Helen Vinson

Helen Vinson

Original Name Rulfs Hardenbrook
Beaumont, Jefferson County, Texas, USA
Death 7 Oct 1999 (aged 94)
Chapel Hill, Monmouth County, New Jersey, USA
Burial Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County, Texas, USA
Plot Second addition, Lot 54, Space 2 (next to drive)
Memorial ID 7978 · View Source
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Actress. After appearing on Broadway, she starred in around forty feature films. Born Helen Rulfs, she was raised in Texas by a well-off oil family. While a child, Helen developed a lifelong enjoyment of horses; she studied at the University of Texas (where she met the director of the Houston Little Theater), but eloped for the first of her three marriages in 1925. Leaving her husband in 1927, she appeared in a Houston production of "The Charm School", then was off to Broadway where she made her debut in "Los Angeles". Helen had several leads on the Great White Way, including a noted turn in Agatha Christie's "Death Takes a Holiday", then traveled to Hollywood where she made her silver screen bow in 1932's "Jewel Robbery". Over the years, she was typecast in roles audiences were not supposed to like, either as a "loose" woman (unfaithful wife), or as "the other woman", a philandering husband's mistress. However, contemporaneous reviews report that Helen was so good at these parts that viewers often found themselves sympathizing with her in spite of themselves, a particular example being her success in "The Wedding Night" (1935). Her second (brief) marriage to British tennis player Fred Perry took her to England in the mid 1930s, where she made a few movies; returning to America, she was the treacherous friend of Carole Lombard and Cary Grant in the 1939 "In Name Only". Helen's show business career was gradually fading-to-black, and ended with 1944's "Are These Our Parents?". Her final marriage to socialite Donald Hardenbrook lasted from 1946 until 1976; she lived out her days in New Jersey, enjoyed visiting Broadway, Texas, and New Orleans, and had a favorite horse named Arrabella.

Bio by: Bob Hufford

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 2 Jan 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7978
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Helen Vinson (17 Sep 1905–7 Oct 1999), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7978, citing Oak Grove Cemetery, Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .