but life took that away from us.
KING: Yes. We'll be right back with Isabella Rossellini, Ingrid Rossellini and Pia Lindstrom, the daughters of the late Ingrid Bergman on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of "Casablanca," now out in DVD. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - "CASABLANCA")
BERGMAN: Oh, I don't know what's right any longer! You have to think for both of us. For all of us.
BOGART: All right, I will. Here's looking at you, kid.
BERGMAN: I wish I didn't love you so much.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERGMAN: We made a picture together called "Casablanca." I was delighted because I had admired Bogart very much as an actor. I found him fascinating. There was something mysterious about him. And it was dangerous. There was danger around him. And with all his toughness and roughness, you still felt that behind it all, there was a tender heart. (END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: It's hard to believe how much of a fuss this caused -- front page news, the Senate condemning an actress. The United States Senate condemned her. One of the senators, Edwin Johnson (ph), a Democrat of Colorado, referred to her as "a horrible example of womanhood and a powerful influence for evil."
Pia, how did your dad and you and the rest -- how did you handle all of this?
LINDSTROM: Well, not well. Quietly, painfully, and in solitude. That's I think what happened. It was incredibly difficult to see and observe a parent going from being a saint and a nun to being an evil harlot within a few months. I'm probably still reeling from the experience. I mean, there's no way to sort of accommodate that.
KING: Theaters stopped showing her films, right?
LINDSTROM: Oh, yes. And she -- oh, she couldn't come back to the United States. Nobody wanted to work with her. Although interestingly enough, she had her friends. Her agent always stayed with her. There were people who were very, very loyal to her and loved her and stood by her. Irene Selznick, you know, David Selznick's wife, they were...
LINDSTROM: There were plenty of people like that.
KING: Isabella, why was her marriage to Rossellini so short?
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: I think the pressure. The exterior pressure was enormous. The film that (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the first attraction to one another was the artistic attraction, and they fell in love. My mother wrote him a letter. My mother has seen my dad's film. My father did a first film called "Rome Open City." The film is called -- the critics give it a name.
It was so new, they called it "new realism." It looked like a documentary, and yet it was a feature film. Anna Magnani, the great Italian actress, was seen for the first time, completely different than a Hollywood access. She was unkempt, bags under her eyes, and yet with a vitality and a strength, a new woman, if you want. My father's film portrayed the difficulties that Italian people had. It wasn't a film about the war but about the civilian and how the civilian lived the war.
KING: That attracted your mother to him, right?
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: I think so.
KING: She wanted to work with him?
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: She wanted to work with him. And my mother wrote him a letter, and my dad received the letter in Italy, bombarded Italy with (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in flame and all that. But that letter was saved. And Father received the letter, and he couldn't believe. It would be as if, you know, an Iraqi director nowadays received a letter from Julia Roberts, you know?
KING: Well put.
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: And my mother was also a very, very good friend of Hemingway, and I think that had a lot to do with it. She felt she was European. She felt probably very moved by the war. And seeing this film, she felt she could participate in -- somehow.
KING: Ingrid, why do you think the marriage didn't last?
INGRID ROSSELLINI: Probably, what Isabella said is very true. But it's also true that they were very different people. And what she said -- they were attracted to one another -- Mama was very attracted to Father for his work. But personality-wise, they were so incredibly different. And it was funny to see them together because Mama was so, you know, down to earth, and Father was such a dreamer.
But they remained wonderful friends, and that's the important thing. Even -- you know, every time Mama would come to visit us in Rome or Paris, Father would come and was very tender, very affectionate toward Mama. They were really -- they remained wonderful friends. I think they always loved each other in some sort of way.
KING: Did your father remarry, Ingrid?
INGRID ROSSELLINI: Yes, he did, with an Indian lady. He went to do a film in India and found a wonderful new wife. And had more children.
KING: Isabella, did your mother remarry after Roberto?
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: Yes. My mother remarried with Lars Schmidt (ph), who is still alive. Unfortunately, everybody else is gone.
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: But Lars is still alive and lives in Paris and spent the summer in Sweden.
KING: Were you close with him?
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: Very close to him. I am so glad to still have Lars because it was very hard to lose our parents in our 20s, so at least we have our stepfather.
KING: Pia, is he technically your stepfather?
LINDSTROM: Lars Schmidt?
KING: I guess he is.
LINDSTROM: Well, not anymore because they got divorced, so he's an ex-stepfather.
