ERNA OLINGER

Using the pen name Erna Olinger, Erna Segal wrote three novels: The Ademian Line, the science thriller BioHazard Red, and the psychological thriller Transfers. She also wrote her autobiography Memoirs In Toe Shoes, The Unabashed Autobiography of "Chiquita" of the World-Famous Dance Team "Chiquita & Johnson" which covers the first 23 years of her life and her meteoric career as a dancer in the 1950s and early 60s when Chiquita & Johnson was the most sought-after opening act in show business. With their breathtaking ballet-adagio and unparalleled dazzling lifts, jumps and acrobatic moves, Chiquita and Johnson were show-stoppers who thrilled audiences coast to coast.

Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1938, Erna began dancing when she was three and at twelve received a scholarship to join the Bolshoi Ballet. Instead of going to Moscow, she teamed up with John von Kralik, aka Jonny Johnson, a man thirty years her senior, and headed to America. Their first appearance in the States was on The Ed Sullivan Show.

For over a decade they played every major hotel and nightclub in the country: The Latin Quarter in New York and Miami, the Fontainebleau and Eden Roc in Miami, the Dunes, Flamingo, Tropicana and Sahara in Las Vegas, Palmer House in Chicago and Cocoanut Grove in Los Angeles.

They worked with a who's who in show business including Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lewis, Jack Benny, Red Skelton, Perry Como, Carol Channing, Andy Williams, Lena Horne, Eydie Gorme, and Liberace. They were on all the major TV shows at the time from Jack Benny's Shower of Stars to The Red Skelton Show, The Perry Como Show, and The Colgate Comedy Hour, and were on the Sullivan show many times.

Tired of traveling and living in hotels, Erna left her dance career at age 23 and started writing. It was at this time she met and married Daniel Segal. Together they opened ASC Films, a boutique film distribution company. They were also writing and producing TV shows including Man Isn't Dying of Thirst for PBS, the NBC Primetime Special Dan Haggerty Goes To The Circus and Umberto's Circus, a Czech-German co-production.

Speaking six languages, Erna translated into English the best-selling German novel Burning Sand by C.C. Bergius and the classic sci-fi novel The House of a Thousand Floors by Jan Weiss from Czech.

Living in Malibu and writing novels, she also co-wrote screenplays with her husband Daniel Segal including The Medici, the true story of the conspiracy to assassinate Lorenzo de Medici and his brother Giuliano during the Italian Renaissance, and The Prague Affair, aka The Impresario, based on the earlier daring exploits of her partner John von Kralik during WWII as an international impresario in Prague.

In 2002, Erna was told she had Hepatitis C and needed a liver transplant. It was while she was awaiting the transplant at the UCLA Medical Center that she contracted Aspergillosis from the Aspergillus fumigatus mold at the hospital. She passed away a few days later on April 5, 2003, the day before her 65th birthday.

The soft cover edition of The Ademian Line was published in May, 2003 followed by BioHazard Red, and Transfers. Memoirs In Toe Shoes was published in hardcover with 48 pages of photographs. FictionSpin next published The Ademian Line in hardcover to accommodate the many requests for a hardcover edition. All of these books are published by FictionSpin.

LSD: The Highway To Mental Health, which Erna co-wrote with Czech psychiatrist Dr. Milan Hausner, was published in September, 2009 by ASC Books, the science imprint of FictionSpin Publishing.

 

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