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Helen Lawson picture marathon on TCM this evening.

Get out the popcorn, fellas. "Johnny's Dame" at 8, "Love Is For Little Girls" at 9:30, "Sleep Tight, Baby" at 11, and "Who Will Stop the Rain?" at 12:30am. I love "Who Will Stop the Rain," if only for the scene where Helen wears a fez. Anyone else looking forward to this?

by Straight guyreply 25501/04/2015

I'm sorry, OP, I thought you said that Helen wears a LEZ.

by Straight guyreply 110/31/2013

Helen Lawson's gay son, Henderson Lawson, will provide color commentary throughout.

by Straight guyreply 210/31/2013

They're not showing "I Could Go On Drinking?"

by Straight guyreply 310/31/2013

I don't know why they never show "All Tomorrow's Yesterdays"...maybe they don't have the rights to it?

by Straight guyreply 410/31/2013

I hope they don't make poor Bob Osborne drink Helenesque martinis -- his health is bad enough as it is.

by Straight guyreply 510/31/2013

Triva fact: in Sleep Tight, Baby, during the scene filmed in the beach house (in "Santa Monica" as if it wasn't clearly a studio set), you can see Helen take a swig from a bottle of booze she's hidden behind the cushion on the couch.

by Straight guyreply 610/31/2013

My fave is "Of Thee I Sing Sing," with Helen playing the sadistic but patriotic prison matron. You've never seen anyone handle a flag pole like Helen!

by Straight guyreply 710/31/2013

What, no "For The Love Of Maisie"?

by Straight guyreply 810/31/2013

TCM? It's going to be a fucking bleep-fest.

by Straight guyreply 910/31/2013

I hope Osborne tells that funny story about meeting HL in the chorus of ICE FOLLIES OF 1939. Who knew then they were both destined for greatness?

by Straight guyreply 1010/31/2013

Have they colorized "29 Going on 50" yet?

by Straight guyreply 1110/31/2013

Last year, when TCM was running a marathon of World War II films, they showed "Touch Not the Flagpole" (Helen was in it for about five minutes), but I've never seen it since. And it's not on DVD.

by Straight guyreply 1210/31/2013

None of her Grand Guignol films from the 60s like "Scream Victoria, Scream Again!" and "Who's That Sitting in Mother's Chair?"

What a shame. For Christ's sake, this summer they even broadcast Lawson's 1969 insipid children's film, "Mother and the Elephant."

by Straight guyreply 1310/31/2013

I see that [italic]Laugh, Jerks, Laugh![/italic] co-starring Lora Meredith, is on the schedule. Boy, was [italic]that[/italic] set a powder keg ...

by Straight guyreply 1510/31/2013

Why doesn't TCM ever give Lora Meredith her own marathon?

by Straight guyreply 1610/31/2013

Drew Barrymore is going to drop by during intermission, using the words "like", "rilly" and "amazeeen" over and over.

by Straight guyreply 1710/31/2013

I hope they show her musical version of Sadie Thompson that was called "Sadie Was A Lady!".

by Straight guyreply 1910/31/2013

I'm Robert Osborne. And November is NEELY O'HARA Month at Turner Classic Movies.

by Straight guyreply 2010/31/2013

When are they showing "Who Gives a Flying Fuck?"

by Straight guyreply 2110/31/2013

R13 Seriously. It IS Halloween after all.

by Straight guyreply 2310/31/2013

What about her bastardized version of Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf with Charles Nelson Reilly?

by Straight guyreply 2410/31/2013

Oh I forgot about Albee's injunction. Do you think they really burned every print?

by Straight guyreply 2510/31/2013

I kinda thought it was fun casting that she was in Argento's "Perspiria" alongside Claudia Cardinale as the women who lived in the house with the bloody basement.

by Straight guyreply 2610/31/2013

My least favorite is "Mary's Little Lamb" where she's the long suffering Mary with the very sick daughter played by Shirley Temple. Lawson doesn't like it much either, calls it sentimental crap and said Temple's acting gave her diabetes. Glad TCM isn't showing it.

by Straight guyreply 2710/31/2013

Don't forget that classic 1976 "Pages From A Stolen Book" where she tries to play a Miss Marple like English lady solving crimes at a remote bed and breakfast. It almost works until Charo shows up as the Spanish countess...

by Straight guyreply 2810/31/2013

Will any of Helen's movie-of-the-week TV productions or mini-series be shown? You would think that the TV Guide, Hallmark or some other channel would be cashing in with their own Helen marathon.

Did you know Bette Davis stepped in for Helen for "The Dark Secret of Harvest Home"? Apparently Helen's sexual overtures to co-star Michael O'Keefe were too much for the actor and the crew!

Helen was politely "let go" from the production.

by Straight guyreply 2910/31/2013

You can tell she wasn't feeling well during the big tap dance number in "Gangway for Happiness." I know it will upset a lot of you, but that whole movie just sucks.

by Straight guyreply 3010/31/2013

[quote] Did you know Bette Davis stepped in for Helen for "The Dark Secret of Harvest Home"? Apparently Helen's sexual overtures to co-star Michael O'Keefe were too much for the actor and the crew!

Just as Lucy stepped in for Helen on "Stone Pillow.."

by Straight guyreply 3110/31/2013

And she would have been wonderful in the groundbreaking NBC AIDS drama An Early Frost but shingles forced her to pull out and she was replaced by Sylvia Sidney.

by Straight guyreply 3210/31/2013

R29 I've seen a few early scenes where before she was replaced. Terrible miscasting. She was supposed to be solemn and wise as Widow Fortune but instead she looked like she wandered off a drag queen production of "Mame"...jeweled turban, pancake make-up and long fur coats. It would have been a classic, but for all the wrong reasons!

by Straight guyreply 3310/31/2013

Will TCM be showing the William Castle movie "She-Crab" featuring Miss Larson as the mysterious matriarch of a fleet of crab boats in Key Biscayne? Although a good print of the movie doesn't seem to exist, the scene where she summons the crabs to attack her eldest son's cheating wife is still scary.

by Straight guyreply 3410/31/2013

Has anyone actually seen the Riunite commercial Helen did in the 70s?

Apparently it was far too scandalous for prime time.

by Straight guyreply 3610/31/2013

Did they show her blaxploitation movie, JACKEE JONES, where Helen plays a society wife-cum-crimelord who messes with the wrong teacher's aid, played by Pam Grier?

by Straight guyreply 3710/31/2013

Happier times....

by Straight guyreply 3810/31/2013

Oh Helen. She copied that suit after attending Judy's last Palace engagement.

by Straight guyreply 3910/31/2013

[quote]I remember that Helen played Neely's cut-throat boss and Neely's 'career girl' character ended up having an affair with Helen's character's adopted Asian son. God, what was the name of it?

