07 October 2008

Death of a Beauty Queen: Miss Sweden Hellevi Rombin

She is really stunning. Beauty superiority is written all over her face. The woman in the picture is Hellevi Rombin, the first Swedish winner of the Miss Universe pageant and the second Scandinavian winner after Finland's Armi Kuusela.

But where is she now? Does anyone know?

Hellevi Rombin Schine is gone, but as long as beauty is celebrated, her legacy will be remembered.

That is her tomb now.

Hellevi Rombin died in a plane crash in June 19, 1996 (Many are actually writing she died in June 20, 1996). She was on board a privately owned aircraft piloted by her 32 year-old son. She and her son died together with her second husband, US former senator David Schine in Los Angeles in Southern California.

Her death was overshadowed by that of her husband, who was a successful and controversial man, but pageant fans remembered her as Sweden's Hellevi Rombin, Miss Universe 1955.

She was 64. Her husband was 69 and their son, Berndt, was 35.

Let's take a look about her short background before and after winning the crown in 1955.

The second Scandinavian delegate to win the title, Hellevi was a very athletic individual. After her reign as Miss Universe, she went on with a movie career in Hollywood and eventually married a movie produced.

Hellevi Rombin was an extraordinary athlete as well as a stunning woman. She was the Swedish national decathlon champion before being crowned Miss Sweden. Photographs of her as Miss Universe are still striking for the warmth they seem to exude. In some, she appears almost angelic, reminiscent of her fellow Swede Ingrid Bergman playing Joan of Arc.

Ms. Rombin married Schine in 1957, and they had six children. He was at the center of the great McCarthy controversy of the 1950s, allied with Sen. Joseph McCarthy and lawyer Roy Cohn in political warfare that eventually destroyed McCarthy's career. Schine then went on to success in the motion picture business, serving as executive producer of "The French Connection" in 1971. (Cohn, coincidentally, later became a confidant of the young Donald Trump.)

Below is the complete list of the courts of Hellevi:

1st runner-up Maribel Arrieta EL SALVADOR
2nd runner-up Maureen Hingert CEYLON
3rd runner-up Margut Nunke GERMANY
4th runner-up Keiko Takahashi JAPAN


Hilda Isabel Sarli Gorrindo ARGENTINA
Nicole De Mayer BELGIUM
Emilia Barreto Correa Lima BRAZILl
Cathy Diggles CANADA
Margaret Rowe ENGLAND
Maria del Rosario Molina Chacon GUATEMALA
Pastera Pagan Valenzuela HONDURAS
Solveig Borstad NORWAY
Carlene King Johnson USA
Carmen Susana Duijm Zubillaga VENEZUELA

Venezuela's Carmen Zubillaga, a semi-finalist, went on to win the Miss World 1955 crown later on in the year. This is also one of the few years we saw Sri Lanka, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Belgium as strong competitiors.