KING: Oh, they were divorced, too?
LINDSTROM: I have several ex-stepfathers. I try to include them all. Yes. So actually -- you know, some people just take on the role of being a stepfather or father. And Lars is one of those people. He didn't let the divorce stop him from continuing to be our stepfather.
KING: Did Dr. Lindstrom remarry?
LINDSTROM: Yes, he did. He married a physician, as well as himself, and they had four children who are in California and Idaho.
KING: Wow. And he passed when?
LINDSTROM: A couple of years ago.
KING: And when did Ingrid die?
LINDSTROM: Twenty years.
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: Twenty-one years ago, '82.
KING: How old was she, Isabella?
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: She was 65 years old only.
KING: What did she die of?
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: She was very young. She died of breast cancer.
KING: They caught it too late?
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: Well, they caught it -- I think -- no, she survived many years with it. She was very determined not to go to great extent, to chemotherapy. She didn't want to lose her hair. And at the time, the chemotherapy was very, very strong. And she was very determined. She was very healthy all her life, and I think imagining herself handicapped, she -- I don't think she wanted to live as handicapped.
KING: We'll take a break, and we'll talk about Ingrid's return to the United States, the filming of "Anastasia" and the return to prominence of Ingrid Bergman. Her three daughters are our guests. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - "ANASTASIA") BERGMAN: A moment or two longer, a moment more to be with you, to pretend you do not think what you do, to close my eyes and pretend it is years ago, a terrace in the summer sun. No. No, no. I promise. I promise I will not say names or places. The smell of the sea air, the sound of a tennis ball, the laughter from the courts behind the trees -- and your voice calling me, Malenka (ph).
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
I. BERGMAN: All right. I tried to reason with you. I tried everything. Now I want those letters. Get them for me.
BOGART: I don't have to, I've got them right here.
I. BERGMAN: Put them on the table.
I. BERGMAN: For the last time, put them on the table.
BOGART: If Laszlo and the cause mean so much to you, you won't stop at anything. All right. I'll make it easier for you. Go ahead and shoot, you'll be doing me a favor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. We are celebrating the 60th anniversary of one of the great classic films, "Casablanca." It is being re-released on DVD by Warner Home Video.
And our special guests are all in New York, Isabella Rossellini, the daughter of Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini, an actress very much in her own right. Ingrid Rossellini, Isabella's twin sister, daughter of Ingrid and Roberto Rossellini. And Pia Lindstrom, the daughter of Ingrid Bergman and Dr. Peter Lindstrom, and of course involved in all of that.
How did she get -- tell me, Isabella, about the coming back to the United States? How did that happen? How did "Anastasia" happen?
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: She was offered to do "Anastasia" on -- the marriage with my father was rocky. My father was very against mother coming back to Hollywood. He couldn't understand how she would want to come back to Hollywood that hurt her so much, and said all these terrible things and chased her away, exiled her. But mother was determined to come back. Though she never came back to live in the United States, but to come back and work with other directors, other than my father's, or Jean Renoir. These were the only two that my father allowed.
And she accepted the role of Anastasia. And the film was shot in Europe, so she was able to do it. And she won an Oscar.
KING: She did. Because I know the Senate, Senator Charles Percy of Illinois, entered the apology, the Senate apologized in 1972 and put that apology into the congressional record. How was she treated when she came back, Ingrid?
INGRID ROSSELLINI: Well, she was treated with tremendous affection and admiration and love. Really welcomed back. And I think that was so rewarding for her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have any criticism of the way the press, in general, handled the story of your life?
I. BERGMAN: Well, sure I have some criticism of it, becuase I think that the person has to have a private life. But I also know that if you choose being an actress, you have to take both sides of the coin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRID ROSSELLINI: But it was such a wonderful feeling that people that have loved her still did love her. Maybe the Senate, there were harsh words toward her, but I think the public always loved her, and she was really welcomed with open arms.
KING: Pia, what do you make of it?
LINDSTROM: Well, no, I have a slightly different take on it. I think she paid her penance. I think she has been sent away, like sent to Siberia and done her time, and for her crime, and that now she could be welcomed back, and so much had happened in between, and morals and mores have changed, and people had new attitudes.
And the role of Anastasia was very carefully chosen. That's not just by accident. A woman who appears to be a downcast person who lives under bridges, turns out to be has a metamorphose into a princess and has a regal personage.
