The President of the Republic of Finland, Tarja Halonen, has bestowed Taina Elg with the insignia of the Knight, First Class of the Order of the Lion of Finland.
Hon. Jukka Leino, Finland’s consul general in New York, decorated Elg at a ceremony organized in his residence on June 15.
Elg, an actress, is one of the most well-known Finnish-Americans. She received a Golden Globe Award in 1956 as the most promising new foreign actress. She was a TONY nominee in 1974 for her role in the musical Where’s Charlie? and received the Barrymore Award in Philadelphia in 1996 for best leading actress in a musical production.
Elg graduated from the Ballet School of the National Opera of Finland in 1946. She worked in Swedish theatres in 1947 and received a scholarship to Sadler’s Wells Ballet School in London (later the Royal Ballet School) and danced at the Monte Carlo Ballet (later the Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas) from 1949-1953. She moved to Hollywood in 1954 after signing a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Elg has been very active in the Finnish-American community, especially in programs related to culture. She has lived in New York since 1961.
A biography of her childhood years was published (in Finnish) in 1991, and a documentary of her career, StarringTaina Elg, was broadcast in Finland in 2003.
Her career includes movies…
The Prodigal, 1955; Diane, 1956; Gaby, 1956; Les Girls, 1957; Imitation General, 1958; Mission of Danger, 1959; The Thirty-Nine Steps, 1959; Watus, 1959; Le Baccant, 1961; Hercules in New York, 1970; The Wallendas, 1978; TV-series One Life to Live, 1980-81; and Liebestraum, 1991.
…and theatre productions
Redhead, USA tour, 1960; Irma La Douce, USA tour, 1962; The Tender Trap, New Jersey, USA, 1963; I Married an Angel, 1964; There’s a Girl in my Soup, USA tour, 1968; Look to the Lilies, Broadway, New York, USA, 1970; A Little Night Music, Sydney, Australia, 1973-75; Where’s Charlie?, Broadway, New York, USA, 1974; 13 Rue de L'amour, Philadelphia, USA, 1978; The Utter Glory of Morrissey Hall, Broadway, New York, USA, 1979; Strider, Broadway, New York, USA, 1979; Nine, Broadway, New York, USA, 1982; Gigi, USA tour, 1984-85; Rakkauskirjeitä (“Love Letters”), Tampere, Finland, 1993; Louisiana Purchase, Carnegie Hall, New York, USA, 1996; Titanic, USA tour, 1999; Puttin’ On the Ritz, Chicago Humanities Festival, USA, 2001; Cole Porter - A 111th Birthday Celebration, Philadelphia Cabaret Convention, USA, 2002; Requiem for Walter, Off-Broadway, New York, USA, 2003.
Further information: Jari Sinkari, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. 212-750-4400;
Taina Elg, tel. 212-865-9313
Information on Finnish decorations:
(click “English,” click “Institution,” click “Decorations”)