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Helen Parrish in trailer to "Little Tough Guy" (1938)
March 12, 1924|
Columbus, Georgia, USA
|Died||February 22, 1959
Hollywood, California, USA
|Spouse(s)||Charles Lang (1942-1954) (divorced) 2 children
John Guedel (1957-1959) (her death)
She started in movies at the age of five, getting her first part playing Babe Ruth's daughter in the silent film, Babe Comes Home in 1927. She featured in the Our Gang comedy shorts and sometimes played the lead character as a child co-starring some of the great female stars of the day. In her teens she made herself known as a kid sister. But during this time, she is probably most notable as an irritant of Deanna Durbin in several of her vehicles, playing a jealous, spiteful rival. Their first film together, Mad About Music (1938), worked so well that they soon formed a sort of Shirley Temple/Jane Withers team in a couple of other movie confections for Universal. In their second film together, Three Smart Girls Grow Up (1939), Parrish replaced Barbara Read as sister Kay Craig.
Her films were pleasant but unexceptional and in the "B" caliber, including X Marks the Spot (1931), When a Feller Needs a Friend (1932), A Dog of Flanders (1935), I'm Nobody's Sweetheart Now (1940), Too Many Blondes (1941), X Marks the Spot (1942; a remake of her earlier film), and The Wolf Hunters (1949).
By her mid-twenties she left motion pictures and turned to television, one notable role being that of Geraldine Rutherford on the first season of the American television situation comedy Leave It to Beaver.
Her brother, Robert Parrish, was a minor child actor who earned respect as a film editor and director and her other sister Beverly Parrish, died suddenly at the age of 11 after filming only one movie. Her first husband was screenwriter Charles Lang and her second was television producer John Guedel, who survived her.
- X Marks the Spot (1931)
- Little Tough Guy (1938)
- In Old California (1942)
- They All Kissed the Bride (1942)
- Trouble Makers (1948)
- The Wolf Hunters (1949)
- "Helen Parrish Dies of Cancer". Reading Eagle. 23 February 1959. p. 14. Retrieved 1 April 2014.