(18 November 1961 - 30 April 1970) (her death)
Nobody knew til after Inger`s death that she was married to Ike Jones. It was kept a secret for fear that being married to a black man would ruin her career.
By the time of her death, they were already separated.
After her death, black actor Ike Jones claimed that he had been secretly married to Stevens since 1961. Some doubted this due to the lack of a marriage license, the maintaining of separate homes and the filing of tax documents as single people. However, at the time Stevens' estate was being settled, the actress's brother, Carl O. Stensland, confirmed in court that his sister had hidden her marriage to Jones "out of fear for her career." Superior Court Commissioner A. Edward Nichols ruled in Ike Jones's favor and made him administrator of her estate.
A photo exists of the two attending a banquet together in 1968. Her website also states that the marriage to Jones took place in Tijuana, Mexico.
On November 18, 1961 she married Isaac "Ike" Jones, an African-American producer/business associate of famed singer Nat King Cole, in Tijuana, Mexico. At the time, Inger and Ike decided to keep their marriage a secret, due to the potential negative backlash and damage to Inger's career. In hindsight, given the social climate of the time with the growing discontent regarding civil rights and that interracial marriage was not common and even deemed illegal in some states, Inger and Ike's decision to keep their marriage hidden seems prudent and certainly understandable, from a business perspective. However, this decision would have far-reaching consequences: Inger Stevens, whose public image was the self-sufficient, refreshingly frank and direct, up-and-coming single actress, had suddenly acquired a career-threatening secret, a double-life, one that she had to hide from the inquisitive general public. Only her family and closest friends knew of the marriage. It was only after The Farmer's Daughter ended and into production of A Time for Killing in 1967 did she overcome the fear of being found out, and invited Ike to join her on location on subsequent films. Ike often demurred, due to scheduling conflicts and being an acute bussinessman, he quite likely better understood the effects of negative press and public reaction. To paraphrase Ike in an interview he gave in 1970, it was not that they were not ready to make their marriage public, but the world was not ready to accept them. Inger's publicists were adept at steering interview questions away from her personal life, so the subject of Inger's marital status was never seriously explored by the tabloid press, a much less invasive group than today's paparazzi. Given these conditions, with Inger on location and Ike away on business, their work schedules were nearly impossible to coincide. It was inevitable that the time spent apart began to take a toll on their relationship. Inger and Ike would fight, separate for weeks at a time, then get back together. During the periods of separation, Inger would stay at one residence while Ike lived at a second residence. Separation and reconcilliation became a cyclic pattern in their lives. The volatility of the bond between Inger and Ike only contributed to the marriage's fragility, and the temptation and likelihood of extramarital affairs certainly did not help. While separated, Inger became romantically linked to co-star Dean Martin in 1968 while filming Five Card Stud and then to Burt Reynolds in early 1970. According to Ike, in the spring of 1970 after completing Run, Simon, Run, Inger returned to Los Angeles and left him a note saying she needed time alone to sort out her feelings. When she reappeared some ten days later, she told Ike she wanted to stay at the Woodrow Wilson house and that he should live at their second home at the beach. Ike agreed. In the subsequent weeks, as Inger made the press rounds for her upcoming series, she was often seen with Reynolds and it appeared the two were seriously dating. Reynolds would later tell mutual friend Aaron Spelling that the two had broken off the relationship some time before Inger's eventual demise. This contradicts Inger's roommate's later testimony that she was planning to marry Reynolds. In any case, regardless of her relationships with Martin, Reynolds, and any other rumored suitors, it was Ike who stepped forward at the end, making the final arrangements. Again, to paraphrase Ike from the same interview mentioned earlier, "...it was always Inger and Ike..."