c. 35

She is born in Sipske, Moravice, Yugoslavia,
to a Turkish father and an Italian mother.
Her father will become the governor of the island
of Lastovo, in the Adriatic Sea; her brother,
a major in the Yugoslavian army.
? As a schoolgirl, she spends her summer vacations
working on the railroad as some type of limited
pre-army training.
c. 49 Is a junior swimming champion at age 14
? Becomes a member of the
Yugoslavian Olympic swimming team
55 When the team competes in Austria,
she refuses to return to her native country
? Makes a few movies in Austria
April 55 As Tanya Ivelya, she is a "Continental Beauty"
in Esquire together with Mari Aldon,
Vera Molnar, and Jester Naefe
? Goes with her mother to America
and seeks asylum in the States
/ enters America as a political refugee
with help of her American aunt,
after escaping from behind the Iron Curtain.
"She has been a professional architect, swimmer,
actress, fashion model and singer.
Her measurements are 36-22-36."
November 55 Columnist Earl Wilson reports her to be
's "Girl of the Month."
She speaks six languages.
? Wins her movie contract two weeks
after her arrival in Hollywood
August 57 Is "Today's Bob Neal Item:
The oil millionaire discovered her,
the Yugoslav Olympic star, who scrammed
the Iron Curtain for a Warner contract..."
March 58 Is heralded the "Voom Girl" and selected as
guest for the Naval Reserve Center's
opening at 12200 Sylvan Street, North Hollywood,
on March 28
? films Whiplash on location in Puerto Rico.
During the trip, she's put in jail in Venezuela
because she has her picture taken beside
a statue of Simon Bolivar.
February 59 Columnist Earl Wilson interviews her at
New York's Essex House bar:
"I gave my mother a TV set and $300 for a
refrigerator when she was here.
My father is governor of the Island of Lastovo,
but he doesn't make much money.
When he met me in Paris, he was in a daze.
He didn't believe this world existed.
My mother I wanted to wear my mink.
She said no, just get her a little cloth coat.
She wasn't used to American drinks. Mostly slibovitz."
? returns from Cuba with a gift of an automatic rifle.
She says the 30-caliber M1 carbine was given to
her on a recent vacation in Havana by Fidel Castro
"to use on Hollywood wolves."
18 March 59 the rifle arouses the curiosity of the Hollywood police,
who notify her that possession of the weapon is illegal
and firmly remove it from her apartment
May 59 boards a French airliner at Idlewild Airport, New York,
for Paris, en route to Vienna, Austria, to start work in a
new film, Olympia
August 60 columnist Walter Winchell asks: "Is Joe Di Maggio
planning a reprise with his used-to-be playmate,
lovely Tania Velia, now that she's a smash at the
Viennese Lantern?"
March 61 producers Griffith and Prince sign her to understudy
the star in Kuprin
July 61 leaps from song arranger Joe Sherman's smoking car
just before it explodes. She receives only bruises.
February 62 heralded a former "Miss Yugoslavia," she performs
"songs in many languages" at the Three Saints
Restaurant, Liverpool, New York

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