Helen Westcott

Helen Westcott (born Myrthas Helen Hickman,[2] January 1, 1928 – March 17, 1998) was an American stage and screen actor and former child actor.[3][4] She is best known for her work in The Gunfighter (1950).[5]

Helen Westcott
Helen Westcott in The Gunfighter.jpg
Westcott in 1950
Myrthas Helen Hickman

(1928-01-01)January 1, 1928
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
DiedMarch 17, 1998(1998-03-17) (aged 70)
Years active1934–1977
Don Gordon
(m. 1948; div. 1953)

Joseph Johnson-Smith (1975–1981; his death)
Parent(s)Gordon Westcott
Hazel Beth McArthur

Early yearsEdit

Westcott was the daughter of singer Hazel Beth McArthur[5] and Warner Bros. studio actor Gordon Westcott.[6] Her father died when Helen was seven years old, in 1935.

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

Westcott attended Los Angeles City College.[5]


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 in the 1960 Bonanza episode "The Fear Merchants"

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.[4][8]

Later yearsEdit

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.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

Westcott wed actor Don Gordon on February 18, 1948. In 1950, they had a daughter, Jennifer. They were divorced in 1953.[5]


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


Year Title Role Notes
1934 Thunder Over Texas Betty 'Tiny' Norton
1935 The Affair of Susan Engaged Girl on Stoop Uncredited
1935 A Midsummer Night's Dream Cobweb
1936 Without Orders Little Girl Uncredited
1937 Maid of Salem Little Girl Uncredited
1941 Henry Aldrich for President Student Uncredited
1948 13 Lead Soldiers Cynthia Stedman
1948 Smart Girls Don't Talk Toni Peters
1948 Adventures of Don Juan Lady Diana
1949 Alaska Patrol Mary Lynn
1949 Flaxy Martin Peggy Farrar
1949 Homicide Jo Ann Rice
1949 Mr. Belvedere Goes to College Tri Gam Coed Uncredited
1949 One Last Fling Annie Mae Hunter
1949 The Girl from Jones Beach Miss Brooks
1949 Whirlpool Simms' Secretary Uncredited
1949 Dancing in the Dark June Uncredited
1950 Backfire Miss Haller - Receptionist at Mortuary Uncredited
1950 Three Came Home Woman Prisoner Uncredited
1950 The Gunfighter Peggy Walsh
1951 Take Care of My Little Girl Merry Coombs
1951 The Secret of Convict Lake Susan Haggerty
1952 Phone Call from a Stranger Jane Trask
1952 Return of the Texan Averill Murray
1952 With a Song in My Heart Jennifer March
1952 Loan Shark Martha Haines
1952 Battles of Chief Pontiac Winifred Lancaster
1953 Cow Country Linda Garnet
1953 The Charge at Feather River Anne McKeever
1953 Gun Belt Arlene Reach
1953 Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Vicky Edwards
1956 Hot Blood Velma
1956 I Killed Wild Bill Hickok Belle Longtree
1958 God's Little Acre Rosamund
1958 The Last Hurrah Mrs. McCluskey Uncredited
1958 Invisible Avenger Tara O'Neill
1958 Monster on the Campus Nurse Molly Riordan
1959 Day of the Outlaw Vivian
1960 Studs Lonigan Miss Julia Miller
1960 Cimarron Miss Kuye - Schoolteacher Uncredited
1970 Pieces of Dreams Mrs. Straub
1970 I Love My Wife Mrs. Burrows

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. ^ Room, Adrian (2010). Dictionary of Pseudonyms: 13,000 Assumed Names and Their Origins, 5th ed. McFarland. p. 507. ISBN 9780786457632. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  3. ^ Willis, John (2000), Screen World Volume 50: 1999, ISBN 1-55783-410-5
  4. ^ 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
  5. ^ a b c d Wagner, Laura (Fall 2016). "Helen Westcott: "A Very Gifted Actress"". Films of the Golden Age (86): 74–76.
  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.  
  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 linksEdit