Helen Biography

Posted by | Vishnu Das on | June 21, 2024

Date of Birth

21 / November / 1938


86 Years


Actress and Dancer

Helen, whose real name is Helen Jairag Richardson Khan, is widely known as the “Dancing Queen” and “H-Bomb.” She has established herself as a prominent actress and dancer in Indian cinema.

Helen (Actress) Age, Affairs, Husband, Biography & More

Born on 21 November 1938, Helen has graced the silver screen with her remarkable performances in numerous films, showcasing her exceptional dancing skills and versatile acting prowess. Her career spans several decades, during which she became an iconic figure in Bollywood, renowned for her elegance and charisma both on and off-screen.

Early Life

Helen, born to an Anglo-Indian father and Burmese mother, faced early hardship when her father passed away during World War II, prompting her family to migrate to Mumbai in 1943. Financial struggles forced her to quit school and support her family.

She began her career in 1951 as a chorus dancer in the film “Shabistan,” eventually gaining recognition with solo performances in “Alif Laila” (1953). Known for introducing cabaret and item dances to Bollywood, Helen became a celebrated figure in the 1960s and 1970s, earning the nickname ‘H-Bomb’ for her popularity. Her journey from a struggling dancer to an iconic Bollywood figure is marked by resilience and innovation in dance styles.


Helen’s educational background, including her schooling and college, remains undisclosed, and her specific qualifications are not publicly known.


Helen, born on 21 November 1938 in Yangon, Burma, is a Scorpio of Indian nationality, Now she is 86 years old.

Physical Stats

Helen, a talented actress, stands at 163 cm (5′ 4”) tall with a weight of 78 kg (172 lbs). Her figure measurements are 35-34-37, complemented by black eyes and brown hair.

Husband and Children

Helen is currently married to Salim Khan, a writer, since 1981. Her previous marriage was to P. N. Arora from 1957 to 1974. She has an adopted daughter named Arpita Khan.


Helen’s family includes her father George Desmier, her mother who was a nurse (name not specified), and siblings Roger and Jennifer. She practices the Christian faith.

Helen with her Husband Salim Khan

Helen with her Husband Salim Khan

Helen actrees with her Daughter Arpita Khan

Helen with her Daughter Arpita Khan

Helen Youngage Picture

Helen Youngage Picture


Helen’s career in Bollywood spanned decades, beginning in 1951 when she started as a chorus dancer in “Shabistan” and quickly rose to prominence with solo performances in “Alif Laila” (1953). She revolutionized Bollywood with her introduction of cabaret and item dances, becoming a cultural icon in the 1960s and 1970s.

Her dancing prowess and charisma graced numerous hit films, including “Howrah Bridge” (1958), where she gained widespread acclaim for the song “Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu.” Beyond dance, she showcased her versatility in acting, notably in films like “Hum Hindustani” (1960). Helen’s enduring legacy as a trailblazer in dance and entertainment continues to inspire generations in Indian cinema.

Selected Filmography

  • Zakhmee (1975)
  • Yahudi (1958)
  • Yahudi Ki Ladki (1957)
  • Uthama Puthiran (1958)
  • Upaasna (1971)
  • Sholay (1975)
  • Shararat (2002)
  • Shabistan (1951, as background dancer)
  • Santosham (1955, Telugu)
  • Sange Muzhangu (1972, Tamil film)
  • Saazish (1998)
  • Saazish (1975)
  • Parwana (1971)
  • One Room Kitchen (2011) (Marathi film)
  • Lambu (1956)
  • Mohabbatein (2000)
  • Mere Jeevan Saathi (1972)
  • Mayurpankh(1954,as street dancer)
  • Marigold (2007)
  • Man Mandir (1971)
  • Madhosh (1974)
  • Khamoshi: The Musical (1996)
  • Kaala Sona (1975)
  • Jodi Breakers (2012)
  • Hungama (1971)
  • Humko Deewana Kar Gaye (2006)
  • Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999)
  • Howrah Bridge (1958)
  • Halaku (1956)
  • Dunno Y… Na Jaane Kyon (2010)
  • Dongallo Dora (1957, Telugu)
  • Doctor X (1972)
  • Dil Ne Jise Apna Kahaa (2004)
  • Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958)
  • Bhookailas (1958, Telugu)
  • Benaam (1974)
  • Awaara (1951, as a background dancer)
  • Anjaane: The Unknown (2005)
  • Alif Laila (1953, as background dancer)
  • Akayla (1991)
  • Adhikar (1971)

Award List

  • Won – Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Lahu Ke Do Rang (1980)
  • Raj Kapoor Award (2022)[13]
  • Padma Shri, a civilian honor from the Indian government (2009)[12]
  • Nominated – Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Gumnaam (1966)
  • Nominated – Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Shikaar (1969)
  • Nominated – Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Khamoshi: The Musical (1997)
  • Nominated – Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Elaan (1972)
  • Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award (1999)

Net Worth

Helen’s net worth is ₹214.53 crores.

Some Lesser Known Facts About Helen

  • Helen was born to an Anglo-Indian father and Burmese mother. After the demise of her father during World War II, her family migrated to Mumbai in 1943.
  • Due to her family’s financial crisis, she quit her schooling to support them. She initially learned the Manipuri dance style and later learned Bharat Natyam and Kathak from P. L. Raj.
  • With the help of a family friend, she started her career as a dancer in the chorus in Shabista in 1951. After working as a chorus girl for a couple of years, she got her breakthrough as a solo dancer in the film Alif Laila (1953).
  • She became a dancing sensation with the song Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu in the film Howrah Bridge (1958).
  • Her first film as a non-dancer was Hum Hindustani (1960).
  • In 1973, 3 books along with a 30-minute documentary called ‘Helen Queen of the Nautch girls’ were released by Merchant Ivory Productions.
  • She was the one who introduced cabaret dance or item dance in Bollywood films. Due to her popularity in the 60s and 70s, she was often referred to as ‘H-Bomb’.
  • She was initially married to Bollywood director P.N Arora (27 years older than her) but left him in 1974 as he used to spend her money without her consent. She even became bankrupt, and her apartment was seized during this period.
  • She met Salim Khan in 1962 on the sets of the film Kabli Khan, and 19 years later, in 1981, she became his second wife.
  • Does Helen smoke?: No
  • Does Helen drink alcohol?: Not Known

Check Also: Qamar Javed Bajwa

Body Measurements 35-34-37
Birth Place Yangon, Burma
Children Daughter: Arpita Khan
Eye Color Black
Hair Color Brown
Height In CM 163 CM
Height In Meter 1.63 M
Nationality Indian
Parents Father: George Desmier, Mother: Name Not Known
Profession Actress and Dancer
Siblings Brother: Roger, Sister: Jennifer
Spous First Husband: P. N. Arora, Second Husband: Salim Khan
Weight 78 kg
Zodiac Sign Scorpio


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