Born Mexico City, Mexico, she began her career as a model in the early-1960s. Toward the end of the decade, she studied drama with renown Mexican directors Carlos Ancira and José Luis Ibáñez, making her film debut in 1968 in the film El club de los suicidas. That same year, Helena also appeared in her second film, Los amigos. She continued working as a model and appearing in small film roles in the late 60's and early 70's.
In 1969, she signed an exclusivity contract with Productora Cinematográfica Marte. Later, she began expanding her acting career into television and theater. In 1974, her first television role was the lead in the telenovela Extraño en su pueblo. She was married to actor Juan Ferrara for many years. Currently, she is married to Benjamín Fernández, who is not in the entertainment industry. She is the mother of three children: Leo, Patricia and Elena, all from her first marriage.
In 2006 she appeared on the American dramedy series Ugly Betty, where she plays a mother who tries to steer her son away from the stepmother who has eyes for him on a 'faux' telenovela that is watched on TV by the main character's family