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April 23, 2023

Fabulous Photos of a Young Helen Gahagan as an Actress

Born 1900 in Boonton, New Jersey, American actress and politician Helen Gahagan found great success and became a well-known star on Broadway in the 1920s, appearing in popular plays such as Young Woodley and Trelawney of the Wells. Her career included success on Broadway, as a touring opera singer, and in Hollywood films. Her portrayal of the villain in the 1935 movie She inspired Disney’s Evil Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).

In politics, Gahagan was the third woman and first Democratic woman elected to Congress from California; her election made California one of the first two states (along with Illinois) to elect female members to the House from both parties. In the 1950 United States Senate election in California, she unsuccessfully ran for the United States Senate, losing to Republican Richard Nixon. The campaign became symbolic of modern political vitriol, as both Gahagan’s primary opponent Manchester Boddy and Nixon referred to her as “pink right down to her underwear”, suggesting Communist sympathies.

Gahagan was married to fellow actor Melvyn Douglas, and they had two children, Peter and Mary. She died in 1980 from breast and lung cancer, aged 80. Take a look at these fabulous photos to see the beauty of a young Helen Gahagan as an actress.


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