I think Sonja Henie and Maribel Vinson Owen were the Mothers of Modern skating. Sonja was the "Michelle Kwan" of her day (or, Michelle is the Sonja of ours...more correctly), lighting up the ice with impishness, beauty, grace, and then glamor. She forced everyone to watch women skate...as more than just an addendum to the men's competition....and then everyone couldn't stop watching. I love watching her old tapes and movies. Her stills are major "pinup" material still. Sonja packaged skating for Hollywood and a growing figure skating fan base, and then Maribel Vinson Owen came along and packaged it all as a coach, after her long, unrivaled competitive career. She gave the sport to us in the USA, made it obtainable as an athlete, made it available for everyone else to watch, study, enjoy.
The male skater I miss the most is Waggenhoffer. He was pure energy.
Having said all that, who can tell us about that English woman's skater (who beat Maribel?) Cecelia Coolidge? What was she like?