AFM Flashback: Santa Monica Once Held a Competitor to the Globes

Tony Curtis with Janet Leigh at Henriettas —  Jan. 26, 1952 — Getty — H 2019

Journalists in the Hollywood Foreign Correspondent Association formed their own organization called the Foreign Press Association of Hollywood, in which they then launched a competing awards show, the World Film Favorite Festival.

While the Golden Globes have taken place at the Beverly Hilton since 1961, they date to the mid-1940s, and they’ve been held everywhere from the Fox lot to Beverly Hills to Santa Monica. The story behind that last site is a little complicated — and involves a mutiny among the membership.

In 1950, some journalists in the Hollywood Association of Foreign Correspondents — the Golden Globes' voting body — decided to break away and form their own organization, the Foreign Press Association of Hollywood. The FPAH launched its own awards show, the World Film Favorite Festival, with the first ceremony taking place in Palm Springs on Jan. 27, 1951. The group created a trophy — an angel hovering above a globe suspended by four pillars — and named it the Henrietta, for its president, Henry Gris. The second Henriettas were held at the Del Mar Club in Santa Monica on Jan. 26, 1952, and featured a redesigned statuette: a tall (comically so) naked woman holding a flower and wearing her hair pulled back in a bun. Among the winners that year for best young box office personality were Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Mitzi Gaynor.

Two years later, the HAFC, which was still holding the Globes each year, came to an agreement with the FPAH, and the groups agreed to hold a joint awards show. At the Del Mar Club on Jan. 22, 1954, Grace Kelly won for best supporting actress in Mogambo, Spencer Tracy won best actor for The Actress, Frank Sinatra won best supporting actor for From Here to Eternity and Ethel Merman won best actress, comedy or musical, for Call Me Madam. Monroe received one of two Henriettas that night for "world film favorite." The following year, the groups merged as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, putting an end to the Henriettas for good.

This story first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter's Nov. 9 daily issue at the American Film Market.