Sonja Henie Poster

Biography

The daughter of a fur wholesaler in Norway, Sonja Henie received her first pair of ice skates when she was six. At 14 she was the Norwegian Skating Champion. At 15 she would win the Olympic gold medal in Skating, a feat she would repeat in 1932 and 1936. In 1936 she would turn professional and tour with her own ice show. She was signed by 20th Century-Fox and debuted in One in a Million (1936), in which she played an ice skater. The picture was very successful, Sonja continued to make a series of light comedies throughout the late 1930s and early 1940s. More a testament to her skating skills and physical appearance than her acting prowess, the films were nevertheless profitable and her popularity soared. Her films' success garnered financial success for the Hollywood Ice Revues that she produced and starred every year. Her movie career wound down during the mid-'40s, but she continued skating until she retired in 1960. An astute businesswoman and due to marrying shipping magnate Niels Onstad ("the Onassis of Norway") in 1956, Sonja was one of the ten wealthiest women in the world when she died of leukemia in 1969.