Inga Rundvold


Inga Rundvold (1920-2004) was born in Norway, raised in the DC area and had a successful career as a fashion model and newspaper columnist, penning a column called "Beauty Forever," before launching her TV career over WRC in 1950.

Recognized as the "First Lady of Washington, DC Television," Rundvold was on the air for over 17 years with such programs as "Time with Inga," "Inga's Angle," and "Let's Go Places."

This gallery presents samples from the Papers of Inga Rundvold at the Library of American Broadcasting.

The collection spans the years 1942 to 1974 and contains correspondence, newspaper and magazine clippings, photographs, promotional materials, press releases, artifacts and other items. It was donated to the Library in 1996.


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Early modeling career, c. 1940's

Inga Rundvold was born in Norway in 1920, and raised in the Washington DC area.

This photograph comes from Rundvold's early modeling career, while she was under contract to the Conover Agency in New York City. At the time, Conover was one of the largest modeling agencies in the world.

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Modeling WAC uniforms, 1942

In 1942, Inga Rundvold (far right) achieved her biggest coup as a model when she was chosen as one of three "girls" to be photographed for "Life" magazine wearing the first, official uniforms of the Women's Army Corps (WAC). This same photo would also be sent out to newspapers and be reprinted coast to coast.

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Modeling photo shoot

A still from Inga Rundvold's early modeling career.

Rundvold began modeling while working full time as a secretary. She would often go and pose on her lunch hour.

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Newspaper column "Beauty Forever"

Beginning in 1945, Inga Rundvold authored a daily beauty and fashion column for the "Washington Times-Herald" newspaper, called "Beauty Forever."

As a promotional gimmick, Rundvold was photographed for the column wearing a different hat every day for five years. A diligent keeper of her own work and professional photographs, Rundvold's collection at the Library of American Broadcasting houses hundreds of these headdress images.

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Another "Beauty Forever" column

This "Beauty Forever" newspaper column features another of Inga Rundvold's infamous hat photos.

During the course of the five years that Rundvold wrote "Beauty Forever," her head-gear choices ran the gamut from bonnets to pillboxes, from tams to skull caps, from those with feathers to those with veils.

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Announces TV project

This newspaper clipping announces an upcoming appearance on WNBW in which Inga Rundvold "introduces Washington's debutantes on television."

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"Party Time--Holiday with Inga"

Even after transitioning from modeling to a television career, Inga Rundvold managed to keep her connection to the world of fashion.

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Booklet of beauty tips (cover)

This booklet of beauty tips, from the Hecht Company of Washington DC area department stores, was one of many program/sponsor tie-ins that Inga Rundvold was part of throughout her career.

Under Rundvold's name and image the station also published party-planning tips and a "reducing" diet.

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Even well into her small-screen career, Inga Rundvold still spent a lot of her time in front of the still camera.

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Early TV appearance, c. 1950's

A carefully posed shot from one of Inga Rundvold's early television broadcasts on WRC-TV.

Rundvold secured her place in broadcasting history when she was one of the first demonstrators of color broadcasting in 1950, at several special presentations made to the Federal Communications Commission.

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Broadcasting from WRC studio, c. 1950's

Inga Rundvold and an unidentified man broadcast from WRC studios.

Over the years, the titles of some of the programs Rundvold hosted included: "Inga's Angle," "Today with Inga," "Afternoon with Inga" (broadcast from the Sheraton Park Hotel), and "Beauty School."

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"I'm selling for you on televsion"

This brochure/flier, and ones like it, were often created to attract new advertisers to a station or a particular program. Usually they stressed a host's sales ability.

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"Inga's Angle: a beauty plan" booklet

This book of beauty tips, published in booklet form, promotes Inga Rundvold's television show "Inga's Angle."

Due to her ubiquitous presence on the television airwaves, Rundvold became known as Washington DC's "First Lady of the Air."

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High-heeled shoe "The Inga"

This newspaper advertisement shows one of Inga Rundvold's, or anyone's, most unusual promotional tie-ins: a high-heeled shoe called "The Inga." Note the price of $22.85.

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For Hechts Department Stores

One of Inga Rundvold's longest affiliations was with the Hecht Company of department stores, which sponsored her television show, "Inga's Angle."

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Rundvold as a "sure-fire salesgal"

This promotional piece touts Inga Rundvold's ability to move a sponsor's merchandise via her on-air appearances.

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Photo still from TV interview

Here we see Inga Rundvold (left) conducting an interview for one of her television programs.

Like many of her contemporaries, Rundvold started out focusing on typical "women's topics" (like cooking and sewing). However, her focus ultimately evolved along with the medium (and the times), and came to address more weighty issues.

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"TV Beauty School," by Peoples Drug Stores

This item announces one of Inga Rundvold's more ambitious on-air undertakings: a televised beauty course, sponsored by Peoples Drug Stores.

Working behind the scenes on this broadcast initiative was writer and advertising executive Gertrude Entenmann.

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Mid-career portrait

This portrait of Inga Rundvold was taken at mid-career.

Over the course of her years in broadcasting, Rundvold interviewed a wide spectrum of guests, including entertainers such as Bob Hope, Carol Channing, Danny Kaye, and Milton Berle, and such political figures as the Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.

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Photo still, shearing sheep on TV

Just another day on the job for Inga Rundvold, Washington DC's "First Lady of Television."