Taina Elg

Taina Elisabeth Elg (born 9 March 1930) is a Finnish-American actress and dancer. She has appeared on stage, television, and in film.

Life and career

Elg was born in 1930 in either Impilahti, Finland (present-day Impilakhti, Russia) or Helsinki, and raised in Turku by her parents, Helena Doroumova (who was of Russian descent) and Åke Elg (or Ludwig), a Finnish pianist. She was signed to a seven-year contract to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in the mid-1950s. In 1957, she won the Golden Globe for the Foreign Newcomer Award – Female. She won another Golden Globe in 1958 for Best Motion Picture Actress – Musical/Comedy for her performance in Les Girls, tying with her co-star Kay Kendall.

In 1958, she was nominated for a Golden Laurel as Top New Female Personality. In 1959 she starred alongside Kenneth More in The 39 Steps. In 1975, she was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance as Donna Lucia D'Alvadorez in Where's Charley?. She appeared in the original Broadway production of Nine as Guido Contini's mother. In 1989, she had the title role as Lea in Chéri, from a Colette novel as adapted by Anita Loos. In 1980, she played Dr. Ingrid Fischer on CBS daytime drama soap opera Guiding Light. From 1980–82, she played Olympia Buchanan, first wife of tycoon Asa Buchanan, on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live. Her character, held prisoner by Asa for months, had a memorable death sequence, falling over a balcony at a costume party.

Personal life

Her son by her first marriage to Carl Björkenheim, which ended in divorce in 1958, is Finnish-American jazz guitarist Raoul Björkenheim. In 1982, she remarried, to Rocco Caporale, an Italian-born educator and professor of sociology. They resided in New York City.


  • The Prodigal (1955)
  • Diane (1956)
  • Gaby (1956)
  • Les Girls (1957)
  • Imitation General (1958)
  • The 39 Steps (1959)
  • Watusi (1959)
  • The Bacchantes (1961)
  • Hercules in New York (1970)
  • Liebestraum (1991)
  • The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996)

    Stage appearances

  • Look to the Lilies
  • Two By Two (U.S. national tour)
  • Nine
  • Where's Charley?
  • The Utter Glory of Morrissey Hall
  • A Little Night Music (in Australia)
  • Chéri by Colette off-Broadway, New York 1989