R.I.P. Inga Swenson, Hoss Cartwright's mother on Bonanza

The acclaimed actress was 90.

Inga Swenson, remembered for her roles on Bonanza and Benson, passed away July 23, 2023, in Los Angeles.

Swenson was a veteran of both stage and screen. Her performance as Lizzie Curry in Broadway's "110 in the Shade" resulted in a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical, as did her performance as Irene Adler in "Baker Street." In addition, Swenson played Gretchen Kraus on Benson. Over the course of 150 episodes throughout seven seasons, Swenson was nominated a total of three times for Emmy awards recognizing her work.

Fans of classic Westerns will doubtlessly recall Swenson as Hoss' mother on Bonanza. "Inger, My Love," the 29th episode of the show's third season, sees Cartwright patriarch Ben recounting the tales of his three wives, with Swenson portraying his second wife, Inger.

Movie roles included an appearance as Hellen Keller's mother in 1962's The Miracle Worker

Swenson's son Mark reported to TMZ that the actress died of natural causes. She is also survived by her husband Lowell Harris, who was ceaselessly by her side as her health declined in her final months.

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16 Comments

ironman2000 8 months ago
I saw her on Bonanza first as Hoss's mother. And when she was on Benson, I always thought she was the same actress but wasn't sure until the tech age came Thank to the internet my hunch was always right. R.I.P. Inga Swenson.
WordsmithWorks 9 months ago
Her role on Benson was where I saw her first. Good comedic foil for Robert Guillaume. R.I.P.
Kaydee 9 months ago
A lovely and talented actress. I'll always remember her memorable role as Hoss's mother "Inger" on Bonanza. Of all three episodes featuring Ben recounting his lives with his son's mothers, the two episodes featuring he and Inger were the most intense in my opinion. The scene where Inger was shot and killed with little Adam holding baby Hoss in his arms and Ben's emotional reaction to his wife's death were just heartbreaking to me. R.I.P Inga Swenson you lived a full life Thank you for the memories.
cperrynaples Kaydee 9 months ago
Well since Inger got 2 episodes, there were actually 4 flashbacks!
Kaydee cperrynaples 9 months ago
Lol Oops! Yes you're right 4 episodes
LoveMETV22 9 months ago
R.I.P. Inga Swenson. Her role as Hellen Keller's mother in "1962's The Miracle Worker", was a favorite.
Peter_Falk_Fan 9 months ago
She was great as Maude Hazard, George's mother, in the mini-series "North and South". I also enjoyed watching her on "Benson".

R.I.P. Inga Swenson, a very talented actress.
cperrynaples 9 months ago
Thank you,MeTV! For the rest of my comments, go to the Brady park reunion post! And yes she did TWO flashbacks at the insistance of Lorne Greene!
CoreyC 9 months ago
Inga was great as Kraus in Benson.
Rest InPeace
Paul Reubens
Pee Wee Herman
Passed away
July 30 2023
Born 1953
Pee Wee s Playhouse
Pee Wee Big Adventure
Big Top Pee
Pee Wee Herman s acting style was similar to Eddie Cantor and Joe Penner and Jerry Lewis.
I know you've made this connection, but really the only thing that connects them is Judism! Certainly you know that Reubens is short for Reubenstein just like Lewis is short for Lewinski! BTW, my maternal grandfather was Jewish!
CoreyC cperrynaples 9 months ago
Unfortunately that does not make you Jewish by birth cause under Jewish law its only the mother that makes a person Jewish by birth.
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