With Sex You Get Eggroll?

by Straight guyreply 4110/31/2013

Are they showing the neo-noir thriller "Dial S for Sycho?" (Too bad Helen had a hand in the scriptwriting and didn't bother to consult a dictionary.)

by Straight guyreply 4210/31/2013

[all posts by tedious, racist idiot removed.]

by Straight guyreply 4310/31/2013

It was "All That Helen Allows". It was one of the few times Helen played a character called Helen.

by Straight guyreply 4410/31/2013

I am so glad it's time for a Lawson marathon . It's my favorite time of year!!!

by Straight guyreply 4510/31/2013

Why doesn't TCM ever show Helen's pre-code films like "My Heart's Desire," "All This and More," "Sinner," "Harlot Street," and "Delilah Goodwin"? I'd love to get those on dvd.

by Straight guyreply 4910/31/2013

Helen's performance as a woman with multiple personalities in "Which Face in the Sun?" is often overlooked because it came out after Joanne Woodward's showier turn in "The Three Faces of Eve ."

Same thing happened with her performance as a deaf mute in "I Could Go On Signing." Jane Wyman stole all the attention.

by Straight guyreply 5010/31/2013

What was the name of that musical she did in 1975 with Judy's daughter Lorna Minelli? I think it had to do with women's lib, a beach house, and death.

by Straight guyreply 5110/31/2013

I'd only want to see "Harlot Street" if they restored the missing scene where Helen is taken anally by a sailor while orally pleasuring a young Marine lieutenant. Apparently it was cut from the film after a preview audience in Santa Barbara raised objections.

by Straight guyreply 5210/31/2013

R40, do you happen to know who played Helen's character's adopted Asian son? Most thank you in advance.

by Straight guyreply 5310/31/2013

That WAS the title, r51. WOMEN'S LIB, A BEACH HOUSE, AND DEATH had z Kander and Ebb score, and Helen and Liza duetted on the title song.

by Straight guyreply 5410/31/2013

"This Joke Was Never Funny"

by Straight guyreply 5510/31/2013

"This Joke Was Never Funny"

That was released posthumously was it not? Of course, Helen lives in our hearts still even though hers is, well, still.

by Straight guyreply 5810/31/2013

"Judy's daughter Lorna Minelli"

Mean sisssy has the same sir name as drunk sissy and not the same sir name as me? Why? Mean sissy and me had the same daddy who we called sir and drunk sissy had a sissy daddy vinsent.

by Straight guyreply 5910/31/2013

"This Joke Was Never Funny" was meant to be the start of Helen's fifth or sixth comeback. It was a gritty, realistic take of a old, female comedienne who played the 8 PM show in a shabby casino in Vegas. There was serious Oscar buzz, the rushes made grown men weep openly, so raw and human was the performance. But of course, Helen got a call from some Saudi prince to do a "private performance" on his yacht in the Aegean and she was off like shot, abandoning the film and basically forcing a shutdown. If "The Day the Clown Cried" is the most famous unseen film "This Joke Was Never Funny" is the second most. And a real shame, it would have been magnificent.

by Straight guyreply 6110/31/2013

Is there any footage laying around of her attempt to capitalize on the Grand Guignol horror fad of the mid 60s?

I believe the film was titled "A Slap To The Face, A Knife In The Back" and starred Lawson as the homicidal main character and paired her with Ida Lupino.

The only info I have is that it was supposed to center around the two holed up in a halfway house for battered women but filming was halted when animosity between the leading ladies proved too much.

by Straight guyreply 6310/31/2013

Thanks for this thread. I needed a break from the laughs on the DL.


by Straight guyreply 6610/31/2013

"around the two holed"

That is vulgar, even obscene, R63. I will ignore your future posts and even consider F&Fing them should I accidentally come upon them. Such vulgarity does not have a place in a discussion about one of film's greatest actresses.

by Straight guyreply 6810/31/2013

What about Helen's string of 70s blaxploitation flicks?

Who could forget "Coffy and Cream," "White Chocolate," "Cotton Candie," or "Bride of Blacula"?

by Straight guyreply 6910/31/2013

"Helen comes to Harlem" unfortunately never got the green light from the studio...

by Straight guyreply 7010/31/2013

The only hit that comes out of a Helen Lawson show is Helen Lawson, and that's ME, baby, remember?

by Straight guyreply 7110/31/2013

My first exposure to Helen was her guest spots on Sesame Street in the '70s (before they were permanently pulled for scaring children). She did them just after playing the syphilitic, one-eyed Gypsy fortune teller who kidnapped an innocent runaway (Christie McNichol) and tried to sell her to a Louisiana swamp pervert (Karl Malden) in [italic]Crystal Balls[/italic]. Apparently she was threatened with a permanent ban from several European countries for "singlehandedly promoting the greatest wave of violence against the Roma people since Hitler" and was trying to do damage control (that Donahue interview where she called [italic]Crystal Balls[/italic] "basically a documentary" and the Roma "a dirty and despicable people" didn't help). Unfortunately, her "friendlier and gentler" Sesame Street Gypsy character was so frightening that its traumatizing effects on young viewers are still being studied by researchers at the University of Michigan.

by Straight guyreply 7210/31/2013

R72, is the negative physical and mental reaction by children to her Sesame Street performance still called "Gypsy's Turn" by researchers?

by Straight guyreply 7310/31/2013

[all posts by tedious, racist idiot removed.]

by Straight guyreply 7410/31/2013

And what about her groundbreaking kiss with Sammy Davis Jr. in the sex-comedy classic "Once You Go Black"?

by Straight guyreply 7811/01/2013

She was wonderful in Hooch n' Cooch. I still get chills whenever I hear her sing "Baby, I Ain't Getting Rid of It." Love the costumes by Edith Head.

by Straight guyreply 8011/01/2013

I don't get it. I thought Helen Lawson was an imaginary character of datalounge.

by Straight guyreply 8211/01/2013

Is it true Helen was replaced by Myrna Loy in The Thin Man because Asta bit her on the ass?

by Straight guyreply 8411/01/2013

[quote] The best part of watching a Helen Lawson movie are the scenes where she is visibly intoxicated.

It's also the most enjoyable parts of her specials. I remember the Bicentennial Christmas special when, towards the end, she was so sloshed she introduced Joey Heatherton as Heather Joeyton.