So this transformative story was perfect for her to be transformed from being down in the depths of punishment and down in the dirt to return to her rightful place as a princess.
KING: What, Isabella, did she think of the United States?
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: I think she loved the United States. She was very happy when, at 18, after Pia came to live with us in Rome, and that's how we got to know my sister Pia, and become family.
I decided to move to the United States, and mother was thrilled. She thought the United States is the place where you can bloom professionally, gives you all the opportunity that we don't have in Europe, there is not a class system, and mother was very democratic, being a Swede, and loved this about America.
No, she loved America, but she never wanted to come back. I think she got scared about these -- she would say to me that there was a puritanical streak in America that can become so aggressive, and she always feared that, to come back.
KING: Was she angry at America, Ingrid?
INGRID ROSSELLINI: No, angry, not. But Isabella is right when she says that she was -- she loved it, but for example, she never chose to live in the States, and she lived in Paris with Lars. When they got divorced she went to London and she loved London.
But -- and we were all in New York at that point. But I don't think she -- she never take into consideration to come to New York. She came often to visit, but she didn't choose to see it as the best place to live.
KING: Was she surprised, Pia, that she was welcomed?
LINDSTROM: I don't think she was that surprised. I think she somehow had visions of what her life was going to be and how it was going to turn out. I'm laughing a little when I was hearing about how -- you know, we never actually lived with our mother, anyways. It was sort of an odd thing. She always chose another country to live in.
KING: What do you mean? You never...
LINDSTROM: Well, she lived in France with Lars while Ingrid and Isa were in Italy, and then when we were all in New York, she lived in London. I mean, we never quite got the right...
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: When my mother died, we took all her documents, and we put at them at the Westin (ph) University. And there was a diary of mother, that she started when she was 12. And the diary starts, "I'm very glad my dad gave me this diary, because I can keep a daily note -- record of when I will become a very famous actress." Mother knew since she was 12. It was a call for her. She used to say, "I didn't choose acting; acting chose me." It was a calling for her.
KING: How good -- Pia, you're a film critic, did a lot of that. How good an actress was Ingrid Bergman? She won three Academy Awards, right?
LINDSTROM: She did. And many nominations. You know, I think she improved tremendously during her lifetime. When she was very young, she had a quality that's almost indescribable, a luminescence. There was something in her skin and her eyes that just was a radiance. It's unusual. Maybe it's the bone construction. I'm not sure what it is. OThere is something in her, light that comes out. But it just glowed on the screen.
When she began to lose some of that beauty, and toward the end of her life, when she did things like "Autumn Sonata," I think that you can see what a really great actress she was. When you are very, very beautiful like that, you don't have to act quite as much in a certain sense. People read into your beauty their own emotions. But in "Autumn Sonata," she dug very deep, because that was a film she made with Ingmar Bergman, the Swedish director, about their lives and the difficulty of having children and being an artist, and that pull between the two. Where do you go? Do you follow your art, or do you stay home and take care of the children, because they have a cough?
KING: We'll be right back with the Rossellinis, Isabella and Ingrid, and Pia Lindstrom. More about their incredible mother. Don't go away.
KING: We're back with Isabella Rossellini, Ingrid Rossellini and Pia Lindstrom.
Did her roles kind of change after that? She played so, as you said, she played nuns and saints. Did they change much, Isabella?
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: Yes, they did. I think from the beginning, mother came also from the European tradition of an actor imagining itself being transformed. You know, in America, the stars are always the same. Cary Grant is always Cary Grant. Jimmy Stewart is always Jimmy Stewart. Joan Crawford is always Joan Crawford. And mother didn't want that.
I read in her autobiography, talking about "Casablanca," "David says that I will be happy, I will be photographed beautiful, I'll be wearing beautiful clothes, but I still want to do more. I want to transform myself, and sometimes play nasty and other roles."
KING: Did she, true or not, Ingrid, have an affair at all with Spencer Tracy?
INGRID ROSSELLINI: You're asking me this question? We don't know.
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: We're the last ones to know.
INGRID ROSSELLINI: The last ones to know, exactly.
KING: I mean, did she ever talk about Spencer Tracy?
LINDSTROM: Tracy? I've never heard that before.
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: I'll tell you who she had an affair with that I'm jealous of.
KING: Who's that?
