Helen Gallagher in Ryan's Hope (1977)
|Born||July 19, 1926|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Occupation||Actress, dancer, singer, makeup artist|
|Spouse(s)||Frank Wise (divorced 1958)|
|Awards||Tony Award, Featured Actress in a Musical, 1952 Pal Joey; Lead Actress in a Musical 1971 No, No, Nanette, Daytime Emmy Award, Lead Actress 1976, 77, 88|
Helen Gallagher (born July 19, 1926) is an American actress, dancer, and singer.
Born in Brooklyn, she was raised in Scarsdale, New York for several years until the Wall Street crash which heralded the Great Depression, and her family moved to the Bronx. Her parents separated and she was raised with an aunt. She suffered from asthma.
Gallagher was known for decades as a Broadway performer. She appeared in Make a Wish, Hazel Flagg, Portofino, High Button Shoes, Sweet Charity (for which she received a 1967 Tony Award nomination for Featured Actress in a Musical), and Cry for Us All.
In 1952, she won a Tony Award for her work in the revival of Pal Joey. In 1971, she won her second Tony Award for her role in the revival of the musical No, No, Nanette, which also starred Ruby Keeler and Patsy Kelly. Her song and dance number with Bobby Van from that show, "You Can Dance with Any Girl", is preserved on the cast album of that revival. She would later take on the role of Sue Smith in the Papermill Playhouse revival of the show, playing the role Keeler played a quarter century earlier.
Her first starring role on Broadway came in 1953 as title character Hazel Flagg, based on the 1937 Carole Lombard movie Nothing Sacred. The role earned her a feature photo shoot for Life magazine. Gallagher appeared in the 1977 movie Roseland opposite Christopher Walken. An aficionada of Rodgers and Hammerstein, she appeared on a special tribute to Richard Rodgers on The Bell Telephone Hour.
Despite her extensive work on Broadway, she is perhaps best known as the gentle Irish American matriarch Maeve Ryan on the soap opera Ryan's Hope, a role she played for the show's entire duration, from 1975 to 1989. She was nominated for five Daytime Emmy Awards for her work on the serial, winning in 1976, 1977, and 1988.
As the show progressed further into the 1980s, the ratings took a steep slide. When ABC executives cancelled Ryan's Hope, Claire Labine ended the final episode with Maeve at the family bar, singing Danny Boy. Almost immediately after the cancellation of Ryan's Hope, Gallagher had a two-day guest stint on Another World, and has appeared in All My Children as a strict nurse and on One Life to Live as a sex therapist (whose son married Dorian Lord). She has continued to act in various Off-Broadway and professional theater productions.
In 1984, Gallagher starred in the title role of Tallulah, a musical stage biography of actress Tallulah Bankhead. She is currently a faculty member at HB Studio (Herbert Berghof Studio) in New York City.
|Opening date||Closing date||Title||Role||Theatre|
|December 7, 1944||May 12, 1945||Seven Lively Arts||Understudy
Corps de Ballet
|September 6, 1945||September 15, 1945||Mr. Strauss Goes to Boston||Corps de Ballet||New Century|
|December 21, 1945||June 29, 1946||Billion Dollar Baby||Chorine
|March 13, 1947||July 31, 1948||Brigadoon||Dancer||Ziegfeld|
|October 9, 1947||July 2, 1949||High Button Shoes||Nancy||New Century|
|October 13, 1949||March 18, 1950||Touch and Go||Daughter
|April 18, 1951||July 14, 1951||Make a Wish||Poupette||Winter Garden|
|January 3, 1952||April 18, 1953||Pal Joey||Gladys Bumps||Broadhurst|
|February 11, 1953||September 19, 1953||Hazel Flagg||Hazel Flagg||Mark Hellinger|
|May 13, 1954||November 24, 1956||The Pajama Game||Gladys (replacement)||St. James|
|April 20, 1955||May 31, 1955||Guys and Dolls||Miss Adelaide||City Center|
|May 18, 1955||May 29, 1955||Finian's Rainbow||Sharon McLonergan||City Center|
|April 9, 1957||May 5, 1957||Brigadoon||Meg Brockie||Adelphi|
