Inga Swenson, a talented actress known for her role as Gretchen Kraus on the hit sitcom Benson, has passed away at the age of 90. Swenson, who also had a successful career on Broadway, received three Primetime Emmy nominations for her role on Benson and two Tony nominations for her work on stage.
Swenson’s son, Mark, confirmed that the actress died of natural causes on July 23 at a board and care facility in Los Angeles. Her health had been declining over the past six months, and her husband of 70 years, Lowell Harris, was by her side at the time of her passing.
Born in Omaha on December 29, 1932, Swenson began her television career with a 1957 episode of Goodyear Playhouse. She went on to appear in various TV shows and movies, including Advise & Consent and The Miracle Worker in 1962.
However, it was her role as Ingrid Svenson on the sitcom Soap in 1978 that brought her widespread recognition. Swenson’s most iconic role came on the spin-off series Benson, where she played the beloved German head housekeeper Gretchen Krause. Her character’s witty banter with Benson DuBois, played by Robert Guillaume, became a fan favorite.
Swenson appeared in 159 episodes of Benson and received Emmy nominations in 1980, 1982, and 1985 for her outstanding performance. Her catchphrase,