Oscar Scandals: Winters, Shelley–Bad Press from Sinatra Film,

In the 1950s, the very mention of Ingrid Bergman’s name evoked negative connotations, due to her scandalous affair with Italian director Roberto Rossellini, giving birth out of the wedlock. (The then-married Bergman was backlisted by Hollywood for eight years–until Anastasia, in 1956)

Oscar nominee Shelley Winters recalls that during her affair with Italian actor Vittorio Gassman, her agents told her: “We have invested a great deal of money in you, and now you’re destroying our investment.” “You may not have noticed,” they warned, “but Ingrid’s career is finished in the United States and perhaps throughout the world. Are you ready to have that happen to you?”

Winters was also asked to keep “a low profile” during the 1951 nominations, in order to secure her placement on the Oscar ballots.

Thus, a vocal dispute with her powerful co-star Frank Sinatra on the set of Meet Danny Wilson infuriated Universal’s top exec Leo Spitz.

“From all the rumors we hear,” Spitz told her, “You’re going to be nominated as Best Actress for A Place in the Sun.  If you keep your publicity as dignified as possible–given your explosive personality–there’s a good chance the Academy will vote for your performance, and you will get the Oscar.”

Winters was surprised to hear from him admitting that “most of the newspapers owe us favors and we can keep all this nonsense out of the press.”