Helen Barnes ~ The Doomed Dancer

Helen Barnes

Helen Barnes was a popular Ziegfeld Follies dancer who died young in a car accident

She was born Helen Gertrude Barnes on July 5, 1895 in Shelton, Connecticut. Her father, William Barnes, worked as a typewriter salesman. When she was a child the family moved to Washington, D.C. At the age of nineteen she made her Broadway debut in Watch Your Step. Helen joined the Ziegfeld Follies in June of 1915. She would spend four seasons with the Follies and performed as a balloon girl in the Midnight Frolic. In 1918 she got rave reviews for her starring role in the play Squab Farm. Then she appeared in the Broadway shows The Five Million, An Innocent Idea, and Ladies Night. Helen was close friends with Olive Thomas and saw her just a few days before here tragic death.

Helen BarnesHelen Barnes

She embarked on a year long world tour in 1922. The blue-eyed brunette performed shows in Japan, China, Australia, Monaco, and India. In an interview she said "I have been on the stage for six years and I hope to be on it for many years to come." When Helen returned to New York she fell in love with Jack Griffin, a twenty-one year old student at Yale. The couple became engaged in early 1925. On June 1, 1925 she and John were driving to Milford, Connecticut when they were involved in a car accident. Tragically they were both killed instantly. Helen was only twenty-nine years old. She was buried at Evergreen Cemetery in New Haven, Connecticut.

Helen BarnesHelen Barnes