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Helene D. Gale

1917 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
September 30, 1917 - January 25, 2018 International Publicist - Actress - Production Company VP - Makes it to 100 and 78th Wedding Anniversary. She came to the U.S. with her parents from Hungary at the age of 5. In school she soon discovered she liked to write. She began writing for the school weekly at Harlem High School and some of the local newspapers. In 1939 just after high school she met a young Hungarian 'wannabe' film editor who just arrived to the U.S. one week earlier. They got married two weeks later on New Year's Eve. This marriage lasted 78 years until the day she passed away on January 25, 2018. A few months after their marriage they headed for Hollywood with $40 on the Silver Coach Bus. After crashing a few nights at a friend's house, Hank (as she got to be known) got a job as a riveter at Lockheed on warplanes. George found a laborer's job at the Angelus Furniture Factory. In 1942 Kenneth was born. George was drafted into the Army and assigned as a Film Editor in the Signal Corps Film Division. After the war Hank found work writing copy for advertising and later publicity items relating to entertainment including the movie 'The River', a Technicolor movie shot in India by Jean Renoir the famous French Director. George was the Film Editor of 'The River'. Hank was hired to do international publicity for the picture, which took her to many European countries and to India where 'The River' premiered in New Delhi. In 1951 she went with the picture to the Venice Film Festival, where 'The River' received the coveted Golden Lion Award for United Artists. This resulted in more work for both Hank and George, both for low budget American movies, 'Monsoon', and several Indian pictures. Hank as publicist and George as Film Editor. They lived in Mumbai over a year with their son Kenneth who was going to an Indian school. After the work in India they headed for Europe to shoot a number of episodes for the J. Walter Thompson Agency of an American family traveling to London, Paris and Berlin. Hank took care of all the logistics, permits and visas. Berlin was still a divided city. It took over a year to complete the assignment living in London with Ken attending Chicheley Hall, kind of an exclusive boarding school. Next George was hired to edit the TV series 'Sherlock Holmes', shot outside Paris at the Épinay Studios. During that time Hank opened a publicity agency, 'Hank Gale Associates' on the Champs-Élysées assisting entertainment clients with public relations, work permits, travel arrangements and publicity. Ken was at school in the quaint village of Jouy-En-Josas near Versaille. Returning to L.A. in 1955 after 5 years overseas, Hank connected with the 'Hollywood Playhouse', a little theatre group up on North La Brea Ave. headed by Bill Brame. First she did some walk on parts in several plays then eventually was offered leading roles in the plays 'Rain' getting good reviews in the trades, especially for 'Seasons in the Sun.' After a couple of years on the stage she joined Ivan Tors Productions as a production assistant working her way up to VP of the company working on features like 'Hello Down There', and 'The Aquarians' 1970. Hank went to South Africa to work on 'Escape From Angola'. She stayed with the Tors Company about 10 years until Ivan passed away and the company dissolved. Meantime George was Post-Production Supervisor on dozens of movies. At the age of 90 Hank and George moved into Kingsley Manor a retirement community in Los Angeles. This turned out to be the right place for her. They had an acting group and a monthly publication, 'The Broadcaster'. She became active in stage work again and writing articles for the magazine. Hank and George were avid tennis players for about 40 years. They played at the Mulholland Tennis Club in the Hollywood Hills several times weekly before going to work. They played tennis into their mid nineties ¿ then they switched to playing bridge. Finally they could look at the literally 1000's of snapshots they took during their 78 years of marriage. Kind of a magic carpet ride, their life together: Sailing at Newport - Skiing at Kratka Ridge - the donkey ride to the bottom of the Grand Canyon - Mardi Gras in New Orleans and Rio - Machu Picchu Mexico - Peru and the Amazon - Kenya and the Treetop Hotel - China Beijing The Great Wall - Tokyo - New Year's in Hong Kong - Bullfights in Barcelona - Paris - Champs-Élysées - The Louvre - London Soho Big Ben - Australia Alice Rock - the Great Barrier Reef - Mongolia - Milano La Scala Then of course the flying trips in the little Cessna, George piloting and Hank being the navigator to Mexico, La Paz, and Cabos. Hank passed away peacefully Jan. 25, 2018 at the age of 100, George and Ken at her side. What a Life - What a Woman. A Star In All She Did!
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Feb. 13 to Feb. 15, 2018
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