Vale: Inga Swenson

Inga Swenson, best known for Benson and Soap, has died.

Inga Swenson, best known for Benson and Soap, has died aged 90.

US-born Swenson died on Sunday night of natural causes in hospice care in Los Angeles.

She played dictatorial German cook Gretchen Kraus on US sitcom Benson from 1979 – 1986, frequently sparring with Robert Guillaume‘s character.  A running gag had Benson insulting Gretchen under his breath, only to have her bellow, “I hear you!”

The series was a spin-off from Soap, in which she played Ingrid Svenson, the Swedish birth mother of Corinne Tate (Diana Canova). When Guillaume, who played butler Benson, was given a spinoff, Swenson joined him.

“I never had any interest in sitcoms because I lacked all the qualities,” she once said in an interview. “I walk into a casting office and sit down with my knees together. People take one look and say, ‘You’re not funny. You don’t even have a funny face.’”

Her other credits included The Miracle Worker, Advise & Consent, Lipstick, Vega$, Barnaby Jones, Bonanza, The Golden Girls, North & South, Hotel and Newhart.

Swenson also had a busy stage career.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

3 Responses

  1. I remember Inga well from Soap and Benson. She was very funny and a point of difference in casts that were already so varied. Great era. Inga Swenson made her mark.

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