Gita Hall

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Gita Hall
"Wolf Larsen" (1958) Lobby Card.jpg
Gita Hall, Barry Sullivan, and Peter Graves starred in the 1958 movie "Wolf Larsen".
Born
Birgitta Wetterhall

6 September 1933
Linköping, Sweden
Died13 August 2016, age 82
Studio City, California
Spouse(s)Leslie Jackson (1954-1957, divorce)
Barry Sullivan (1958-1961, divorce)
Mitchell May (1964-2000, his death)
Children3 daughters

Gita Hall (6 September 1933 – 13 August 2016) was a Swedish-American model and actress who was the second wife of actor Barry Sullivan and a member of the "jet set" in the 1950s and 1960s.

Early years[edit]

Hall was born Birgitta Wetterhall in Linköping, Sweden.[1] The daughter of a doctor and lawyer, turned pharmacist during World War 2, Hall spoke seven languages. She worked as a model to pay tuition for her studies at a dramatic school in Sweden.[2]

She had minor roles in three Swedish movies in 1951-1952 and won the Miss Stockholm beauty pageant in 1953.[3][4] Broadway columnist and radio personality Walter Winchell "discovered" her and got her into Hollywood movies.[1] (An International News Service story published 26 February 1958, says that Hall "landed in the movies by way of producer Clarence Greene, whom she met at a party in New York.")[2]

Film[edit]

Hall's American film debut came in Don Seigel's The Gun Runners, an adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's To Have and Have Not.[4] She appeared with Sullivan in the 1958 movie Wolf Larsen.

In 2013, Hall settled a lawsuit she filed against Lionsgate, the production company behind the TV series Mad Men for using an image of her gleaned from a 1960s Revlon ad in the show's opening title credits sequence. The image was taken from a Richard Avedon photograph; the producers had secured permission from Revlon, but not from Hall.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Hall married Leslie Jackson in August 1954.[1] After they divorced, she married Sullivan in 1958; they divorced in 1961. Hall was the mother of Sullivan's daughter Birgitta ‘Patricia’ Christina. Known as Patsy, Gita’s daughter by Sullivan, followed in her footsteps and became a top model and cover girl as well, starting when she was 12. Hall later married Mitchell May III, an insurance broker and had two more daughters, Tracie and Samantha with May. He died in 2000.[6] In 2003, Gita moved from Manhattan to Century City, California to go back to acting. Hall had a short lived reality show called ‘ Old Skool’ co starring with actress Terry Moore. The show found an audience in Europe but only had a year run. Bunim Murray was the producer and distributor. Hall also appeared in on line commercials and had small parts in several network television shows. Hall was dressed to the nines in designer clothing and matched her dress for the day to fine jewelry she collected. Her daughters say, ‘Mom was the Swedish Joan Collins, she was very fancy and also quick to laugh. She was fabulous.’

Death[edit]

Hall died of liver failure in Studio City, Los Angeles. She was survived by three daughters, nine grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.[6]

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Gita Hall, Hollywood starlet – obituary". The Telegraph. 22 August 2016. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b Belser, Lee (26 February 1958). "Gita Hall Rates Nearest Approach To Greta Garbo". Corsicana Daily Sun. Texas, Corsicana. International News Service. p. 3. Retrieved 18 October 2016 – via Newspapers.com. open access publication – free to read
  3. ^ Birgitta Wetterhall in The Swedish Film Database
  4. ^ a b "Gita Hall, Swedish Actress Who Starred in 'The Gun Runners,' Dies at 82". Yahoo! Movies. The Hollywood Reporter. 15 August 2016. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Lionsgate, Ex-Model Settle 'Mad Men' Title Sequence Lawsuit (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  6. ^ a b Barnes, Mike (17 October 2016). "Gita Hall, Swedish Actress Who Starred in 'The Gun Runners,' Dies at 82". MSN Entertainment. Retrieved 19 October 2016.

External links[edit]