|February 21, 1958||February 22, 1958||Portofino||Kitty||Adelphi|
|Mar 19, 1958||March 30, 1958||Oklahoma!||Ado Annie Carnes||City Center|
|December 31, 1964||January 23, 1965||Royal Flush||Understudy||Shubert|
|January 29, 1966||July 15, 1967||Sweet Charity||Nickie
|May 24, 1966||January 3, 1970||Mame||replacement Agnes Gooch
replacement Vera Charles
|April 8, 1970||April 15, 1970||Cry for Us All||Bessie Legg||Broadhurst|
|January 19, 1971||February 3, 1973||No, No, Nanette||Lucille Early||46th Street|
|November 11, 1972||February 11, 1973||Much Ado About Nothing||Choreography assistant to Donald Saddler||Winter Garden|
|April 26, 1976||May 9, 1976||Tickles by Tucholsky||Theatre Four|
|October 5, 1977||November 27, 1977||The Misanthrope||Arsinoe||Joseph Papp Public Theater|
New York Shakespeare Festival
|June 14, 1978||December 3, 1978||The American Dance Machine||Choreographic reconstruction||Century|
|October 10, 1978||November 12, 1978||A Broadway Musical||Maggie Simpson||Theatre of the Riverside Church|
|October 8, 1979||August 28, 1982||Sugar Babies||Replacement||Mark Hellinger|
|May 14, 1981||October 25, 1981||I Can't Keep Running in Place||Beth||Westside|
|June 13, 1983||Unknown||Tallulah||Tallulah Bankhead||Westside Arts|
|August 23, 1983||September 5, 1983||Same Time, Next Year||Doris||Ivoryton Playhouse|
|March 9, 1987||March 9, 1987||Star Dust||Performer||Sardi's|
|May 17, 1990||July 8, 1990||Annie 2||Fran Riley||Norma Terris|
|September 6, 1990||September 9, 1990||Money Talks||Promenade|
|June 1996||June 1996||Home||Mother||Ensemble Studio Theatre|
|April 9, 1997||May 27, 1997||No, No, Nanette||Papermill Playhouse|
|January 28, 2000||January 30, 2000||70, Girls, 70||Gert||York Theatre Company|
Film and television
|1951||Don Ameche's Musical Playhouse||Self||Jan 25, 1951|
|1951||Don Ameche's Musical Playhouse||Self||Feb 4, 1951|
|1951||Paul Whitman's Goodyear Revue||Self||May 20, 1951|
|1951||General Electric Guest House||Self||August 12, 1951|
|1951||The Mel Torme Show||Self||November 5, 1951|
|1951||Colgate Comedy Hour||Self||Episodes 1.35 and 1.40|
|1952||The Ezio Pinza Show||February 1, 1952|
|1953||The Ed Sullivan Show||Self||Episodes 6.25 and 6.45|
|1954||Kraft Television Theatre||TV series, episode: Pardon My Prisoner|
|1955||Colgate Comedy Hour||Self||Episode 5.33|
|1955||A.N.T.A. Album of 1955||Self|
|1958||The Ed Sullivan Show||Self||Episodes 11.17, 11.19 and 11.32|
|1960||Strangers When We Meet||Betty Anders|
|1960||Hallmark Hall of Fame||Lise||TV series, episode: Shangri-La|
|1961||The Bell Telephone Hour||Self||TV series, episode: The Music of Richard Rodgers|
|1961||Yves Montand on Broadway||Self|
|1971||The David Frost Show||Self||Episode 3.109|
|1971||The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson||Self||Feb 4, 1971|
|1972||26th Tony Awards||Self|
|1973||27th Tony Awards||Self|
|1976||The American Woman: Portraits of Courage||Mary Harris Jones|
|1975–1989||Ryan's Hope||Maeve Ryan||TV series|
|1982||Family Feud||Self||Feb 8, 1982|
|1989||Live with Regis||Self||Jan 13, 1989|
|1989||Entertainment Tonight||Self||Jan 13, 1989|
|1989||Another World||Hannah Tuttle||TV series, two episodes|
|1990's||All My Children||Nurse Harris||TV series, unknown episodes|
|1993||Law & Order||Flo Bishop||TV series, episode: Born Bad|
|1995||The Cosby Mysteries||TV series, episode: Last Tango|
|1997||Neptune's Rocking Horse||Sadie|
|1997||One Life to Live||Dr. Maud Boylan||TV series, unknown episodes|
|2009||American Masters||Self||TV series, episode: Jerome Robbins: Something to Dance About|
- Klein, Alvin (August 21, 1983). "Soap Opera Star at Ivoryton". The New York Times.
- Inc, Time (1953-03-09). "The Little Girl They Had to Star". Life (March 9, 1953): 102–106.
- Helen Gallagher on IMDb
- Wilson, Earl (July 16, 1975). "Helen Gallagher Slips Into Soaps". The Milwaukee Sentinel.
- Frank, Leah D. (August 12, 1984). "Tallulah: Glitter and Self Pity". The New York Times.