Vera Zorina, often credited simply as “Zorina,” was a German-Norwegian ballerina.
She was born Eva Brigitta Hartwig in Berlin in 1917 and was always called “Brigitta” by friends. But the public knew her by the Russian-sounding stage name “Vera Zorina,” which she adopted while dancing with the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo in the mid-1930s.
She was introduced to American film audiences in The Goldwyn Follies (1938). The next year, she had a starring role in On Your Toes (1939).
In response, a handful of American parents named their baby girls Zorina around that time, and the name ended up debuting on the U.S. charts:
- 1941: unlisted
- 1940: 6 baby girls named Zorina
- 1939: 6 baby girls named Zorina [debut]
- 1938: unlisted
Zorina’s film career — as well as her first marriage, to the famous choreographer George Balanchine — lasted until the mid-1940s.
The name, on the other hand, is still around. In 2015 it was given to 5 baby girls.