Santa Fe Living Treasures – Elder Stories

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Eve Gentry



Honored June 1989

Henrietta 'Eve' Gentry

I always wanted to dance, but I was such a shy child that I never told anyone," said Eve Gentry. "I was also very skinny, and I wouldn't eat. My mother decided that maybe if I took dancing, I'd get an appetite. She didn't realize I was going to get an appetite to dance."

The youngest of five children, Henrietta Greenhood was born in Los Angeles in 1909. She took the professional name Eve Gentry in 1942, on marrying her childhood friend, Bruce Gentry, a printer and publisher. Eve's parents both left Europe as teenagers in the 1880s and met when her father came to the door selling Singer sewing machines. They married in Buffalo, New York and moved to Los Angeles and later San Bernardino, California, because Eve's mother suffered from asthma.

Eve was eight when she began studying ballet, folk, and ballroom dancing "from a peroxide-dyed blonde, young girl from Hollywood," who came to San Bernardino on Saturdays, she said. "1 decided I would be a dancer, although I had no idea what it meant to be a dancer. I'd never seen a real dancer. I just focused all of my attention on dancing."

She was in high school when an established Russian ballet teacher from Hollywood came to San Bernardino to teach a class and offered Eve a scholarship to come to Hollywood to live and study.