Get to know Hillevi Rombin: Miss Universe 1955
Hillevi Rombin Schine (September 14, 1933 – June 19, 1996), crowned as Miss Sweden and is the fourth winner of Miss Universe in 1955. She was crowned Miss Sweden Universe 1955 by Miss Sweden Universe 1954, Ragnhild Olausson. She was the first deceased Miss Universe title holder since the pageant's inception.
She grew up in Uppsala, Uppland and was the Swedish national decathlon champion before she competed in the pageant. A remarkable athlete, Rombin excelled in gymnastics, track & field, and downhill skiing. After winning the pageant, she left Sweden for Hollywood to fulfill her acting contract with Universal Pictures, part of the prize package as Miss Universe.
She studied acting along with John Gavin, Clint Eastwood, and Barbara Eden, among the other contract actors. Universal put her in a couple films, with just one or two lines, to give her some exposure and experience. She was credited for small speaking roles in two films. In The Benny Goodman Story (1955) she asks for an autograph and in Istanbul (1957) she appears as a flight attendant near the film's end.
During her year reign as Miss Universe, while traveling around the U.S., she met her future husband G. David Schine, whose family was in the hotel business and would later himself be in the film and music businesses. She discontinued her acting career in order to focus on married life, soon starting a large family with Schine. They had six children, and their marriage lasted almost 40 years until their deaths together in 1996.
She, her husband, and one of their sons died in a plane crash in 1996, the result of an engine failure shortly after take off. She was 62 years old and the first Miss Universe to pass away. She and her husband and son are buried together at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.