John Walsh and Sonja Hennie in a publicity photo for the Hollywood Ice Revue of 1951
Courtesy of Natalie Leduc 

Born: 1922 in Saranac Lake

Died: November 1, 2007

Married: Sylvia


John R. Walsh was a son of John H. Walsh and Imogene R. Walsh, and the grandson of Dr. John C. Russell.

He toured professionally as the figure skating partner of the Olympic champion Sonja Henie.

At 13 he became a competitive figure skater; he was a featured performer in the Lake Placid Skating Club's ice revues.

He served as an Army glider pilot during World War II. After the war, he auditioned for Sonja Henie's professional figure skating shows, and was signed as a principal for the shows.

An ice show at the Curling Club, c. 1940. Left to right: Phyllis Krinovitz (Feinberg), Natalie Bombard (Leduc), Pat Smith, Ruth Lamy, Bernadette Harrigan, Helen Rankin, Alice Walsh Kennedy, John Walsh, Phyllis Horton, Bob Walsh, Jewel Smith, Phyllis McKillip.
Courtesy of Natalie Leduc



In 1950 he become Henie's partner for her Hollywood Ice Revue, and the pair skated in more than 1,200 performances over the next three years. In 1954 he retired from professional skating and joined CBS-TV as a publicity director for the dramatic series Playhouse 90. In 1960, he started a public relations firm that represented Noël Coward, Judy Garland, Helen Hayes, Cole Porter, Jack Benny, Lucille Ball, Rita Hayworth, Ethel Merman and Carol Burnett, among others.