Notable Norwegians: Eva Norvind
Eva Norvind was born Eva Johanne Chegodayeva Sakonsky in Trondheim, Norway, in 1944. She was a writer, producer, director, and actress. At the age of 15, she moved to France with her mother and brother, where she won second prize in the beauty contest at the Cannes Film Festival that helped her get a role in the film Saint Tropez Blues. She then joined the cast of the Folies Bergere and appeared in the play A School for Scandal at the Comédie-Française.
In 1962, Norvind moved to Canada and then to New York City, where at the age of 18 she worked as a Playboy Bunny and a Can-Can dancer. She finished high school in 1964 and then moved to Mexico City to study Spanish. She was there recruited as an actress and made seven films in Mexico.
Norvind created controversy in Mexico for speaking out in defense of birth control on National Television. She was asked to leave the country by the Mexican government, but the National Association of Actors came to her defense, so she was able to stay but forbidden to appear on television for one year. During that time she performed in two plays.
In 1968, Norvind became a photographer for fashion and celebrity news, traveling to Paris and New York City. She wrote film articles and worked on the distribution of Mexican films to Scandinavia.
After giving birth to a daughter, Norvind went on to study film at NYU and later obtain a master’s degree in Human Sexuality, also from NYU. She gave lectures about erotic play to both health professionals and general audiences.
Eva died by drowning on May 14, 2006, in Zipolite, Mexico. Her final film, a documentary called Born Without (Nacido sin), garnered several awards at film festivals after her death. She was the writer, director, and producer of the film, which explores the life of a severely handicapped actor and musician.
This article originally appeared in the April 21, 2017, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.