Inga Swenson, Broadway Star and 'Benson' Actress, Dead at 90

inga swenson
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The two-time Tony nominee was best known for her role as German chef Gretchen Kraus on the long-running 'Soap' spinoff.

Broadway performer and Benson star Inga Swenson died on Sunday, her son, Mark, confirmed to TMZ on Friday. She was 90 years old.

The Omaha, Nebraska-born actress was a two-time Tony nominee for her roles as Lizzie Curry in 110 in the Shade and Irene Adler in Baker Street, but she was perhaps best known for her role as German chef Gretchen Kraus on Benson, the Robert Guillaume-led spinoff of Soap, which ran from 1979-86 on ABC.

Swenson died of natural causes, and her family told TMZ that her health had been in decline for several months.

The actress studied drama at Northwestern University before getting her start in film and TV, and on Broadway. She landed her Benson role after a multi-episode arc on Soap, and appeared on every episode of the sitcom.

She married sound engineer Lowell Harris in 1953 and the couple had two sons: Mark and James. James died in a motorcycle accident in 1987 at age 26. Mark told TMZ that Lowell was by his wife's side when she died.