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Parrish pictured in 1940
March 12, 1924|
Columbus, Georgia, U.S.
|Died||February 22, 1959
Hollywood, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Charles Lang (1942-1954) (divorced) 2 children
John Guedel (1957-1959) (her death)
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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 was featured in the Our Gang comedy shorts and sometimes played the lead character as a child, co-starring with 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 was 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 included X Marks the Spot (1931), When a Feller Needs a Friend (1932), A Dog of Flanders (1935), Little Tough Guy (1938), 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 had left motion pictures and turned to television, co-hosting Hour Glass, the first U.S. network variety show in 1946-47. One notable TV role was that of Geraldine Rutherford in 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.
- Babe Comes Home (1927)
- X Marks the Spot (1931)
- When a Feller Needs a Friend (1932)
- A Dog of Flanders (1935)
- Little Tough Guy (1938)
- First Love (1939)
- I'm Nobody's Sweetheart Now (1940)
- "You'll Find Out" (1940)
- Six Lessons from Madame La Zonga (1941)
- Too Many Blondes (1941)
- In Old California (1942)
- They All Kissed the Bride (1942)
- X Marks the Spot (1942)
- Cinderella Swings It (1943)
- Trouble Makers (1948)
- The Wolf Hunters (1949)
- "Helen Parrish Dies of Cancer". Reading Eagle. February 23, 1959. p. 14. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
- Willson, Dixie. Little Hollywood Stars. Akron, OH, e New York: Saalfield Pub. Co., 1935.