Helen Gilbert Profile

Helen Gilbert
Helen Gilbert
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(Helen Amelia Gilbert)
4 July 15 is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Warren, Ohio, to Mr. and Mrs. Vaughn Gilbert, nee Scheff. Her sister will become actress Mari Finley.
? plays in her father's music store when still a child
? is a resident of Superior, Wisconsin
? inspired by Pablo Casals, she starts studying the cello and wins a scholarship to the Curtis Institute
? becomes a concert artist and plays at the Hollywood Bowl, where she's discovered by Herbert Stothart and given a place in his MGM orchestra
28 November 36 marries the assistant musical director at Columbia, Mischa Constantine Bakaleinikoff, in Tijuana, Mexico. He's 46; she's 21.
Early 39 is discovered by test-director Fred Wilcox when a cellist in the recording orchestra at MGM / by W. S. Van Dyke II while directing Sweethearts
1 October 39 she and Bakaleinikoff separate
9 October 39 declares in Hollywood that she will file suit for divorce from Bakaleinikoff. "It was an amicable separation," she says when friends disclose that they had parted.
October 39 is spotted around town with Lew Ayres, but they are "only good pals who happen to be working on the same picture," The Secret of Dr. Kildare
Early November 39 columnist Robbin Coons ponders: "Helen Gilbert's plea for a divorce marks the first time to my knowledge that 'spring fever' has led to court instead of to the altar - and brings up the question: As a cellist Helen was married to her musician husband two and a half years; as a movie actress she stayed married to him only six months more; what's there about this acting business that nurtures interlocutory decrees where none grew before?"
18 November 39 wins an uncontested default divorce from Bakaleinikoff in Los Angeles on charges that he was rude to her friends and relatives. She claims her husband not only was rude but would argue and bicker with her after she returned home from work at the studio. Bakaleinikoff will die at age 69 in 1960 in Los Angeles.
25 December 39 attends the annual Motion Picture Guild Christmas charity party in Beverly Hills with Howard Hughes
March 40 as Helen Bakaleinikoff, she asks to have her maiden name restored
columnist Louella Parsons reports "Helen Gilbert and Victor Orsatti, with the love light in their eyes, dancing at Ciro's..."
Parsons notes her and Orsatti in a ringside seat at Slapsy Maxie's
April 40 columnist May Mann spots her and Orsatti dining "and somehow it seems strange to see such a fragile poetic vision as Helen knifing and forking away at a two inch steak..."
May 40 she and Orsatti, her agent, are seen dining by candlelight at the Tail o' the Cock
June 40 Orsatti is reported pricing diamonds, "a warning for reporters to keep an eye on Helen Gilbert's left hand.."
Mid-August 40 columnist Jimmy Fidler wishes that she and Orsatti "would make up their minds; the periodical quarrels bruise a columnist's nerves.."
Late August 40 Fidler reports that she and Orsatti have blue-penciled altar plans. "She's doing nite spots with Bill Marshall, Warner Brother's new find..."
Early September 40 she and Billy Blakewell are reported doing the funhouse at Venice
11 September 40 Parsons tells that "Bill Marshall presented Helen Gilbert with a ring yesterday. Several months ago everybody thought Helen and Vic Orsatti would march to the altar..." Marshall is about two years her junior.
Late September 40 she and her boyfriend, "handsome Bill Marshall" attend an Americanism program for the Vega Aircraft employees held at the Santa Anita Race track
her romance with Bill Marshall "has reached the identical sports clothes stage..."
Early October 40 she and Marshall are reported looking at homesites in the valley. "They will have a new home when they are married three months from now..."
November 40 she's reported having instructed her attorney, Milton Golden, to get her final divorce decree. "Now the question is, will she marry Bill Marshall?..."
February 41 Parsons tells that "rumor is very strong that Helen Gilbert, movie actress, is the secret bride of Billy Marshall..."
April 41 she and Marshall are reported having "taken up where they left off..."
July 41 is seen at the Beverly Tropics with Richard Denning
August 41 Tom Harmon is reported getting around with her
November 41 Parsons spots her and Phil Reed at the Beverly Tropics
Parsons thinks that Helen and Dennis Day "have been keeping dates"
December 41 Fidler tells that pals think she will re-wed Bakaleinikoff in January
42 moves to RKO, then to Paramount, Monogram, and finally to Lippert
March 42 she and Seymour Chotiner "local attorney, are telling friends they'll be married in June"
30 March 42 marries Seymour J. Chotiner in Las Vegas, Nevada. He's 31; she's 26. Chotiner is a Hollywood attorney and member of a wealthy Los Angeles theater and real estate family.
September 42 she and her husband, Chotiner, entertain his client, Kathryn Grayson, and Kathryn's date, Johnson Skelton, at Mike Lyman's
c. October 42 she and Chotiner part after five months of marriage
November 42 Parsons thinks it looks like "a definite reconciliation between Helen Gilbert and Seymour Chotiner..."
Parsons tells that Chotiner, "who denied any trouble with Helen Gilbert, his wife, is about to be divorced. Maybe she did not take him into her confidence. They were at Slapsy Maxie's the other eve talking over divorce plans..."
Early December 42 Chotiner obtains an uncontested divorce from her in Los Angeles. He complains that "during five months of marriage, I had only one meal at home."
? she and Chotiner reconcile before the decree becomes final
5 February 45 she and Chotiner part again
7 February 45 files for divorce from Chotiner in Los Angeles, asserting that "careers and marriages don not mix." She charges extreme cruelty without provocation. Chotiner will die at age 70 in 1981 in Los Angeles.
