Helena Carroll, Broadway and Film Actress, Dies at 84

Obituaries   Helena Carroll, Broadway and Film Actress, Dies at 84 Helena Carroll, a Scottish-born actress who did stage, film and television work in the United States, died on March 31 in Marina del Rey, CA. The cause was heart failure. She was 84.

Helena Winifred Carroll was born on Nov. 13, 1928, in Glasgow, and was raised there and in Ireland. The daughter of playwright Paul Vincent Carroll, she studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London before coming to the United States. Following that move, she began appearing regularly on stages in New York, London and Dublin.

She made her Broadway debut in the hit 1956 Terence Rattigan drama Separate Tables. Following the Dublin-set Julie Harris vehicle Little Moon of Alban in 1960, she won a role as the undertaker's wife, Mrs. Sowerberry, in the smash musical Oliver! Another Dickens-inspired musical, Pickwick, followed, but was not as successful.

Other Broadway credits included the short-lived 1970 musical Georgy, based on the film "Georgy Girl"; the play Borstal Boy, based on the memoir by Brendan Behan; 1980s revivals of Noel Coward's Private Lives and Design for Living; and, in her final Broadway appearance, Coward's latter-day play Waiting in the Wings.

With Dermot McNamara, Ms. Carroll founded in the '50s the Irish Players, a New York repertory company that presented the work of Irish playwrights, including Synge, Donagh MacDonagh and Ms. Carroll’s father. A 2005 Irish Rep revival of Philadelphia, Here I Come! won Ms. Carroll a Lucille Lortel Award nomination.

On film, she had roles in "The Jerk," "Ghost Story," John Huston's film of James Joyce's "The Dead" (as Aunt Kate), "The Mambo Kings" and "Rocky V." She left no immediate survivors.

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