Inga Swenson, famous for her work in the early 1980s ABC sitcom “Benson,” is dead.
The actress died Sunday night in Los Angeles as a result of natural causes … her son, Mark, tells TMZ.
Inga’s son says her husband, Lowell Harris, was with her when she died at a board and care facility. We’re told Inga’s heath had been in decline for the past 6 months, so her death did not come as a shock to the family.
Inga famously played German cook Gretchen Kraus on “Benson” … appearing in over 150 episodes over seven years and earning three Emmy nominations for her work.
“Benson” was a spin-off of another TV sitcom, “Soap,” where Inga had a multi-episode role as Ingrid Svenson.
In addition to “Benson,” Inga also starred on Broadway … and her performances as Lizzie Curry in “110 in the Shade” and Irene Adler in “Baker Street” resulted in two nominations for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She’s a trained lyrical soprano.
Inga acted in two movies in 1962 … with a pair of supporting roles in “Advise and Consent” and “The Miracle Worker,” where she plays Helen Keller‘s mother.
She married Lowell, a sound engineer, in February 1953, and the couple had two children, one of whom already passed away … and in 1998 she retired from Hollywood.
We’re told she wanted to be cremated and have her ashes buried with her late son in San Rafael, CA.