April 45 columnist Louella Parsons reports that "Helen Gilbert and Victor, of the Victor Restaurant, have much to say to each other these days..."
? marries Victor A. Makzoume, Syria-born owner of Victor's Cafe on Sunset Strip and ex of stage and screen actress Claire Alexander. He's about 12 years her senior.
6 June 46 she and her husband, Makzoume, hit the news when reporting to the police that their Hollywood home was burglarized of jewelry and clothing valued at $15,000. She says the burglary apparently took place while she and her husband were away from home the last night. She lists as missing $1,000 in cash, a three carat diamond ring, numerous bottles of expensive perfume, other jewelry and clothing.
8 June 48 her husband dies at age 45 of a heart attack at the Grand Hotel in Rome, Italy. She is at his bedside. Makzoume was returning from a visit to his family in Lebanon.
Mid-June 48 columnist Dorothy Manners tells that "Helen Gilbert was set for a picture in Paris and a picture in Rome on her way to a movie comeback - just before the sudden death of her husband, Victor Makzoume, in Rome last week. She is so shaken and grief stricken she called off both contracts to bring his body back to this country."
30 July 48 is granted a family allowance of $650 a month from the $500,000 estate of her late husband in Los Angeles Superior Court. The court makes the award pending distribution of the estate, half of which is to go to Makzoume's mother and sister, the rest to Helen.
September 48 columnist Louella Parsons reports her back again after a long absence. "Her husband, Victor, owner of a cafe on the Strip, died in Italy last year; pretty as ever, Helen was at the Band Box with Jimmy Valentine..."
9 February 49 marries Johnny Stompanato, Mickey Cohen’s bodyguard and moneyman, at the home of her parents in Las Vegas, Nevada. The press tags him a "Los Angeles ceramic manufacturer." Stompanato is a Marine war veteran, who converted to Islam when he married Sarah Utish, a Turkish girl, in 1946 in China. He's 23; she's 33.
12 February 49 phones from Las Vegas to tell about her marriage to Stompanato. She tells a reporter that she and Stompanato
intended to keep their marriage secret.
7 March 49 buys her own home with the aide of Los Angeles Superior Court. Superior Judge Newcomb Condee awards her the Laurel Canyon Drive home after she outbids Leo Lettman, a liquor dealer. Her bid was $33,575.
8 July 49 divorces Stompanato and testifies: "Johnny had no means. I did what I could to support him." He will marry actress Helen Stanley in 1953 and hit the news after being murdered by Lana Turner’s daughter, Cheryl Crane, in 1958.
26 September 49 the press claims she married James E. Durant, Flamingo hotel casino manager, in Las Vegas, Nevada. He's 43; she's 33. The ceremony is performed by Justice of the Peace A. G. Blad. The press claims this to be her sixth marriage and lists her first five husbands as Mischa Bakaleinikoff, Bill Marshall, Seymour Chotiner, and Victor Makzoume, and Johnny Stompanato.
February 50 marries Durant in Coolidge, Arizona
15 July 50 files for divorce from Durant in Hollywood after four months of marriage. She charges cruelty.
31 August 51 is sued in Los Angeles by Charles A. Hubbard, 31, heir to a Bahamas Islands plantation fortune, who claims she broke off her engagement to him and failed to return his $17,000 diamond ring. Hubbard claims he gave her the six-carat ring on Christmas Day, 1949, with the understanding they soon would wed. But she terminated the romance a month later. Court records show that she is still married to James E. Durant and that they were married in 1950 in Coolidge, Arizona.
? she and Durant reconcile
20 December 51 she and Durant part again
28 March 52 files from divorce from Durant in Los Angeles
4 June 52 asks for $750 monthly alimony from Durant, now a Phoenix, Arizona, restaurateur, along with an order restraining him from molesting her. She claims Durant tried to throw her from the window of an 11th-floor apartment last May. Durant demurs, claiming he already divorced her in Phoenix, with her consent. Judge Lewis Drucker takes the case under advisement. The press heralds they can't decide if they are married or not.
? marries H. O. Bryant
6 September 52 becomes the owner of her late husband's restaurant when a decree of distribution is issued in Los Angeles court in the $161,000 estate left by Makzoume. "Miss Gilbert, now residing with her seventh husband, H. O. Bryant, holds the controlling interest in the restaurant."
December 52 drops her divorce suit against Durant in Los Angeles after claiming for a time their Phoenix, Arizona, divorce was invalid. He's 48; she's 35. Her attorney says she has married a seventh husband, M. O. Bryant, associated with her in a Hollywood cafe. Durant will die at age 81 in 1987 in Phoenix, Arizona.
50s producer Alex Gordon sees her and her sister, Mari Finley, socially
56 Gordon considers her for the title role in his upcoming The She-Creature. The part eventually goes to Marla English.
her sister, Mari Finlay, gets bit parts in her movies The She-Creature and Girls in Prison
23 October 95 as Helen Gilbert, she dies at age 80 in Los Angeles, California, of cardiac arrest
Alex Gordon in Science Fiction Confidential by Tom Weaver, The Lima News, Lincoln Sunday Journal and Star, Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, The Helena Daily Independent, Oakland Tribune, The Fresno Bee, Mansfield News-Journal, Ironwood Daily Globe, Syracuse Herald-Journal, The Ogden Standard-Examiner, Nevada State Journal, The Times and Daily News Leader, The Hayward Daily Review, Long Beach Independent, The Bridgeport Post, The Modesto Bee, Reno Evening Gazette, Gazette and Bulletin, The Great Bend Daily Tribune, San Mateo Times, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Indiana Evening Gazette,
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