Briefly an important featured player and discovery of Sam Goldwyn’s, Sigrid Gurie ultimately chose a career as a painter. This work dates from the period when she was studying painting while acting in films. Art 12 1/2″ x 16, framed 19 x 24.
Sigrid Gurie (May 18, 1911 – August 14, 1969) was a Norwegian American motion picture actress from the late 1930s to early 1940s.
She was born Sigrid Gurie Haukelid in Brooklyn, New York to Bjørulf Knutson Haukelid (1878–1944) and Sigrid Johanne Christophersen (1877–1969). Her father was a civil engineer who worked for the New York City Subway from 1902 to 1912. Since Sigrid Gurie and her twin brother Knut Haukelid were born in America, the twins held dual Norwegian-American citizenship. In 1914, the family returned to Norway. Sigrid Gurie subsequently grew up in Oslo and was educated in Norway, Sweden and Belgium. In 1935 Gurie married Thomas Stewart of California; she filed for divorce in 1938. Her brother became a noted member of the Norwegian resistance movement during World War II.
In 1936, Gurie arrived in Hollywood. Film magnate Sam Goldwyn reportedly took credit for discovering her, promoting his discovery as “the new Garbo” and billed her as “the siren of the fjords”. When the press discovered Gurie’s birth in Flatbush, Goldwyn then claimed “the greatest hoax in movie mystery.” She starred as Kokashin, daughter of Kublai Khan, in the 1938 production of The Adventures of Marco Polo, and went on to give worthwhile performances in such films as Algiers (1938), Three Faces West (1940) and Voice in the Wind (1944). She had a minor role in the classic Norwegian film Kampen om tungtvannet (1948). The movie was based principally on the book Skis Against the Atom which was written by her brother.
In the late 1940s she attended the Kann Art Institute, operated in West Hollywood by abstract artist Frederick I. Kann (1886–1965). She studied oils and portraiture. Among her works were landscapes, portraits and pen and ink sketches.
From 1961 to 1969 she lived in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where she continued painting, and was also designing jewelry for Royal Copenhagen in Denmark. She entered the hospital in Mexico City on an emergency basis for a recurring kidney problem, then developed a blood clot that passed through her lungs, which led to her death.