The Start of Sondi

sondi, baby name, thai, television, beauty queen
Sondi on “Adventures In Paradise” in 1960

The Sandy-like name Sondi debuted in the U.S. data in 1959 and saw the most usage during the early 1960s:

  • 1962: 7 baby girls named Sondi
  • 1961: 26 baby girls named Sondi
  • 1960: 10 baby girls named Sondi
  • 1959: 5 baby girls named Sondi [debut]
  • 1958: unlisted

Where did it come from?

A beauty queen from Thailand who trying her hand at acting in America.

There was no Miss Thailand contest held in 1959, so Sodsai Vanijvadhana was hand-picked to represent her country at the 1959 Miss Universe contest in Long Beach, California. She competed as “Sondi Sodsai,” and though she didn’t place, she was voted Miss Friendship (aka Miss Congeniality) by her fellow contestants.

The same year, she started making appearances (still as Sondi Sodsai) on U.S. TV shows like Mike Hammer, The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, and Groucho Marx’s You Bet Your Life. She also released an album of exotica music on Liberty Records called Sondi.

Her most notable TV role was on the series Adventures in Paradise (1959-1962) as the recurring character “Sondi,” who appeared primarily in 1960.

She eventually returned to Thailand and became a renowned drama teacher (as Sodsai Pantoomkomol, which is her married name). The drama school at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok is now named the Sodsai Pantoomkomol Centre for Dramatic Arts. In 2011, Sodsai was named a National Artist of Thailand.

So which Thai beauty queen baby name do you like better: Sondi or Apasra?

Sources: Sodsai Pantoomkomol – Wikipedia, Miss Thailand 1959 Sodsai Vanijvadhana: Bangkok

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