Helen Westcott

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Helen Westcott
Helen Westcott in The Gunfighter.jpg
Helen Westcott in 1950
Born Myrthas Helen Hickman
(1928-01-01)January 1, 1928
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Died March 17, 1998(1998-03-17) (aged 70)
Edmonds, Washington, U.S.
Cause of death Cancer
Occupation Actress
Years active 1934–1977
Spouse(s) Don Gordon (m. 1948; div. 1953)
Joseph Johnson-Smith (1975–1981; his death)
Children 1[1]
Parent(s) Gordon Westcott
Hazel Beth McArthur
Helen Westcott on Bonanza, 1960 episode "The Fear Merchants"

Helen Westcott (January 1, 1928 – March 17, 1998) was an American stage and screen actor and former child actor.[2][3] She is best known for her work in The Gunfighter (1958).[4]

Early years[edit]

Born Myrthas Helen Hickman,[5] she was the daughter of singer Hazel Beth McArthur[4] and Warner Bros. studio actor Gordon Westcott[6] who died when Helen was 7 years old, in 1935. She attended Los Angeles City College.[4]

When she was 2, Westcott appeared in vaudeville with her mother, and when she was 7 she began a nine-year run playing the daughter on stage in a production of The Drunkard in Los Angeles.[7]


When Westcott was 4 years old, she appeared in a series of short films. At 5, she appeared in the full-length Thunder Over Texas.[7] She appeared opposite Gregory Peck in the western classic The Gunfighter released in 1950. She was also known in part for her role in Charles Lamont's 1953 comedy horror film Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.


Westcott moved from the big screen to television roles in the late 1950s. In 1958 she appeared on Perry Mason as murderer Marcia Greeley in "The Case of the Haunted Husband." She also made guest appearances on Bonanza, The Twilight Zone and Wanted Dead Or Alive.[3][8]

Later years[edit]

Westcott also appeared on the stage later in her career, as well as in films including Anthony Mann's God's Little Acre in 1958.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Westcott wed actor Don Gordon on February 18, 1948. In 1950, they had a daughter, Jennifer. They were divorced in 1953.[4]


On March 17, 1998, Westcott died of cancer in Edmonds, Washington. Her body was cremated.[6]

Partial filmography[edit]

Source: The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Film: Ali Baba to Zombies[9]


  1. ^ "Helen Westcott - The Private Life and Times of Helen Westcott. Helen Westcott Pictures". 
  2. ^ Willis, John (2000), Screen World Volume 50: 1999, ISBN 1-55783-410-5 
  3. ^ a b c Oliver, Myrna (March 26, 1998), "Helen Westcott; Stage, Screen Actress Began Career at 4", The Los Angeles Times, retrieved 2009-09-25 
  4. ^ a b c d Wagner, Laura (Fall 2016). "Helen Westcott: "A Very Gifted Actress"". Films of the Golden Age (86): 74–76. 
  5. ^ Room, Adrian (2010). Dictionary of Pseudonyms: 13,000 Assumed Names and Their Origins, 5th ed. McFarland. p. 507. ISBN 9780786457632. Retrieved 14 November 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Wilson, Scott (2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. (2 volume set). McFarland. p. 800. ISBN 9781476625997. Retrieved 14 November 2016. 
  7. ^ a b "Victoria: Helen Westcott Plays Top Female Role in Western Attraction Unreeling Here". Shamokin News-Dispatch. Pennsylvania, Shamokin. June 30, 1950. p. 10. Retrieved November 14, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  8. ^ Miller, Jeffrey S. (2004), Horror Spoofs of Abbott and Costello: A Critical Assessment of the Comedy Team's Monster Films, ISBN 978-0-7864-1922-7 
  9. ^ Young, R. G. (2000). The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Film: Ali Baba to Zombies. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 970. ISBN 9781557832696. Retrieved 14 November 2016. 

External links[edit]