Helen Jairag Richardson Khan is a famous Bollywood actress who has mostly appeared as a cabaret dancer and a vamp in films.
Helen was born in Burma on October 21, 1939 to an Anglo-Indian father and a Burmese mother. Helen has a sister and a brother namely Jennifer and Roger. The actress lost her father during the Second World War. Later her family shifted to Mumbai where her mother worked as a nurse. To support her family financially she left school. One of her friends, Cukoo, who was an actress got her a chance to be the chorus dancer in like Shabistan and Awaara.
Helen is the second wife of the writer and actor Salim Khan whom she married in 1980. The couple have an adopted daughter named Arpita. She is the stepmother of the Khan brothers-Salman, Arbaaz, and Sohail.
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The lady has performed in places like London, Paris, and Hong Kong.
In 1973 the Merchant Ivory Films made a documentary named Helen, Queen of the Nautch Girls. In 2006, author Jerry Pinto wrote a book about Helen titled The Life and Times of an H-Bomb. This book received the National Film Award for Best Book on Cinema.
In 2009 she was honored with the Padma Shri award by the Indian Goverment.
In films like Alif Laila (1952) and Hoor-e-Arab (1953) she got a chance to give solo dance performances. Helen gave an outstanding performance in 'Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu' from Howrah Bridge. This brought her a lot of opportunities and success.
Asha Bhosle has lent her voice to Helen for most of her dance numbers. The actress played a supporting role alongside Manoj Kumar and Nanda in Raja Nawathe's Gumnaam. She bagged the nomination for Best Supporting Actress for this film. She appeared in Pagla Kahin Ka by Shakti Samanta in 1970.
Her husband Salim Khan got her offers for films like Imaam Dharam, Don, Dostana, and Sholay. Later Helen received the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for her performance in Lahu Ke Do Rang by Mahesh Bhatt. In the 80s she was seen in films like Shaan (1980), Abdullah (1980), Bombay 405 miles (1980), Chhupa chhupee (1981), Bulandi (1981), and Raaz (1981).
After five years Helen made her come back in Bollywood with Khamoshi: The Musical and played her stepson Salman's mother in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999). She played the role of a school principle in Mohabbatein (2000) and was also seen in films like Dil Ne Jise Apna Kahaa, Humko Deewana Kar Gaye, and Marigold.