The audience roared. Even Joey loved it!

by Straight guyreply 8511/01/2013

"I remember the Bicentennial Christmas special"

Did President Ford make a cameo or did he pull out at the last minute?

by Straight guyreply 8611/01/2013

Honey, Jerry always pulled out at the last minute! It's called the rhythm method!

by Straight guyreply 8711/01/2013

Is it true that she bailed on her big budget remake of Crawford's TORCH SONG, called SEEING EYE BROAD, when she realized it was conceived not as a showcase for her formidable talents, but as Tom Sullivan's big comeback vehicle?

by Straight guyreply 8811/01/2013

R-80, wasn't Hooch 'n Cooch the musical version of The Days of Wine and Roses? I saw her in the Broadway version in 1975. Rumored that Helen's antic's were what drove her co-star, Gig Young to later kill himself.

by Straight guyreply 8911/01/2013

Loved her second attempt as a blind woman in "I Can't See!"

by Straight guyreply 9011/01/2013

Ugh, I really hope they don't show that one dud of hers, "Blackie." That's the one where she stars opposite Ethel Waters as a mixed race girl trying to pass as black. Pathetic.

by Straight guyreply 9111/01/2013

They're showing the TV Movie remake of Footsteps On the Ceiling. Margo Channing needed the money and did a cameo as Helen's mother!

by Straight guyreply 9211/01/2013

R4 I think you've got that wrong-- I heard that William Powell was the one who bit her.

by Straight guyreply 9311/01/2013

I wish they'd rerun that infamous episode of LAUGH IN she guested on, with Jackie DeShannon and Nipsey Russell. Go-go dancing as a drunken Pat Nixon! Comedy gold.

by Straight guyreply 9411/01/2013

Did she do her own stunts in "Flying Down to Uruguay"? The movie sucked, but I do like her rendition of "Montevideo by the Bay-O."

by Straight guyreply 9611/01/2013

R98, I think her foray failed because country music fans thought "flat" was a reference to either tits or the landscape. Picture the former infested with rats, and you'll see why her album failed.

by Straight guyreply 9811/01/2013

Is TCM going to show the 1940 version of "Alice in Wonderland" in which Helen Lawson played the Red Queen? If I recall correctly she was caught in her dressing room giving head to the Knave of Hearts.

by Straight guyreply 9911/01/2013

"Christmas in Cleveland" lacked the charm of Barbara Stanwyck's "Christmas in Connecticut," but it's remembered for the deplorable scene in which Helen appeared to be inappropriately intrigued by Santa's reindeer.

by Straight guyreply 10011/01/2013

Why, oh why did they have Rita Hayworth play Helen's role when Hit the Sky! was filmed? After all, Helen had a big film following, too.

This wasn't quite as bad as Lucy playing Mame instead of Lansbury, but nearly so.

by Straight guyreply 10111/01/2013

{quote] Rumored that Helen's antic's were what drove her co-star, Gig Young to later kill himself.

You know Helen was with Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner and Christopher Walken on the boat that night.....

Not a coincidence her next movie, where she played an aging obstetrician, was called "Push!"

by Straight guyreply 10211/01/2013

Helen was supposed to play Nurse Ratched (Ratchet?) in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. But she felt the character was "a pussy" and she declined.

by Straight guyreply 10311/01/2013

[quote] Was Rita also dubbed by Margaret Whiting

No. India Adams.

by Straight guyreply 10511/01/2013

In tropical make-up.

by Straight guyreply 10611/01/2013

[quote] Someone needs to put this thread out of its misery. This Helen Lawson bullshit was never ever amusing. You fossilized caftan-clad queens and your posts are an embarrassment to modern gay culture.

The above poster should be forced to watch a Helen Lawson marathon, Clockwork Orange-style.

by Straight guyreply 10811/01/2013

[quote]your posts are an embarrassment to modern gay culture

This is just not possible

by Straight guyreply 10911/01/2013

Labor Day in Larchmont was my favorite. And that Carl Betz-what a hunk.

by Straight guyreply 11011/01/2013

I think her low point (but there are so many), was when she made that Roger Corman film, Fossilized Caftan-clad Queens.

by Straight guyreply 11111/01/2013

I remember her live action Walt Disney phase in the 70s, the villainess in "Back and Forth On Wizard Hill" and the old lady in "The Fortune in the Forest."

by Straight guyreply 11211/01/2013

Christ. I remember when she made "Not Without My r109."

I remember screaming at the tv, LEAVE HIM! LEAVE HIM!

by Straight guyreply 11311/01/2013

I was touched by her cameo in the 1978 Afterschool Special "Is Mama Drinking Again?"

by Straight guyreply 11411/01/2013

Girdles and Guns, the police drama with Lucille Ball that was remade for TV as Cagney and Lacey. The TV series cast younger with a feminist slant. You believed Helen and Lucy as hard boiled NYC detectives who blew away any thug without remorse. Unfortunately, they hated each other in real life and it showed.

by Straight guyreply 11611/01/2013

The network wanted to pick up Girdles and Guns as a mid season replacement, but Gary wouldn't let Lucy do it.

by Straight guyreply 11711/01/2013

Can anyone provide a lead on the rare 78 rpm record of "Goin' Down the Treasure Trail" the song Helen recorded with Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers for the 1944 Republic western "The Treasure Trail"? Helen was fired from her role as a rowdy dance hall gal because Dale Evans was worried that she might act out the song title with Roy.

by Straight guyreply 11811/01/2013

I thought "Girdles and Guns" was the live tv musical she did with Rosemary Clooney during the 1955 tv season? It was sponsored by Kraft and during one of the commercials where they are making a salad with Green Goddess dressing, you can hear Helen in the backround screaming at someone to "...light my fucking Pall Mall!"

by Straight guyreply 11911/02/2013

Helen actually made three After School Specials. The other two were "Touched in My Private Place" and "It Hurts Up In There."

She played therapist Sylvia Poonson in "Touched in My Private Place," and the scene where she tried to get Pamelyn Martin to point to the places she'd been touched on an old rag doll was quite moving. In "It Hurts Up In There," she was Dr. Clamma Hanz, a pediatric proctologist on a mission.

by Straight guyreply 12011/02/2013

Does anyone remember Helen's six-month run as the host of the children's game show "Lickity Split"? It came on Saturday mornings after "Sky King" on CBS.

If I remember correctly, Helen charted briefly with her single of the title song. Too bad that scandal with one of her midget helpers got the show canceled.

by Straight guyreply 12111/02/2013

There were so many lez undertones in "Hands Off the Carpet!" that picture she made with Mercedes McCambridge.

by Straight guyreply 12211/02/2013

I love "Mrs. Bukkake", that sentimental 1960s tale about a Jewish-American widow who meets and marries a Japanese porn movie producer.

by Straight guyreply 12311/02/2013

"I love "Mrs. Bukkake", that sentimental 1960s tale about a Jewish-American widow who meets and marries a Japanese porn movie producer."

Although, in retrospect, it probably wasn't a great idea to put Sir Laurence Olivier in yellowface...

by Straight guyreply 12411/02/2013

Does anyone remember the Ross Hunter films she did in the 50s and 60s?

by Straight guyreply 12511/02/2013

There was talk of a sequel to Rona Jaffe's The Best of Everything with Lawson starring as 'The Rabbit Faced Wife.' Sort of a spin-off if you will.

Negotiations fell apart when Lawson insisted that the picture be set in Hell and include a surreal sex scene involving herself, Stephen Boyd, Suzy Parker's deceased Gregg and a goat.

by Straight guyreply 12611/02/2013

Is Helen related to Nigella? Maggie?

by Straight guyreply 12711/02/2013

I don't think any US theater ever showed her German scat movie, loosely translated to "Never Trust a Sneeze."

by Straight guyreply 12811/02/2013

[quote]I don't think any US theater ever showed her German scat movie, loosely translated to "Never Trust a Sneeze."

