Question: Do you know who played the oceanographer on the TV series Flipper? Michelle, Norfolk, Va.
Televisionary: That was Swedish stunner Ulla Stromstedt, who was a junior ice-skating champ in her native country and an art student at the Sorbonne before breaking into American TV. And it was a shame she had to memorize scripted lines since what she came up with on her own was far more bizarre and fascinating (even after allowing for the slight language barrier). A sample of how her mind worked:
"I am conscientious and I want to come through tops," she told TV Guide in 1966. Flipper doesnt' really demand much of the actor, it doesn't have much to say. I think it was Voltaire who said, 'There are two types of people: the worried and the bored.' I'd rather be worried. Being an actress, I worry with a smooth face. Very often I feel like crying. I have been crying a lot because I like it. But when you cry, you ruin your face. I have learned, from people who have had many sorrows, that you can cry within you don't have to be biological about it."
Now, I don't know about you, but the dolphin be damned I'd have loved to see more of a woman who can insult her own show, jump to a Voltaire quote and then quickly move to a discussion about weeping only on the inside. But maybe that's just me.
Flipper ran on NBC for four years beginning in September 1964. Stromstedt was only around for the second season.