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Helen Burgess
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Date of Birth

26 April 1916, Portland, Oregon, USA

Date of Death

7 April 1937, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA (lobar pneumonia)

Mini Biography

Young and full of promise, Paramount contract player Helen Burgess possessed a lovely, sweet-faced quality, but made only four films during her lifetime. Born April 26, 1916, the rather demure Portland, Oregon beauty was given an auspicious debut in Cecil B. DeMille's epic bio-western The Plainsman (1936). Discovered by DeMille himself with only brief stage experience behind her, the film starred Gary Cooper as Wild Bill Hickok and Jean Arthur as Calamity Jane. Helen was fifth billed as Louisa Frederici Cody, the young bride of Wild West showman Buffalo Bill Cody, played by James Ellison.

Helen went on to co-star in lesser "B" pictures, one opposite George Bancroft in the drama A Doctor's Diary (1937), and a second femme lead in King of Gamblers (1937) supporting Claire Trevor. She was busy filming her fourth movie Night of Mystery (1937) when she caught a chill that resulted in a serious cold. This, in turn, developed into lobar pneumonia. Helen died in Beverly Hills on April 7, 1937, weeks before reaching her 21st birthday, and only months after the release of her first and best known film "The Plainsman." One can only wonder what was in store for this future star. She was buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

Spouse

Herbert Rutherford (1937 - 1937) (annulled)

Trivia

Her role as Louisa Cody in Paramount Pictures' The Plainsman (1936) was played eight years later by Maureen O'Hara in yet another biography of William F. Cody, this time at Twentieth Century-Fox, entitled Buffalo Bill (1944) starring Joel McCrea.

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