Helen Mack, a child actress in silent films who grew up to play leading ladies in a string of melodramas during the 1930s and ‘40s, died Wednesday of cancer at her home in Beverly Hills.
Miss Mack, 72, was born Helen McDougal in Rock Island, Ill., and attended the Professional Children’s School in New York City, where she was chosen for child parts in several Broadway plays. She also played bit roles in silent films as a girl, among them “The Little Red School House,” “Grit” and “Pied Piper Malone.”
In 1931, she obtained a feature role in Hollywood’s “The Struggle,” and for the next 15 years was seen on screen in nearly 30 films, among them “Son of Kong,” “All of Me,” “The Lemon Drop Kid,” “His Girl Friday,” “And Now Tomorrow” and, finally, “Divorce” in 1945.
She also was director and/or producer of two long-running radio shows, “A Date With Judy” and “Meet Corliss Archer.” Most recently, she had written a play, “The Matinee Dance,” which ran briefly on Broadway in the 1970s.
A widow, she is survived by two sons and four grandchildren. At her request there will be no funeral.