Laima Vaikule is a popular Latvian actress, singer, director and choreographer, best known in Europe and in the Former USSR for such popular hits as "Vernisazh" and "Charley" among other songs. She was born Laima Stanislavovna Vaikule on March 31, 1954, in Cesis, Latvian Republic. Her parents moved to Riga when she was 3. Young Laima Vaikule was fond of music and dancing. In 1966, at the age of 12, she took part in a competition of young singers and was noticed. From 1970 - 1973 she studied nursing at Medical School in Riga, and was planning to become a surgeon.