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May Britt Profile

May Britt
May Britt
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(Maybritt Wilkens)
22 March 34 is born in Lidinga, Sweden. Her father, Hugo Brigg-Wilkens, is a postal clerk; her mother, a housewife.
c. 40 her sister Margot is born
? works as a photographer's laboratory assistant in the Stockholm suburb where she was born
52 is discovered by producer Carlo Ponti at a retouching studio in Italy
? is one of 50 actresses auditioned by Ponti for Yolanda, Daughter of the Black Pirate
? chaperoned by her mother, she's off to Rome for the filming of Yolanda, Daughter of the Black Pirate
5 - 7 March 54 takes part in the most glamorous auto race in the history of San Remo, Italy. Drivers include Valentina Cortese and Richard Basehart, Silvana Pampanini and Moriz Ergas, Marina Berti and Claudio Gora, Elena Varzi and Raf Vallone, and Bruce Cabot. Other starlets attending are Miriam Bru, Antonella Lualdi, Milly Vitale, and Lea Padovani.
c. 57 goes to the States after 5 years of contract to Carlo Ponti in Italy
57 is squired around town by Montgomery Clift. He escorts her to the Hollywood premiere of Raintree Country.
August 57 she and fellow Swedish starlet Ingrid Goude are visitors on TV's "Panorama Pacific"
58 is reported to have dated the Earl of Suffolk, publisher Bob Peterson and Spanish banker Antonio Munoz
January 58 dates George Gregson, a distinguished widower and Southern California real estate millionaire
? at a dinner party given by Gregson, she meets his son Edwin, who is returning from Panama. Edwin left Stanford University in 1957 to follow an acting career, getting a small part in The Naked and the Dead.
? spends a lot of time with young Gregson on the Strip and in Malibu

22 February 58 marries Edwin "Eddie" Janas Gregson in Tijuana, Mexico. He's 19; she's 23.
? she and Gregson rent a little house way up in the Canyon
March 58 columnist Harrison Carroll tells: "Dick Powell is playing cupid. He has arranged it so that May Britt won't have to go to The Hunters location in Arizona, so she can complete her honeymoon with Eddie Gregson..."
is among the visitors on the set during the filming of The Fly at 20th Century-Fox
? she and Gregson part for the first time when she returns to Sweden alone and he’s off to a movie assignment
June 58 returns to the States. Her sister Margot will follow her on July 1.
Fall 58 she and Gregson look for a house in Palo Alto. Gregson is reported leaving the film business to embark upon a law career.
Late October 58 is sent to New York for publicity appearances for The Hunters. There she resumes photography courses.
? for two months, Gregson serves with the Air National Guard in San Antonio, Texas
? wins the part in The Blue Angel over Marilyn Monroe
January 59 home again, Gregson enrolls at Stanford. She and her husband rent a little cottage by the sea.
? Gregson's parents insist they move into a fashionable Bel Air mansion while she’s filming The Blue Angel
Summer 59 plans to visit Sweden with her husband, who surprises her with his upcoming summer classes at Stanford
? asks her husband not to visit the set when she's singing for The Blue Angel
? she and Gregson announce a separation
? refuses to do The Seven Thieves. Her part goes to Joan Collins.
Early August 59 Greta Garbo gives her a big bow at New York's Sherry-Netherlands
August 59 columnist Dorothy Kilgallen reports: "May Britt's split with her husband Ed Gregson wasn't much of a surprise to local cafe-goers, who observed her cocktailing and handholding with a famed flicker actor..."
Late August 59 Kilgallen notes her dating Gregson again
8 September 59 she and Gregson separate for good
10 September 59 files for divorce from Gregson in Santa Monica after a 19-month marriage. She charges she found it impossible to continue both her marriage and her career while her husband was attending Stanford University at Palo Alto.
29 September 59 wins an interlocutory divorce decree from Gregson in Santa Monica
October 59 says she has an offer to do a Bob Hope TV show but doesn't know whether the studio will allow her to accept

November 59 Kilgallen tells: "May Britt may be linked with any number of beaus for publicity reasons but her chief adorer, a Hollywood VIP, is likely to remain far, far in the background..."
January 60 attends Dinah Shore's last night performance at the Cloisters with George Englund
Kilgallen knows: "George Englund, former swain of British cutie Joan Collins, now seems twice as gone over May Britt - an that is extremely gone..."
March 60 tells columnist Earl Carroll at the Sherry-Netherlands: "My name is My! I hate to be called May!" After finishing Murders, Inc. at Filmways Studio, 127th Street and 2nd Avenue, she is expected to return to Hollywood and afterwards to Hawaii "to board a surf at Waikiki."
