Helena Carter (born Helen Rickerts, August 24, 1923 – January 11, 2000) was an American film actress in the 1940s and 1950s who is best known for her work in the film Invaders from Mars as Dr. Patricia Blake. From 1947 to 1953 she would appear in 13 films, during which time she also worked as a model.
Helena Carter in the trailer for
Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (1950)
August 24, 1923
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||January 11, 2000 76) (aged|
Culver City, Los Angeles, California
|Spouse(s)||Michael Meshekoff (1953-1997)|
Carter was born in New York City, and her family was of Scottish descent. She graduated from Hunter College and attended graduate school at Columbia University, studying for a teaching degree. She later said her ambition was to be a teacher and marry a college professor.
Carter was visiting friends at Universal Studios when spotted by producer Leonard Goldstein. Universal signed her to a seven-year contract in 1946. "I just happened to visit the studio at a good time, I guess," she later said.
Back at Universal she was in River Lady (1948) vying with Yvonne de Carlo for Rod Cameron. That film was shot in July 1947. She did not work again until June 1948. In August 1949 Hedda Hopper reported that Carter became "a little difficult to handle after her first picture. She turned down a part in an Abbott and Costello film, and got the silent treatment from the studio for the year. She finally saw the light, started co operating."
The film that brought her back was being cast as Douglas Fairbanks Jr's love interest in The Fighting O'Flynn (1949), made for Fairbanks' company but released through Universal. Fairbanks took an option on her to for two more films.In 1948 she appeared on the cover of Life Magazine.
In June 1948 she told an interviewer, "Cameras don't frighten me even if I have freckles. But I still talk too fast. Sound men tear their hair out when I speak my first words in a picture. They are polite but very firm as they say, between clenched teeth, 'Slow down, Miss Carter, slow down.'"
Conflict with Universal
Carter turned down the part of Richard Long's wife in Ma and Pa Kettle in October 1948; Meg Randall played the role. In November Hedda Hopper reported that Carter wanted out of her Universal contract six months ago, and would get it if she paid back all the salary she had received since September. Hopper reported that the studio got enough money out of her loan outs to Fairbanks and Raft to cover two years of her pay.
However she stayed with Universal. In July 1949 Carter replaced Dolores Hart in East of Java which became South Sea Sinner (1951). Carter and Shelley Winters reportedly feuded on set, although both denied it. She followed it with the female lead in Double Crossbones (1950), a comedy with Donald O'Connor.
In April 1950 James Cagney and his brother William borrowed her for Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (1950), made by William Cagney Productions for Warner Bros. The same month she was reportedly reading for the role of Roxanne in Cyrano de Bergerac (1950).
|1947||Time Out of Mind||Dora Drake|
|Something in the Wind||Clarissa Prentice|
|1948||River Lady||Stephanie Morrison|
|1949||The Fighting O'Flynn||Lady Benedetta|
|1950||Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye||Margaret Dobson|
|South Sea Sinner||Margaret Landis|
|1951||Double Crossbones||Lady Sylvia Copeland|
|Fort Worth||Amy Brooks|
|1952||Bugles in the Afternoon||Josephine Russell|
|The Golden Hawk||Blanca de Valdiva|
|1953||Invaders from Mars||Dr. Patricia Blake|
- "Helena Carter; Model, Movie Actress of 1940s and '50s". Los Angeles Times. January 25, 2000. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
- "Helena Carter One of Several Standouts in Movie Now Unreeling". Shamokin News-Dispatch. Pennsylvania, Shamokin. August 31, 1950. p. 14. Retrieved November 2, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- Scott, J. L. (1948, Jun 20). GLAMOUR GIRL FOUND TO HAVE ABILITY, TOO. Los Angeles Times
- COLUMBIA TO FILM BARRY STORM WORK: Studio Acquires Screen Rights to 'Thundergod's Gold,' Tale of Lost Mine in Arizona By THOMAS F. BRADYS New York Times 20 Apr 1948: 33.
- Schallert, E. (1947, Apr 28). DRAMA AND FILM. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/165748138
- DRAMA AND FILM: Mrs. Miniver Revives; Unborn Baby 'Siqned' Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 25 July 1947: A3.
- HEDDA HOPPER. (1949, Aug 08). Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/165991139
- By THOMAS F BRADY Special to The New York Times. (1948, Apr 20). COLUMBIA TO FILM BARRY STORM WORK. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/108401432
- "Movie Fencers". Life Magazine. November 8, 1948.
- Schallert, E. (1948, Nov 10). Policing of race tracks stirs up documentary; noted britisher signed. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/165870793
- Jean Peters to Star With Ray Milland Hopper, Hedda. Los Angeles Times 13 Nov 1948: 9.
- JANET LEIGH GETS 2 RKO FILM LEADS: New York Times 1 July 1949: 14.
- HEDDA HOPPER: Walker Will Costar With Singer Grayson Los Angeles Times 26 July 1949: 14.
- By THOMAS F BRADY Special to The New York Times. (1949, Jul 01). JANET LEIGH GETS 2 RKO FILM LEADS. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/105964331
- HOLDEN GETS ROLE IN 'BORN YESTERDAY' New York Times 15 Apr 1950: 11.
- Gregory Peck Teams with Gene Tierney in Combination Film Tale: Looking at Hollywood.. Hedda Hopper's Staff. Chicago Daily Tribune 27 Apr 1950: a1.
- Schallert, E. (1951, Jun 06). Drama. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/166203588
- Obituaries; * helena carter; model, movie actress of 1940s and '50s. (2000, Jan 25). Los Angeles Times Retrieved from http://articles.latimes.com/2000/jan/25/news/mn-57642
- "Marriages". Billboard. January 16, 1954. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
- III, Harris M. Lentz (2001). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2000: Film, Television, Radio, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cartoons and Pop Culture. McFarland. pp. 40–41. ISBN 9780786410248. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
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