After seeing this picture as a young girl, Veronica Moser said it became her inspiration.

by Straight guyreply 12911/02/2013

Helen did a low-budget rip off of Hitchcock's Lifeboat. It was Helen Lawson and Simone Simon as lone survivors of a German U-Boat attack. Their liferaft springs a leak, and the film is their conversations and reminiscences as they take turns bailing out the liferaft. "Two Girls, One Cup" a a bomb at the wartime box office, unfortunately.

by Straight guyreply 13011/02/2013

She acquitted herself rather well in the 1977 BBC sitcom That's No Lady! as Broadway star Flossie Reynolds aka Lady Bumchester of Bognor Regis. Her duets with special guest Molly Sugden (as music hall headliner Mavis Chingford) were quite marvelous.

by Straight guyreply 13111/02/2013

Helen also had that nasty feud with Susan Hayward......

by Straight guyreply 13511/02/2013

All this talk of Helen Lawson reminded me of a humorous anecdote that Tallulah Bankhead used to tell at her dinner parties:

One of Helen's earliest stage appearances was as a supernumerary in "Candida," starring the divine Katharine Cornell. On the first day of rehearsals, the director, Guthrie McClintic, who had a keen eye for detail (as well as for the male stagehands), was dissatisfied with young Helen's carriage and demeanor, and reminded her that she was playing a Victorian-era girl and thus, must act [italic]virginal[/italic]. Without missing a beat, Kit Cornell quipped, "Darling, she's an extra, not an actress."

by Straight guyreply 13611/02/2013

Helen was fired from a Sidney Poitier movie after they got into a nasty feud.

When the director guided her to a kiss with Poitier, she put her foot down and said, "This girl don't swirl!"

To which Poitier replied, "Girl? My, you have a very long memory."

She had to be removed by security. I didn't even KNOW you could do THAT with a lit cigarette....

by Straight guyreply 13711/03/2013

What's the story behind Helen's quote regarding Judy Garland, "Give Judy my money"?

by Straight guyreply 13811/03/2013

Next week on The Essentials, the 1967 Helen Lawson-Charles Nelson Riley film "Who's Frightened of Ayn Rand?" They play a university couple who have a deteriorating marriage. Famous for Lawson walking off the set the last week of filming. Lola Heatherton stepped in for her as a body double. This troubled production is most noted for its use of dubbing and foley work.

by Straight guyreply 14011/03/2013

R142 Is that the one with the Bobby Bittman cameo?

by Straight guyreply 14111/03/2013

Why has no one mentioned Lawson's most shameful musical film, "Ex-Nazis Prefer Blondes" (which she co-produced in the 50s)?

Helen, a top-secret, newly-trained member of Mossad,the Israeli national intelligence agency, is sent to South American to seduce an escaped Nazi in order to entrap him. Instead, she falls in love and becomes his mistress.

She is eventually kidnapped by another agent (played by James Mason), who sends her into a de-programming unit of the the intelligence agency. Her character's last line is, "Thanks, but he was too hung to be hanged."

The songs "Mein Hairy Herr", as well as "Diamonds are a Jew's best friend", made her an anathema to Hollywood for several years.

Helen claimed that the songs were only written to show the extent of her character's brain-washing, but the Hollywood community was naturally furious.

Her follow-up film, her attempt to 'make good', "The Only Good German Is A Dead German", was equally polarizing and started riots in Chicago and New York which injured dozens of German-Americans.

She must have paid off a lot of people to remain viable in Hollywood.

by Straight guyreply 14211/03/2013

[quote] I don't think any US theater ever showed her German scat movie, loosely translated to "Never Trust a Sneeze."

And to think poor Helen thought she was going to play a Jazz singer.

by Straight guyreply 14311/03/2013

How did she find the time to do stage musicals?

by Straight guyreply 14411/03/2013

Her life was a blur of blow jobs!

by Straight guyreply 14511/03/2013

Can't believe no one has mentioned the inspiring "No Womb for Margery" with Greer Garson. The scene in the chinese "hotel" (thnly disguised brothel) with the gals and the python was great cinema. I wonder how the two grande-dames liked working with each other?

by Straight guyreply 14611/03/2013

Her tragic portrayal of herpes victim Hannah Amnaught in "An Itch I Can't Scratch" still brings tears to my eyes.

by Straight guyreply 14711/03/2013

No one has mentioned that 1970s TV classic, "The Helen Lawson Show," a Sit-Com where Helen played Helen Schwartz, a widow with 12 rambunctious children. The show was so bad that it was canceled after just two episodes, like "The Tammy Grimes Show".

by Straight guyreply 14811/04/2013

[quote]Her tragic portrayal of herpes victim Hannah Amnaught in "An Itch I Can't Scratch" still brings tears to my eyes.

Sadly, it went up against ABC's rival VD vehicle [italic]Someone I Touched[/italic] and tanked in the Nielsens. Natch, Helen nursed a seething grudge against Cloris Leachman for decades after—hence the gift-wrapped vial of penicillin she had delivered backstage at [italic]Dancing with the Stars[/italic] a few years ago. The note read, "Kisses on your opening ... NOT!"

by Straight guyreply 15011/04/2013

Helen Lawson is STILL ALIVE?!?!?

by Straight guyreply 15111/04/2013

yes Helen is alive, so is her sister and fellow actress Jonlivia DeFontainland, although they have not spoken to each other in decades. |Anyone ever find out what started hollywoods most notorious feud?

by Straight guyreply 15211/04/2013

[all posts by tedious, racist idiot removed.]

by Straight guyreply 15311/04/2013

She's gonna throat that fucking cigarette!

by Straight guyreply 15411/04/2013

[quote] Helen played Helen Schwartz, a widow with 12 rambunctious children.

That was yanked by network heads - Helen kept pronouncing Schwartz "Schwanz" on the air.

by Straight guyreply 15511/04/2013

[all posts by tedious, racist idiot removed.]

by Straight guyreply 15711/04/2013

Helen wasn't always the celebrated star of stage and screen. No no no. Back when she was still Helen Laughlin, doing community theatre in Mamaroneck, Tallulah, Blyth Daly, and I went up to see her perform in a musical adaptation of the life of Mata Hari. Helen played the title role, and she was absolutely dreadful! During the second act, when the gendarmes finally showed up to arrest Mata Hari, Tallu just couldn't contain herself and shouted, "Shoot her now!" I was mortified.

by Straight guyreply 15811/04/2013

I remember back in the 80's my mom working out to her exercise video, "Helen Lawsons' Secret To A Smokin' Hot Body"

90 minutes of La Lawson in a skintight lycra bodysuit & legwarmers, showing various exercises you could perform without having to put out your cigarette. It was produced by Phillip Morris Company , just before the government handed them that multi billion dollar fine.

by Straight guyreply 15911/05/2013

I remember the first R-rated movie I ever saw was Helen's Russ Meyer C- flick, "The Prime of Miss Jean's Booty."

by Straight guyreply 16011/05/2013

Helen did another risque picture, but it was never released because the studio couldn't get it downgraded from X to R. Thus, "Clitty Clitty Bang Bang" has collected dust all these years.

by Straight guyreply 16111/05/2013

[quote]Helen did another risque picture, but it was never released because the studio couldn't get it downgraded from X to R. Thus, "Clitty Clitty Bang Bang" has collected dust all these years.