16 April 60 in New York, she declines to confirm or to deny reports that she and Sammy Davis, Jr., are planning marriage. Davis' name is linked romantically with her since shortly after he and a 21-year-old Canadian white singer, Joan Stewart / Stuart, broke off an engagement.
May 60 her ex, Gregson, is seen around with actress Cara Williams
heads for London, where Davis is making his first appearance as an entertainer. "She's still telling friends she'll probably become Mrs. D."
columnist Walter Winchell tells: "May Britt flies to Sweden soon to visit her kin. Then she will take her father to London to meet Sammy Davis, Jr., her next groom, in November..."
2 June 60 after his $12,000-a-week nightclub act at the Pigalle in London, Davis has to face insults from British fascists. About 30 followers of Sir Oswald Mosley wave banners saying "Go home, Nigger" and "Get divorced first, Slag," heaping abuse on him for his plans to marry her in London in September after her divorce is final.
3 June 60 Davis suggests she go to Paris for a few days. Before leaving London, she tells the press that her love for Davis cannot be destroyed by fascist hate attacks against their marriage plans.
6 June 60 at a news conference in London she and Davis announce plans to marry after her divorce becomes final. He's 5-foot-6-inches tall; she's 5-foot-7. He's 34; she's 24. He's a convert to the Jewish faith, but she says she will remain a Protestant.
her father arrives in London to meet Davis
? she and Davis are booed publicly in London during his stage show act
20 June 60 a 20th Century-Fox spokesman says in Hollywood that her contract won't be renewed when the option falls due this summer. The studio refuses to say if the action is a result of her plans to marry Davis. "Let's put it this way," the spokesman says, "Her picture, The Blue Angel, didn't set any records at the box office. We don't believe we have any further properties that would suit her."
21 June 60 20th Century-Fox denies plans to drop her. Production chief Buddy Adler assures that "May Britt is under long-term contract to 20th Century-Fox and there is no factual basis for any story the studio is terminating her contract."
28 September 60 her divorce from Gregson becomes final. Gregson will commit suicide at age 61 in June 2000 in South Pasadena, California.
Early October 60 is with Davis in Las Vegas but goes to Los Angeles four days a week to take religious instruction from Sammy's rabbi
16 October 60 her scheduled Hollywood wedding has to be postponed until November 13 due to technicalities involving her divorce from Gregson
17 October 60 a spokesman for Hollywood's Temple Israel announces that she was accepted into the faith of Judaism
25 October 60 three youths wearing swastika arm bands parade outside the Huntington Hartford Theater where Davis is appearing. Officers take them into protective custody and then release them.
9 November 60 she and Davis take out their marriage license in Los Angeles
13 November 60 marries Sammy Davis, Jr., at his Hollywood home above Sunset Strip. He's 34; she's 26; the press gives her age as 24. The Jewish rites are performed by Rabbi William M. Kramer of Hollywood's Temple Israel. Frank Sinatra is best man, and Mrs. George Rhodes, wife of Davis' musical manager, is matron of honor. She almost misses her wedding when a severe attack of intestinal flu with a 103-degree fever beds her hours before the ceremony. After the rites she returns to bed, and Davis goes solo to a reception at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Among the 200 guests are Peter Lawford and his wife, sister of President-elect Kennedy; Diana Dors; Barbara Rush; Jack Kelly; Mrs. Dean Martin; Peter Brown; Louis Quinn; Janet Leigh; Leo Durocher; Shirley MacLaine; Milton Berle; and Edward G. Robinson, Jr.
Mid-December 60 Dorothy Kilgallen ponders: "Scuttlebutt from the Clan indicates Frank Sinatra and chums will take over a whole floor of Washington's best hotels for the inauguration ceremonies in January. Big question: Since the nation's capital isn't very integrated will Sammy Davis, Jr., be allowed to share a suite with his bride, May Britt?"
December 60 is reported expecting
January 61 returns to Los Angeles from New York due to illness
5 July 61 gives birth to her daughter, Tracey Hillivi, at the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital. She will become a producer and write a book in 1996 describing Davis as an absentee father.
10 July 61 she and Davis are noted bringing their baby home from the hospital in his Rolls Royce
Early August 61 she and Davis are among Sinatra's Clan leaving for a 10-day vacation at the French Riviera home of President Kennedy's father, Boston multi-millionaire Joseph P. Kennedy. The party consists of Sinatra, the Dean Martins, the Peter Lawfords and Janet Leigh.
25 November 61 is off to Sweden with her four-month-old daughter to visit her parents
Late January 62 is noted doing the Twist at her husband's closing at the Copa and is reported expecting again
January 62 she and Davis are among the guests at the rainy Hollywood premiere of West Side Story
April 62 columnist Hedda Hopper talks with Davis at the Sands in Las Vegas to check a rumor that he and May are separating. "Nothing could be further from the truth," Davis says. "I'm closing here and the next day we leave for Seattle for our first honeymoon."
