The Henrietta Mystery Solved

by Elisa Leonelli August 25, 2015

1952: Alan Ladd and Esther Williams

HFPA

HFPA archivist Elisa Leonelli investigates a little-known chapter in Golden Globes history.

There has been some confusion about the Henrietta Awards, at times co-mingled with the Golden Globes, so we did archival research in the early history of the HFPA, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, to solve the mystery.

In 1950 a group of journalists split from the HFCA, Hollywood Foreign Correspondent Association, founded in 1943, to form the FPAH, Foreign Press Association of Hollywood.

They sponsored their first World Film Favorite Festival, held in Palm Springs on January 27, 1951, and handed out awards in various categories, that they called Henriettas, after the name of their President, Henry Gris. The trophy was an angel above a globe raised on four tall pillars.

By the time of their second award show, held January 26, 1952 at the Del Mar Club in Santa Monica, a new statuette had been designed, a tall naked woman holding a flower. Alan Ladd and Esther Williams, the two World Favorite winners, determined by a worldwide poll of 900 newspapers, magazines and radio stations, were handed golden Henriettas by the previous year’s winners, Gregory Peck and Jane Wyman. Six newcomers received silver Henriettas for “Best Young Box Office Personality”. One was Marilyn Monroe, the other 5 were: Leslie Caron, Tony Curtis, John Derek, Mitzi Gaynor, Patrice Wymore. At the third World Film Favorite Festival, held February 14, 1953 at the Del Mar Club in Santa Monica, the golden Henrietta winners were John Wayne and Susan Hayward.

In the meantime, the HFCA continued to hold their Golden Globe Awards, celebrating their 10th anniversary in 1953. By 1954 the 2 groups had bridged their differences and held a joint ceremony, January 22, 1954 at Del Mar Club in Santa Monica. In 1955 they merged under the name HFPA. The Henrietta trophy was discarded, but a special award called World Film Favorite, determined according to the result of a worldwide survey by the Reuters News Bureau, was given until 1980. The trophy was a Golden Globe surmounted by an angel.

im01-1953-johnwayne_susanhayworth.jpgim02-1953-henrietta-monroe.jpg

1953: John Wayne and Susan Heyworth 1952: Henrietta to Marilyn Monroe