Oh yeah, huge controversy with that one. Apparently Helen kept demanding a stunt cock while battling with co-star Dick Van Dyke.

She was reportedly overhead saying, "Trust me, he's way more dyke than dick!"

by Straight guyreply 16211/05/2013

When Helen heard that Angela Lansbury had been cast as the lead in "bedknobs & broomsticks" she was absolutely livid with rage ...

"How DARE they not give me that fucking role... no one can do justice to that story but ME, and certainly not some uptight English CUNT!"

It wasn't until someone explained to Helen that "Bedknobs & Broomsticks" was a childrens movie and not the x rated vision that the title suggested in her mind did she finally calm down.

by Straight guyreply 16311/05/2013

R162 I remember that. She had so much camel toe she gave the Prancercize lady a run for her money.

And her snatch.

by Straight guyreply 16611/05/2013

You may have heard that Mercedes McCambridge was the voice of Pazuzu in The Exorcist. But I bet you didn't know that Helen Lawson's snatch was the model for the closet in Poltergeist. And now you know...

by Straight guyreply 16711/05/2013

Helen's loss of the Lansbury role is what led to her own musical, which was written for her by jingle writer Clyda Chole.

"Big Knobs and Drumsticks" was released by American International Pictures, and Dot Records did the soundtrack recording, which is very rare. It's worth tracking down, though, to hear Helen warbling "Do Lay Me," "Prostitutiary Locomotion," "Superali-FagAlickme-let'sPee-Alanauseous," "Whore on a Music Box" and "Let's Go Kite a Check."

by Straight guyreply 16811/05/2013

"Did Helen screen test for Scarlett O'Hara?"

Yes. It was awful.

by Straight guyreply 16911/05/2013

She auditioned to replace Diana Hyland in Eight is Enough.

But the producers passed when she opened her audition by saying: "Eight at my place means I'm just getting started!"

by Straight guyreply 17011/05/2013

[all posts by tedious, racist idiot removed.]

by Straight guyreply 17111/05/2013

Helen just didn't fit into the 70s. She tried to snare a guest spot on Little House on the Prairie but her lit cigarette burnt Melissa Sue Anderson's gingham frock to a crisp.

And she was frustrated to boot that she couldn't get Pa Ingalls to give her a good plowing....

by Straight guyreply 17211/05/2013

I was disappointed TCM didn't show "Gypsy Madonna," Helen Lawson's inferior, though wildly entertaining, sequel to "Torch Song." Originally slated to be a big-budgeted musical extravaganza starring Joan Crawford and star-of-the-moment, Elvis Presley, as her rock 'n' roll composer and paramour, things fell by the wayside when Crawford cracked a vertebrae while rehearsing the number "Rock 'n' Roll Hellcat." Crawford bowed out, and so too went much of the financing. Presley soon followed suit, and Lawson and Johnnie Ray stepped in at a fraction of the cost. Not surprisingly, the romantic pairing failed to generate much heat.

Lawson, however, is a sight to behold in the musical number "Hot Rod Mama" -- long-in-the-tooth but audaciously bold in belly-baring pink top and the shortest shorts the 1950s would allow (clearly the inspiration for Pinky Tuscadero decades later), writhing atop a '56 T-Bird and gyrating against a dozen leather-clad male dancers straight out of Tom of Finland's photobooks.

by Straight guyreply 17311/06/2013

I was so looking forward to the sequel to Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte. Helen and June Allyson were the leads in "Shut Up You Bitch."

But Aldrich lost the funding and June Allyson pissed herself out of the role, so it was canned.

by Straight guyreply 17411/06/2013

It's a shame that Helen's ill fated appearance on "The Muppet Show" never made it to air.

The only footage is Helen being lead out by security saying;

" Hey look , everyone else in the show had a hand up their ass, how the fuck was I supposed to know?

"Tell that little hippie guy Hanson I'm sorry about his hand, he may want to get that checked out, I picked up some nasty crotchrot down in Haiti last month, might be catchy."

by Straight guyreply 17611/06/2013

Helen almost landed a spot on Carol Burnett until Carol saw her at a party at Jim Nabors.

She was sprawled on a couch with a bottle of gin in her snatch.

"Who's up for a little malt vinegar?"

by Straight guyreply 17711/06/2013

Can anyone remember her character's name when she was a guest on The Love Boat?

by Straight guyreply 17811/07/2013


by Straight guyreply 17911/07/2013

For R181 :

Helen's character's name Renee McCoy. She played Julie's brassy aunt.

I've heard that she was difficult, calling the script "shittier than Dan Thomas' coffee table".

Most of the cast didn't even know what she meant, so she told the story over cocktails during a break in shooting. Lauren Tewes apparently left the room and threw up. Helen chalked it up to "too much blow and gin". She predicted that Tewes would be dropped from the cast.

Also, it was said that she insulted Gavin McLeod by grabbing his crotch and saying, "So, it feels like you rely on the motion of the ocean and not the size of the ship."

by Straight guyreply 18011/07/2013

I remember being home from school sick as a kid in the mid-70s and watching her guest with Elaine Joyce on the $25,000 Pyramid. Helen was playing with some old school marm type. I remember that when Dick Clark told her it was her turn to give, she quipped, "Dickie, my boy, I ain't never gave it to another dame in my life, and you want me to start now, at my age? OK, I'll give it a whirl so I can win this sweet old broad some dough." I asked my mother what Miss Lawson meant, and she just blushed.

by Straight guyreply 18111/07/2013

They had to burn the video of Helen's appearance on MatchGame74. She was booked for two weeks but left after one day.

She'd cracked a few clever jokes and the first day was going well, until she answered the question, "Passengers on a place saw the copilot giving the pilot a BLANK" with "one-a Helen's special deep throat blowjobs!"

Charles Nelson Reilly clutched his pearls and gasped. Brett Somers whispered to Betty White, "Huh, who knew? I always thought Lawson was a big ole dyke."

She tried to offer Richard Dawson a sample, but he fled from the soundstage.

by Straight guyreply 18211/08/2013

Did Helen ever take a turn as (not at) a director?

by Straight guyreply 18311/09/2013

I've heard those myth-like stories about Helen stepping in to replace Lauren Bacall in Applause after Bacall threw out her back....