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: Robert Capa, the great photographer. The great photographer of the Second World War, Robert Capa. They were -- mother was very much in love with him, and he was in love with her, and they kept it quite secretive until mother wrote her autobiography, and then she revealed it.
LINDSTROM: But she also said that he didn't want to marry her, because he turned her down. He turned her down.
KING: That was the basis for "Rear Window," right?
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: The Romance was -- because Hitchcock was a friend of theirs, so he probably knew and inspired "Rear Window."
KING: Why did she like acting so much, Pia?
LINDSTROM: I don't think she liked herself in her real life. I think that when she was a young girl, she was very shy. She explained that her lips would swell, her fingers would swell, she was so frightened.
You know, she was an orphan. Her parents had died, and she moved in with aunts and uncles and so on. And so she really was very lonely. And I believe her father took her to the opera, and she saw a stage and said immediately, that's what I want to do.
And I believe she was one of those people who liked to put on the clothes and the makeup of another person and to become that person. And when you become that person, then you're brave, and then you can talk and then you can do lots of things. But deep down, I think she was very frightened.
INGRID ROSSELLINI: Funny, what she was saying, that in the theater, remember going to the theater and being backstage and say, and then looking, it was so terrifying the idea of being on stage, and so many people looking at you. You can't see them in the dark. And I said, mama, how can you do that? She said, I can do that because I'm very shy. And I said, what does that mean? She said, because I'm someone else when I'm on stage, and it's an interesting question.
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: I think that's why people like that have to keep working, and why they can't really do family life so well. You have to get into this other part, to be another person, to express your emotions through some other vehicle.
KING: By the way, Pia, did your father put her down to you?
LINDSTROM: Well, he was deeply, deeply wounded. In fact, I think that it, in a sense, destroyed an inner part of his heart, that he could never recover from.
I don't think you -- people talk about closure and getting over things. Some things you just don't get over. And he never recovered completely from the humiliation and the grief -- and you know, he was a serious man, and was a surgeon, and it was fodder for gossip mills, and it was -- he was the cuckold. It was a joke, you know, and some people have a lot of pride, and he did, and I think in a certain sense, a very deep inner part of himself was destroyed.
KING: I can attest to the brilliance of your mother, Isabella, because I interviewed someone she played. She played Golda Meir on a television show that won her an Emmy, and that was an incredible performance. Did she enjoy doing that, getting that accent right and everything?
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: She loved it. They offered her the part when she was quite sick with cancer. She accepted the part. She decided to play -- she decided there was something about her personality that felt quite close to Golda, maybe a down-to-earthness and a simplicity.
She just put a wig to look like Golda, but no fake nose or double chin, and she was quite surprised that a big Protestant Swede was going to play this fantastic lady.
And I went to visit her in Israel when she was shooting. My mom, due to the cancer, she -- her left arm would swell enormously, bigger than the rest of her. It was a huge thing, and she would hang her arm up all night, sometimes staying awake, so that the arm could not be as swollen and she could play Golda.
Especially she had certain gestures that she wanted to do, Golda Meir I remember when she was elected there were some newsreels and mother copied gesture by gesture, so she made sure that she had both arms to do the gestures.
KING: And she was brilliant. Golda Meir, the Milwaukee school teacher who became prime minister of Israel, and won an Emmy for Ingrid Bergman playing her in that television special near her death.
We'll talk about the end of her life and what the girls are doing right after this. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
I. BERGMAN: Isn't it possible that we could put all our efforts, our energies, into 1 single purpose, the betterment of all our lands and all our people through the blessings of peace.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Isabella Rossellini, Ingrid Rossellini and Pia Lindstrom. The occasion is the 60th anniversary of "Casablanca." Isabella, were you with your mother at the end?
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: No, I wasn't. I had seen her, and I know the end was near. Mother went to Sweden to be with Lars, her third husband that she had divorced but was very close to him, asked a friend of hers to drive her throughout Sweden, to see all the places that she had been when she was a child, and when I heard that, I thought, that was a bad sign. And then the night of her birthday, I received a call. She died the day of her birthday, at the end of the day.
KING: And where were you, Ingrid?
INGRID ROSSELLINI: I was in New York with Isabella. We received the call together. I remember that day we called several times to wish her a happy birthday, but Lars was with her, and her cousin, and they said she's not feeling well. She can't come to the phone, but we'd give her a hug from you and your love. But it's hard because, yes, we didn't have a chance to be with her and just hold her hand at that moment.
KING: Pia, where were you?
