Some casting directors must have been watching the Miss Universe contest held on August 1, 1964. Sixty contestants from around the world flocked to Miami Beach for the 13th annual pageant.
Corinna Tsopei, Miss Greece, took home the Miss Universe sash and title. She later popped up as Princess Reyka in the Lost in Space episode “Castles in Space.” The third runner-up, Siv Märta Åberg of Sweden, found even more roles.
Not all of the women aspired to act. Bobbi Johnson, Miss U.S.A., went on to become a computer programmer for General Electric.
But back to Miss Sweden. Billed as Sivi Aberg, she appeared in a handful of classic episodes. You might not have realized it was the same performer.
Aberg made her American acting debut on Batman in 1966. She played Mimi, one of the three molls to Chandell (Liberace) in “The Devil’s Fingers”/”The Dead Ringers.” But her more memorable turn as a baddie in Gotham undoubtedly came in the camp gem “Surf’s Up! Joker’s Under!” She was the Joker’s henchwoman Undine. That beach blast featured Aberg sporting a silver swimsuit and speaking into a hot dog radio.
A year later, Aberg could be found in “LeBeau and the Little Old Lady,” a Hogan’s Heroes yarn centered around LeBeau (Robert Clary). The French ally is keeping a secret from the rest of the Stalag 13 gang. He claims to be having rendezvous with an underground agent who is an elderly crank. Turns out, of course, that this “Little Old Lady” is a stunning blonde beauty. Celeste Yarnall plays that character, Wilhelmina. You know her best from Star Trek, as the Redshirt Martha Landon in “The Apple.” Aberg plays Juliana and shares some scenes with Hogan himself.
This was not the last time we saw Aberg in a military comedy. Skip forward five years and find Aberg flirting with Hawkeye Pierce in “Dear Dad… Three.”
At the end of this MAS*H story, Trapper John introduces Aberg to Hawkeye as a nurse from “the Swedish unit.”
Hawkeye (Alan Alda) begins to sing “Makin’ Whoopee” to himself.
“What is that? Whoopee?” Aberg asks. “I’ll be with you in a minute,” Hawkeye says back with a grin.
Just this year, Aberg would face the cameras once again in Hollywood, albeit in a much different manner. She was on hand to celebrate Burt Ward receiving his star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame. Looks like Robin forgave his enemies.