Of course, everyone knows about her stopping the 11 o'clock number to yell at the patrons sitting in row one.

"SHADDUP, you chattering cunts!"

by Straight guyreply 18411/09/2013

Helen also never wore underwear so patrons got the full Sharon Stone when she did the swing bit during the gay bar scene.

by Straight guyreply 18511/09/2013

Did her merkin fly off?

by Straight guyreply 18611/09/2013

Helen never wore underwear and I witnesses that firsthand back in '46. Tallulah Bankhead, Kit Cornell, Eva Le Gallienne, and I piled into a towncar and headed for Helen's soiree at her Mount Kisco home. We were running late, and when we arrived, Helen, who apparently had had one too many drinks by then, waved at us from atop the spiral staircase. She then proceeded to hike up her skirt, revealing nothing but what nature provided, mounted the banister and slid down. But when she reached midpoint, she lost momentum, slowed to a stop, and toppled over. Stunned, I turned to the girls and said, "Good gracious, what happened there?"

Tallu took a drag off her cigarette and deadpanned, "air pocket."

by Straight guyreply 18711/09/2013

Mount Kisco?

Wasn't that Katherine Graham's home? I think she got a rather nasty write up in the Post after that night. The Grahams had to replace that bannister.

by Straight guyreply 18811/10/2013

Darling, who one God's green Earth would want to place their hand on a banister stained with skid marks?

by Straight guyreply 18911/10/2013

Helen, on turning down the role of Angela Channing on "Falcon Crest":

"Boy, I sure fucked that one up, didn't I? I'd a been rolling in it. I read the script and thought, what the hell do I know about wine except that after two glasses of chianti, my fucking gams are spread to the goddamn heavens. Also the only man in her life was some houseboy, who was a chink and probably a fag. I didn't know how to play no spinster broad who wasn't getting fucked regularly. Now if they had Lorenzo Lamas fucking me, than it woulda been a different story, but he was her fucking grandson. Ya know, I used to go with his pop Fernando. Now there was a man who could get a dyke to give up the rug. He got me, and he didn't even need no chianti to do it."

by Straight guyreply 19011/10/2013

Meanwhile, she took a role on Pink Lady and Jeff.

She shulda fired her agent long ago.

by Straight guyreply 19111/10/2013

I just remembered when Helen stepped in for Audra Lindley on "Three's Company" while the latter was on leave for cancer treatments.

Apparently, when Stanley Roper said, "Not tonight, Helen", Helen ad-libbed "Nor any night, you tinymeat, smug bastard."

Lawson got her kicked off the set, but she and Joyce DeWitt have been life-long friends. Joyce confessed to Helen that John Ritter was hung and Helen promised to give him the time of his life. Helen actually asked Ann Wedgeworth (Lana) into her trailer to give her a "few tips", but only ended up ripping out her pubes in hand-fulls using a stong adhesive.

Later, after a few drinks in Helen's trailer, Ritter told friends that he had never had such a blowjob in his entire life.

by Straight guyreply 19211/11/2013

Both Helen and Joyce DeWitt knew they were slumming on "Three's Company", which was why they developed such an affinity for each other.

Helen was the one who told Joyce, "Try dinner theater, hon. You'll be on Broadway before you know it!"

Not all of Helen's advice was sound, but she meant well. DeWitt's autobiography, "Let's Talk About Two", speaks very highly about La Lawson.

by Straight guyreply 19311/11/2013

No visit to LA is complete without a visit to The Helen Lawson Center, located at her former Holmby Hills estate "Helenwood". Showcasing her amazing career, movie memorabilia and vast collection of pornographic art . Helen decided to found a center for the Arts the day she learned it was a great tax `dodge, plus I saw a Negress walking up the street yesterday, so you know the neighbourhoods going to hell anyways.

I personally love having the chance to peak behind the curtain and see how Helen lived, her famous penis shaped swimming pool & tongue shaped slide, her `rumpus room`( no one under age 18 admitted>), her vast movie memorabilia collection ( of course I kept the wardrobes, those Jew bastards owed me `), and so much more. Her bourbon cellar walk in vomitorium, world renowned collection of dildos ( these are my fucking Oscars baby)`, even her bathroom with the mirrored walls, floors ,ceiling even commode is mirrored( hey you gotta know how you look from all angles at all times ) . .

by Straight guyreply 19411/11/2013

R197 must be Julie.

God, Julie, is there no thread that you cannot contribute to?

by Straight guyreply 19511/11/2013

Is it true that Helen took a huge shit in a La Bellagio rest room in Las Vegas?

by Straight guyreply 19611/12/2013

I believe that was Bea Arthur, R199 . She had a reputation of having bowel issues. Poor soul. She was up for the "Depends" commercials based on that reputation, but June Allyson's incontinence was even more well-known.

Still, Bea could really fill a room.

Thank God for Glade products.

by Straight guyreply 19711/12/2013

Betty, please. We all know you got Helen fired from The Golden Girls. She landed the role of Dorothy after that disastrous Elaine Stritch audition.

Sending a bottle of champagne and oysters to Helen's dressing room was just evil on your part. Who knew she'd do THAT to the director?

by Straight guyreply 19811/13/2013

R200, Bea was known for her serial "tours" of the Vegas powder rooms. She always said she appreciated the high toilet seats in Vegas for the "more mature" visitors, because her drooping privates stayed out of the water for a change.

But Miss Lawson did execute an infamous evacuation in the La Bellagio ladies' once - it was in the Club Prive, where she had followed Dale Robertson to cadge some chips off him. She had been hitting the old Circus Circus lunch buffet hard, and the Tijuana Savory Brunch Taquitos apparently had been made with old chum left over from the Lake Powell Carp Clearance project. She limped out of the restroom and told Robertson, "It was such a huge one it lifted me up off the seat." He said, "There's something on the back of your leg," and made a beeline for the door as she grabbed the table cloth off to clean up.

It was in his autobiography.

by Straight guyreply 19911/13/2013

"I didn't have corn!" is incorrectly attributed to Carol Channing.

It was HELEN, of course.

by Straight guyreply 20011/13/2013

"La Bellagio"? Is this a thing now?

by Straight guyreply 20111/13/2013

Helen wanted a spot on The Big Valley but was afraid of Barbara Stanwyck.

She said, "I ain't never let a dame eat at the Y and I'm not about to now."

by Straight guyreply 20211/13/2013

R199, You got it all wrong. It wasn't the Bellagio, it was the Dunes, the precursor to the Bellagio (and for the record it's simply "Bellagio." If you want to use the Italian definite article, the correct would be "Il Bellagio."). And it wasn't the restroom either, it was out in the very center of the lobby.

