Stevens, whose real name was Inger Stensland, was to become a famous star, but her life was too short. She was an insecure and often ill woman. Her parents divorced while living in Sweden. Inger then moved with her father to the United States. At 16 she left home and started to work in New York as a showgirl in cheap performances. At the same time she took lessons at the Actor's Studio.
Later she made commercials, smaller plays and TV appearances, until she finally got her big chance in the movie Man on Fire, with Bing Crosby. Several roles in major films followed, but she had the greatest success with her leading role in the TV series The Farmer's Daughter, and also with roles in TV episodes of series like The Twilight Zone, Bonanza and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.
Inger Stevens committed suicide with an overdose of sleeping pills. It became then known that from 1961 to her death she had been married to Ike Jones, an African-American actor. Her first husband was Anthony Soglio, with whom she was married from 1955 to 1957.