HjordisNiven.com, August 2021

Hjördis and David Niven at the Pink House in early 1950

It’s been a while since the last post., so there is some catching up to do. I hope you are all keeping well, and that life is getting back to normal.

Gudrun Genberg

First of all is the sad news of the death of Hjördis’ niece Gudrun Genberg, also known as Pia Genberg. Gudrun passed away in 2020. The page about her and twin Maj-iis’ eventful careers as models, dancers, and actresses has been updated: Pia and Mia Genberg.

Pia and Mia Genberg in Las Vegas, 1960
A beautiful still from the 1960 movie “Pepe”, with Maurice Chevalier flanked by Gudrun and Maj-lis Genberg.

Crofting in Röksta

More photos and information have been added to the story of Hjördis’ early years, when her father worked as a crofter in the northern half of Sweden. The family’s house was demolished as early as the 1940s, with even the foundations repurposed. The site has been tracked down and photographed by local Röksta historians and kindly sent by Hans Jonsson: Long winter evenings in the north, 1919-1929.

A small wall at the site of the Genberg family's croft in Rismyra,.
A small wall at the site of the Genberg family’s croft in Rismyra,. Photo: Hans Jonsson.

Rocket to the stars

In early 1950, Hjördis and David Niven were visited at their home in Pacific Palisades for a newby television cameras for a new half-hour series / elongated series of Oldsmobile adverts called ‘Rocket to the Stars’.

Not only has the programme survived, but it can be viewed on YouTube, in excellent quality. Hjördis is shown young, beautiful and charming, as well as excited and very nervous. David is, of course, entirely at ease throughout.

Book corner

Next, a book recommendation: ‘In My Own Fashion’ by Oleg Cassini. Oleg became a leading fashion designer, married movie star Gene Tierney, and was of course Igor Cassini’s brother. (Igor lured Hjördis away from her first marriage).

David pops up a couple of times, with a very direct assessment of his friendship with Errol Flynn, and a heartbreaking description of the party at which Primula Niven met with her tragic accident. ( Primmie Niven, 1918-1946 )

Hjördis is not directly mentioned in the book. Many people and places connected with her life and times in Hollywood are described, and with absolute candour. Oleg observations about life as an outsider in Hollywood add a lot colour to this website.

And finally, for now, a German edition of David’s second best-seller: ‘Bring on the Empty Horses‘, retitled ‘Stars : That Did Not Fall From The sky’.

Hjördis was not a fan of the book. The verdict was: “That’s another pack of lies”, so it’s ironic that a happily smiling Hjördis is displayed on the cover. (The photo looks like it comes from one of Princess Grace’s evening events in Monte Carlo).

Hjördis and David Niven on a German book cover, 1977
Hjördis Niven featured on the cover of the 1977 German edition of ‘Bring On The Empty Horses].

For other book reviews, check out the The Hjördis Niven bookshelf.

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