Picture it, 1973, the Dunes Hotel. Helen Lawson had been in Los Angeles for weeks, putting together a one-woman-show for her Las Vegas debut at the Dunes. However, her anxiety and excitement (mixed with a few tumblers of bourbon), turned to rage as her limousine approached the hotel driveway. There on the towering marquee in big block letters announced: JOEY HEATHERTON. Underneath it, in smaller, narrower letters, along with other assorted names from yesteryear read, "Helen Lawson." Helen stormed into the hotel lobby and tore into the management staff on hand. She demanded top billing.

"But Miss Lawson," one of them protested, "Miss Heatherton is the headlining act. You are opening, along with Trini Lopez and Frankie Laine."

Helen's eyes widened before ripping the poor boy to shreds, "Helen Lawson opens for no one, pal! Not for the President, not for the Pope, not even for the goddamn Queen of England! And [italic]especially[/italic] not for some talentless hussy whose left leg hasn't seen the right one in a decade!"

She then turned on her heel, walked towards the center of the lobby, and proclaimed, "If this classy joint wants to sully its reputation with shitty acts, I'll give you a shitty act worth remembering!"

With that, Helen dropped her polyester slacks to her knees, squatted, dropped a turd, stood back up and pulled up her slacks, cocked her hat, and walked out.

by Straight guyreply 20311/13/2013

Helen would steal my lightbulbs from my dressing room.

by Straight guyreply 20511/13/2013

She did you a favor, Yvette.

by Straight guyreply 20611/13/2013

They didn't call her "Mount St. Helens" for nuthin'!

by Straight guyreply 20711/14/2013

Helen's daughter Julie is such a CUNT!

by Straight guyreply 20811/14/2013

Shit, this thread's got some fucking legs, which is a hellava lot more than you can say about Neely.

by Straight guyreply 20911/14/2013

Speaking of Helen and shit, be sure to ask her about Danny Thomas and a glass coffee table she broke at his house...

by Straight guyreply 21011/14/2013

R207 those are LIES!

I love Heather Joeyton!

by Straight guyreply 21111/14/2013


by Straight guyreply 21211/15/2013

Bump is what's on my hoo ha after Milton Berle spent a night rammin' it....

by Straight guyreply 21311/15/2013

Who has resisted Helen's, uh, charms?

by Straight guyreply 21411/15/2013


by Straight guyreply 21511/16/2013


That's the much-derided sequel to "Who Gives a Flying Fuck?" I think Helen was the only one of the stars to do the sequel. I wish her love for a paycheck hadn't outweighed her artistic sensibility.

by Straight guyreply 21611/16/2013

Helen, on turning down the role of Margaret Anderson on "Father Knows Best."

"I knew Bobby Young. Back in 42 we did one of them shorts together warning GIs about screwing dames overseas, 'Her Foxhole Gave Him VD'. He felt the script for this series he wanted to do was too sweet and needed a dame like myself, ya know, to give it a little color. I said to Bobby, sure I ain't above giving TV a try. Then I was introduced to the actor they got to play my son. Fucking handsome as the day was long with a body carved from fucking granite, I tell ya. And I'd swear on a stack of King Jameses that never didn't have no stiffie. I went to Bobby and said, listen, Bobby, I like ya and I wanna help ya out, but I gotta back out, cause the kid playing the son glazes my ham. Ain't sure I could get through a scene with him without leaving drool on my chin. America just ain't ready for that. He was swell about it. Of course, nowadays, just about anything fucking goes. What the fuck is that word they use about hot moms? Oh yeah, MILF. I woulda been tv's first fucking MILF. How do ya like that?"

by Straight guyreply 21711/16/2013

Yet she never made it in TV. It was always an almost, but not quite, proposition.

She was thisclose to a recurring role on "Trapper John M.D." until she kept chasing the show's star, Pernell Roberts.

"Pernell Rub-it," she called him. "That dome head a-yours got me all worked up. Let's see the other dome head, baby."

by Straight guyreply 21811/16/2013

[quote]Who has resisted Helen's, uh, charms?

Dirk Bogarde. Helen tried to seduce the handsome British star on the set of "I Could Go On Drinking" (loosely based on the life of Barbara Payton) at Pinewood Studios. She had heard rumors that he was gay, so she tried to lure him in by dropping names of celebrated men she's had.

"Ty Power. Brando. Olivier. All of them have taken a dip in my pond."

"What a coincidence!" Bogarde responded. "They've all taken dips in my pond as well. And I do mean that in the plural."

by Straight guyreply 21911/16/2013

She tried with James Mason, but he politely declined, calling Helen a "colorful gem" that "couldn't be captured."

What he didn't want to "capture" was the scorching case of VD that Helen allegedly had at the time.

by Straight guyreply 22011/17/2013

Helen was eat up with so many VDs that docs couldn't even diagnose some of them. She had shit that would make a man's dick fall off.

by Straight guyreply 22111/17/2013

That's why, in later years, Helen's nickname was "Chernobyl Clitoris."

by Straight guyreply 22211/17/2013

The song Tainted Twat was a tribute to Helen.

by Straight guyreply 22311/17/2013

Remember her failed foray in producing TV movies. She was the original co-producer on Something About Amelia, until she gave that disastrous interview on Entertainment Tonight to Dixie Watley in which she referred to the film as a modern-day love story. Her attempt to produce An Early Frost was also cut short after that infamous interview with Rona Barrett in which she said she had wanted to name the film "A Bad Batch of Fudge."

by Straight guyreply 22411/17/2013

A couple of months ago, an old friend of mine moved across-country for a job promotion. He left me with an old collection of VHS tapes that I am converting to DVD.

I was surprised to find a copy of a very early Helen Lawson film I had never heard of: "So long, Daddy!".

It co-stars Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Mary Pickford as her divorced mother and father. Pickford, who plays a light-skinned, mixed-race woman who passes for white, takes up with a local black businessman, Seth (played by a young Paul Robeson). Helen is very young in the film.

Lawson is billed as "Baby Helen Lawson" and sings a duet with Baby Rose Marie (of "Dick Van Dyke Show" fame) about divorce called,"Our mommies wanted bigger things".

The sub-text abounds.

Definitely pre-code. Way, way ahead of its time.

by Straight guyreply 22511/17/2013


by Straight guyreply 22611/18/2013

I think there's still footage of Helen at "Battle of the Network Stars."

