Presentation on theme: "The Dancing Queen Helen. Born Helen Richardson in Burma to an Indian father and Half Indian/Half Chinese mother on October 21, 1939, she has a brother."— Presentation transcript:
The Dancing Queen Helen
Born Helen Richardson in Burma to an Indian father and Half Indian/Half Chinese mother on October 21, 1939, she has a brother Roger and a sister Jennifer. Her father died during the Second World War. The family migrated to Mumbai in 1943 during World War II, but her mother's salary as a nurse was not enough, and Helen had to quit her schooling to support the family
Helen got her break when a family friend, an actress known as Cukoo, helped her find jobs as a chorus dancer in the films Shabistan and Awaara (1951). She was soon working regularly and was featured as a solo dancer in films such as Alif Laila (1952), Hoor-e-Arab (1953), and number "Mr. John O Baba Khan" in the film Baarish.
In 1958, she performed in the song "Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu” in Shakti Samanta's film, Howrah Bridge, which was sung by Geeta Dutt. The Bollywood playback singer Asha Bhosle frequently sang for Helen particularly during the 60s. During her initial career Geeta Dutt sang many songs for her She won nomination for the best supporting actress in 1965 for the movie 'Gumnaam.' She played dramatic roles such as the rape victim in Shakti Samanta's Pagla Kahin Ka (1970).
Nightclub dances in the 1950s and cabaret numbers in the 1960 and the 1970s stablished Helen as a skilled Western dancer. But many of her semi-classical Indian dances like Tora man bada paapi (Ganga Jumna) and Ghungarwa mora chham chham baaje (Zindagi), were also successful.
Helen's looks also proved to be a major obstacle when she tried to make it as a heroine. She played leading lady to heroes ranging from Chandrashekhar (in the sleeper success Cha Cha Cha, where she got to warble numbers like Do badan pyar ki aag mein jal gaye) to Amitabh (Imaan Dharam) -- but, strangely, the devil gave Helen her due only when she was portraying a shade of evil.
Writer Salim Khan helped her get roles in some of the movies he was co- scripting with Javed Akhtar: Imaam Dharam, Don, Dostana, and Sholay. This was followed by a role in Mahesh Bhatt's film Lahu Ke Do Rang (1979), for which she won a Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award.
Helen retired from the screen for a number of years, but made a few guest roles in 1999 and In Mohabbatein, she plays the prim and proper head of a girls' school who is pulled out onto a dance floor and surprises veryone with her lively dancing.
She also made a special appearance as Salman Khan's mother in the movie Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. Helen was selected for the Padma Shri awards of 2009 along with Aishwarya Rai and Akshay Kumar.
In 1999 Helen received the Filmfare Lifetime achievement award.