How much did you really know about the first skating star of the silver screen?
For example, did you realize how much money she commanded at the peak of Hollywood career? Or, how relatively few movies she made? Or, the details of her versatile love life (hint: the guy pictured above figured in that scheme).
Fact is that Sonja Henie was certainly a pop cultural figure of her time, a towering entertainment personality before she arrived in Hollywood, and a bigger entertainment figure after she left. She survived a huge international stink after she gleefully shook hands with Adolph Hitler at her third Olympic victory in 1936 Germany.
In short, Henie transcended Hollywood. But still, for a while, she was part of it. That brings us to the answers to our Monday Quiz. To refresh yourselves about the questions, just scroll down to the blog below. Here we go:
1) Answer: Henie was born in 1912 in d) Norway.
2) Answer: a) Belita, a British Olympian turned actress and d) Vera Ralston, a figure skater from the Czech Republic. Both had Hollywood careers roughly at the same time that Henie did, but neither could anywhere near match her fame (and fortune). We were rooting for Tonya Harding but no such luck.
3) Answer: a) True. According to Twentieth Century Fox mogul Darryl Zanuck’s biographer, the late Mel Gussow, in 1937 (Henie) was the highest paid actress in Hollywood, making $210,729 (compared to Zanuck’s $260,000).
4) Answer: From 1940 to 1946, Henie was married to Dan Topping, part owner of the New York Yankees baseball team.
5) Answer: Mary Healy, who after her Hollywood movie career ended became one half of a popular Fifties radio, tv and stage team — Peter Lind Hayes and Mary Healy. Hayes died in 1998, Healy died last year at age 96.
6) Answer: b) Just 13 movies. But those that Henie made were pound-for-pound box office heavyweights.
7) Answer: Bandleader-trombonist Glenn Miller, whose life was much later made into a biopic starring James Stewart, appears in 1941’s Sunrise Serenade. Milton Berle is on hand to add to the enjoyment.
8) Answer: b) Both Henie and Lana Turner happened to marry brothers — Henie’s first husband, Dan Topping; and Lana’s third husband was Henry J. Topping Jr.
9) Answer: All except d) Liberace, who was considered a close friend. Henie got around a bit romantically, and was especially smitten with costar Tyrone Power (pictured above).
10) Answer: This is a trick question. All options apply. The last (d) was said outside Henie’s ear range. (By the way, a nasturtium is a handsome flowering plant. We looked it up.)