LINDSTROM: I was in New York, and I spoke to my mother that morning, and she said, I have a lot of pain in the back and I can't walk, and I said, should I fly over? And she said, no, don't come. And I regret that, that I listened to her, and when I had a similar message from my father, I went and stayed there and had the gift of being with him when he died, and I regret deeply that I just didn't listen to my instinct. I think my mother did not want us there. You know, sometimes people like to let go when their children aren't there.
KING: Isabella, we mentioned earlier about "Autumn Sonata." That closely related to her life, right?
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: Well, mother did not think it was so related to her life. She thought that the character of this very ambitious pianist, that probably Bergman did try to shape after mother or being a great star and an actress, maybe a little bit neglectful of her children. Mother thought that it was way too harsh. And I sort of agree with her. I mean, I think the character that she plays in "Autumn Sonata," if there is any similarities with mother, mother was much nicer.
KING: Ingrid, what are you doing now?
INGRID ROSSELLINI: I teach Italian literature. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) professor, and I am teaching at NYU, and Princeton, different places, so and I'm enjoying very much. It's a completely another world from what my parents...
KING: Isabella, what are you doing?
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: I'm an actress and a model. I had a very big career as a model, and I am acting, and I'm a mother of two.
KING: And Pia?
LINDSTROM: Well, I left NBC after over 20 years, and now I am working on a program that I'm going to do with Maria Cooper, who's Gary Cooper's daughter, on doing something like this, talking to the children of filmmakers about their family life, about the work that they do. At the moment it's called "Pia and Maria" so we'll see. KING: I like that.
LINDSTROM: If it still gets another name, I don't know.
KING: How will your mother be remembered, Isabella? How do you think she's remembered?
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: I think she is remembered for "Casablanca." And the film is extraordinary, but there are other films that are as well, sometimes picked like "Notorious," or in Italian, which my dad did. There are other masterpieces, but "Casablanca" somehow became the film that I think she will be remembered for.
KING: Ingrid, how do you think she will be most remembered?
INGRID ROSSELLINI: Well, yes, because when I talk to young people, they -- sometimes they don't even remember the name, it's incredibe, because 19 years old, they're not sure who she is, but when you say "Casablanca," they know the movie. It's incredible.
But it was -- last night it was these, you know, we watched the movies, there were so many people, and there are still many people who still remember her, with great, you know, with great love, and that's nice to see.
LINDSTROM: Well, the scandal is gone. She won't be remembered for the scandal. That's disappeared, which is odd to me too, because at one point it seemed as though the whole world was just focused on this one subject, and now it's blown away and it's gone.
She'll definitely be remembered for "Casablanca," because it's got a mythological place now in our society. People know the words like they used to know the Greek tragedies, or grand opera, and the audience says the words along with the film. So I think she is permanently going to be remembered in that film.
KING: Woody Allen had a lot to do with it, too, didn't he, Pia, with that hit play and movie.
LINDSTROM: That's true. That's true. Yes.
KING: "Play It Again, Sam."
LINDSTROM: "Play It Again, Sam."
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: "Play It Again, Sam" was a wonderful movie.
KING: Did she like "As Times Goes By," Isabella, she liked that song?
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: Oh, yes. I think, I don't know, you know, every time we went to restaurants if there was a piano player he changed the song to "As Time Goes By." See, mother was terribly shy. It didn't please her at all to be underlined with music as she quietly walked into a restaurant.
LINDSTROM: I'm not sure she would have been happy that "Casablanca" is the one.
KING: I know.
LINDSTROM: She had so many movies she loved, and this is, you know, isn't life strange, isn't destiny odd.
KING: Wonderful having this hour with all of you. Thank you so much.
INGRID ROSSELLINI: Thank you.
LINDSTROM: Thank you.
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: Thank you for having us.
KING: Isabella Rossellini, Ingrid Rossellini and Pia Lindstrom, the daughters of Ingrid Bergman. On the occasion of 60th anniversary of "Casablanca" now out on DVD. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOGART: I've got a job to do too. Where I'm going, you can't follow. What I've got to do, you can't be any part of. I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of 3 little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that.
Now, now. Here's looking at you kid.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Hope you enjoyed this fascinating hour on the life and times of Igrid Bergman.
We invite you now to stay tuned for more news on CNN, your network for news, all the time, 24 hours a day.
See you tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE. Thanks for joining us and goodnight.
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