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Tapio Rautavaara
  • Biography

Tapio Rautavaara

The multitalented Tapio Rautavaara (March 8, 1915 - September 25, 1979) of Finland was successful and famous as an athlete, performing artist and actor. He won the gold medal in the javelin at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London and many other top placements in international javelin competitions. He was also a member of the Finnish winning team in the archery World Championships of 1958. Picture on the right is an official fan picture from 1946, that highlighted both of his roles.

His mellow, sentimental recordings are still somewhat popular. His version of the Johnny Cash mainstay I Walk the Line given the title Yölinjalla (and transformed into a song about a long haul truck-driver) is one of the most frequently played recordings played on the radio on nights. Another perennial favorite is his recording of the Reino Helismaa's song Päivänsäde ja Menninkäinen (about a sprite of daylight and a nocturnal troll, and their doomed romance).

Rautavaara acted in numerous Finnish films, and was also supposedly a candidate for the part of Tarzan after Johnny Weissmuller quit his career.

His memorial is located in the centre of Helsinki's Oulunkylä district, where Rautavaara spent most of his life.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.

Tapio Rautavaara Facts

OccupationActor, Athlete, Musician
BirthdayMarch 8, 1915
Date of deathSeptember 25, 1979 (age 64)

Selected Filmography

Kulkuri ja Joutsen (1999) as Tapio Raautavaara (biography)
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