She kept grabbing at Gregory Harrison's cock. I can't say as I blame her.....

by Straight guyreply 22711/18/2013

One of my favorites from Helen's noir period is "The Girl With Something Extra". Not to be confused with the 1970s Sally Field sitcom, this black-and-white film from the 40s opens with gangster Broderick Crawford on the lam for his life when he stops by the operating lab of doctor Hans Conreid. When he corners the doctor and his nurse at gunpoint and orders them to change his appearance, it looks like the gangsters plan will succeed until the doctor has a fatal heart attack mid-operation. Waking up from the operation, the gangster learns that the operation was only half-successful. Even more importantly, he learns that the doctor was experimenting in the then-unheard field of gender reassignment. As the gangster looks into a mirror, he's shocked to discover that he's female (now played by Helen Lawson) but with the gruff voice of Broderick Crawford as well as "naughty bits below the waist". As the authorities discover his whereabouts, the gangster is forced to hit the road -- half male/half female. Some prints of the movie include an edited scene featuring Helen Lawdon and a young Tony Perkins in an more than awkward romantic scene. Make sure you watch until the shocking end.

by Straight guyreply 22811/18/2013

Will any network be re-airing the "Helen Lawson Holiday Special"?

by Straight guyreply 22911/19/2013

R233, A Christmas classic. Especially when Helen sings "Winter Wonderland" with Shari Lewis, Lamb Chop and Charlie Horse, and ice dances with Grover Dale.

by Straight guyreply 23011/19/2013

No one has mentioned all the drag queens who make a living doing Helen Lawson impersonations. There are enough of them to fill a whole season of RuPaul's Drag Race.

by Straight guyreply 23111/19/2013

Wasn't that a challenge during the lost season of the RuPaul show? To do a Helen Lawson impersonation?

by Straight guyreply 23211/19/2013

I voted r232 for wit and wisdom

by Straight guyreply 23311/19/2013

R233 and R234 -

Do you mean the 1960s Christmas special? I think Lamb Chop was on that one. Helen was awful jealous of her.

But there's also the 1981 one, with Bea Arthur, Madame, and Melissa Manchester.

by Straight guyreply 23411/19/2013

Did Helen make an appearance in the notorious Star Wars Holiday Special along with Art Carney and Bea Arthur?

by Straight guyreply 23511/19/2013

I liked Helen's appearance in the Paul Lynde Halloween special

by Straight guyreply 23611/19/2013

Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop appeared in the single-aired "Helen's Happy Hannukah", NOT the Christmas Special. Also appearing were Jackie Mason and the Mazel Tov Merrymakers (Jewish teen singers / cloggers). Special guest star Sammy Davis Jr. made an appearance at the very end, duetting with Helen on a all-Hebrew version "Candy Man".

by Straight guyreply 23711/19/2013

No, R242. Her real name at birth was Ethel Merman.

by Straight guyreply 23811/19/2013

Thanks, R242. It was clear from day one that it is Ethel Merman, about time someone finally wrote it here.

by Straight guyreply 23911/19/2013

That Ethel is a fat old whore! But a helluva broad.

by Straight guyreply 24011/20/2013


by Straight guyreply 24112/29/2013

Didn't Helen do a Christmas film called "Santa Comes For Good Girls!"? Who'd she play and what was it about?

by Straight guyreply 24201/02/2014

"Lusitania"...a fictionalized 1957 film based on the famous disaster. Helen portrays widow Selma Boddie, returning to England to scatter her Irish-born husband's ashes off the Irish coast. Ignoring the ads placed in the papers by the German government, she books passage on the famed Cunarder. She meets dashing Chief Officer Rock Bogarde (Stewart Granger), who comforts her, as she is feeling vulnerable and lonely. A shipboard romance develops, scandalizing the first class passengers. The ship is torpedoed in the middle of the ceremony. Will Selma survive?

by Straight guyreply 24301/02/2014

After "Lusitania" is "Last Stop to Freedom" a little seen gem from the 40s that has Helen in a very dramatic turn as Amy Post, a Quaker that was known for her heroic work on the Underground Railroad. I have heard the historical inaccuracies are legendary, including a scene with Helen's character standing on her porch with a martini and a cigarette (in a jeweled holder) facing off against an angry mob and yelling "There ain't nuthin' of what yer lookin' for here, but feel free to look in all my nooks 'n crannies"...and I think she wears a full length fur too...

by Straight guyreply 24401/02/2014

If This Is London I Must Be Blitzed represents her only screen pairing with Bob Hope. It's one of those cheesy sex comedies from the '60s where the mere implication of anyone getting laid outside of wedlock is meant to raise titters and eyebrows.

Hope plays an American sexologist in London who finds himself embroiled in a society scandal involving the elegant but lusty Lady Cavendish, inexplicably played by that coarse All-American vulgarian, Helen Lawson. Critics wrote that Dick Van Dyke would play Henry Higgins sooner than Lawson would ever again be cast in a role requiring a posh British accent.

As for Helen, she literally took a chunk out of Hope's scalp after learning six weeks into filming that the only reason she got the part was that Phyllis Diller refused to appear on screen in the amply over-padded brassiere that Helen had been shameless and desperate enough to wear.

by Straight guyreply 24501/02/2014

I just watched LOVE HAS MANY FACELIFTS. Helen starred with Lora Meredith. This must be not long after Steve was stabbed. Any behind-the-scenes gossip? Raquel Welch had a nonspeaking part as the waitress that hands Helen the fruity cocktail. Lora really wasn't aging well.

by Straight guyreply 24601/25/2014


by Straight guyreply 24701/03/2015

Helen's deepest, darkest secret was something that she had in common with Neely O'Hara...a stay in a mental institution. Here's what happened...only the facts have been made up.

When Helen failed to win the role of Scarlett O'Hara she became determined to land another speaking part in "Gone With the Wind". She launched an aggressive campaign, becoming a major pest at the Selznick studios (rivaled only by "Adore" seeking the role of Bonnie). Offering sexual favors to the security guards to gain admittance, Helen began showing up in costume and makeup of the characters she was hoping to portray. Unfortunately, no photos have been found but Helen is said to have costumed herself as Suellen O'Hara, Maybelle Merriwether, Cathleen Calvert, India Wilkes, Emmy Slattery, Belle Watling and, as her desperation and delusion increased, Aunt Pittypat, Mammy, Prissy and Uncle Peter.

Helen eventually rationalized her rejections for all these roles with the belief that she was destined for the one role that she considered to be "closest" to Scarlett, her daughter, Bonnie Blue Butler. Having been officially banned from the lot by order of David O. Selznick himself (all staff memo dated April 1, 1938), Helen tried to jump the studio gates on a pony and, like Bonnie, was thrown, striking her head against the pavement and awaking with the delusion that she WAS Bonnie Blue Butler!

Each night at lights out, Helen's pitiful cries of "Daddy, Daddy! Dark, dark!" echoed through the halls of Happydale Sanitarium until finally she was cured of her delusion by several rounds of electroshock followed by a prefrontal lobotomy.

Henry Bellamy, Helen's attorney, agent and lover, conspired with Selznick, the LAPD and Happydale Sanitarium to keep this secret buried for over 75 years. It is only through the combined and ongoing research efforts of Jacqueline Susann, Kenneth Anger and James Ellroy that this shocking story has come to light.

by Straight guyreply 24801/04/2015

I understand the short list for this year's SAG Lifetime Achievement Award included Helen, Nanette Fabray, Margaret O'Brien, Debbie Reynolds and Jane Powell, and they went with Debbie.

by Straight guyreply 24901/04/2015

R249 I heard that Neely O'Hara was up to but they didn't go with her either

by Straight guyreply 25001/04/2015
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