May 62 she and Davis are off to Rome for a week's vacation
November 62 she and Davis adopt two-and-a-half-year-old Mark Sidney in Los Angeles. He will become a film editor. Davis says that he and his wife plan to adopt two or three more Afro-American children in the future.
May 63 she and Davis attend a mass civil rights rally at Los Angeles' Wrigley Field and are greeted by Integration leader Martin Luther King
June 63 Davis buys her some Balmain dresses during his solo stay in Paris
21 June 63 is attending a movie premiere when three men posing as policemen force their way into the Davis' home. They tie up a nurse and take a $15,000 diamond necklace and at least seven jeweled watches. Davis is working in Las Vegas.
23 December 63 she and her husband entertain Bing Crosby and his wife, actress Kathryn Grant
May 64 is reported joining Davis at their plush off-5th Avenue apartment in New York City
Mid-February 65 she and Davis adopt 4-month-old Jeff, secured through a Los Angeles adoption service. He will become a librarian.
attends a New York City costume party as Vampira; Davis shows up as the Hunchback of Notre Dame
June 65 she and Davis are pictured at El Morocco running into Ann-Margret and Roger Smith
July 65 columnist Earl Wilson knows: "Sammy Davis' wife May Britt returned home to Sammy from a 3-weeks Lake Tahoe vacation - squelching silly rumors that started when she left..."
November 65 is off to Sweden to "show the latest baby to her parents"
December 65 Wilson tells that Benay Venuta teaches her the fine art of painting
Early July 66 she and the children are off to Lake Tahoe "for her annual vacation and painting safari..."
August 66 her husband's recording company MBD is named after her, May Britt Davis
September 66 is back in New York after Lake Tahoe to enter Mark and Tracy in school
May 67 returns to acting for an NBC Danny Thomas anthology drama. Davis gives his approval.
Late summer 67 flies to London to discuss their problems with Davis
1 November 67 separates from Davis. He moves out; she stays at their $320,000 Bel Air home.
24 November 67 she and Davis announce in Las Vegas that they will do a trial separation after seven years of marriage. "May told me she wanted a trial separation," Davis says. "And I must admit it comes as a big blow to me."
December 67 Wilson tells that friends of hers hope she and Davis will reconcile over the holidays
June 68 Wilson knows that she and "the Nevada doctor she met while on a painting vacation at Lake Tahoe are keeping their plans a secret pending their legal termination of their own marriages..."
August 68 sues Davis for divorce in Santa Monica saying Davis "inflicted great anguish and mental suffering" upon her causing illness and unhappiness. The action comes four days after Frank Sinatra was divorced by Mia Farrow at Juarez, Mexico.
19 December 68 receives an uncontested divorce from Sammy Davis, Jr., in Santa Monica Superior Court after a three-minute-hearing. He's 43; she's 31. "I asked him to stay home but he never did," she tells Judge Laurence J. Ritterband. "There was no family life to speak of." She adds he also made her "terribly upset." She is awarded custody of their three children, Tracey, 7; Mark, 8; and Jeff, 4.
June 71 columnist Marilyn Beck knows: "It's nice to report that May's personal life is looking rosy again these days. She still lives in the Lake Tahoe home she shared with Sammy before their divorce, but her lonesome days seem over, maybe permanently. Rancher and Sahara-Tahoe executive Ron Erickson is the special guy."
October 77 resides in Lake Tahoe
? marries Len L. Ringquist. He's 4 years her senior.
? the Ringquists reside in Encino
? becomes a painter
December 00 as May Britt Ringquist, she lives in Los Angeles, California
Sources:
The Film Encyclopedia by Ephraim Katz, Made in Heaven by Victoria Houseman, The Coshocton Tribune, Oakland Tribune, The Vidette Messenger, The Gettysburg Times, Indiana Evening Gazette, Long Beach Independent, The Lima News, Nevada State Journal, The Odessa American, Chronicle-Telegram, Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, The Daily Intelligencer, The Sheboygan Press, Two Rivers Reporter, The Times Recorder, The Holland Evening Sentinel, Reno Evening Gazette, Oshkosh Northwestern, Parade, The News-Herald, The Lowell Sun, Bucks Courier County Times, The Frederick News, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Great Bend Daily Tribune, Burlington Times-News, Dell's Who's Who in Hollywood, Silver Screen, Photoplay, Modern Screen, www.Ancestry.com
Recommended Books:
The Encyclopedia of Sixties Cool by Chris Strodder
Links:
Filmography