Helen Gibson

Trick Rider
Born Aug 27, 1892

Helen Gibson was an American film actress, vaudeville performer, radio performer, film producer, trick rider and rodeo performer; and is considered to be the first American professional stunt woman.

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Helen Gibson.


1892 Birth Born on August 27, 1892.


1909 16 Years Old Helen saw her first Wild West show in Cleveland in the summer of 1909 and answered a Miller Brothers 101 Ranch ad for girl riders in Billboard magazine.
1910 17 Years Old They taught her to ride, and she performed in her first 101 Ranch Real Wild West Show in St. Louis in April 1910. … Read More
1912 19 Years Old In 1912 she made $15 a week for her first billed role as Ruth Roland's sister in Ranch Girls on a Rampage.


1913 20 Years Old 1 More Event
Like many of the cowboy extras, Helen continued to perform in rodeos between pictures. At the Second Los Angeles Rodeo in 1913 she was featured in the Standing Woman Race, and so impressed one of the investors that he offered to finance a tour of rodeos for her, paying all expenses and splitting the winnings. … Read More
1915 22 Years Old In April 1915 while on the Kalem payroll doubling for Helen Holmes in The Hazards of Helen adventure film series, Helen performed what is thought to be her most dangerous stunt: a leap from the roof of a station onto the top of a moving train in the A Girl’s Grit episode. … Read More
1917 24 Years Old Gibson performed in The Hazards of Helen for 69 episodes until the series ended in February 1917, after which Kalem tried producing another serial The Daughter of Daring, with a starring role for her. … Read More
1919 26 Years Old 1 More Event
Universal offered her a three-year contract at $125 a week for 2-reel, and 5-reel pictures until 1919; among these were two 1919 John Ford films, Rustlers and Gun Law.
1920 27 Years Old 1 More Event
Census records for 1920 indicate that they were living separately; Hoot Gibson listing himself as married, and Helen listing herself as widowed.
1921 28 Years Old After her recovery from surgery, Gibson's popularity as a lead had waned. In September 1921 an independent company hired her for a 5-reeler and folded without paying the cast or crew. … Read More
1922 29 Years Old In 1922, Hoot married a woman named Helen Johnson, who is often confused with Helen Gibson.


1923 30 Years Old In 1923, Hoot and Helen Johnson Gibson had their only child, Lois Charlotte Gibson; and divorced in 1930.
1927 34 Years Old She returned to Hollywood in 1927 and began doubling for stars such as Louise Fazenda, Irene Rich, Edna May Oliver, Marie Dressler, Marjorie Main, May Robson, Esther Dale and Ethel Barrymore. … Read More


1935 42 Years Old In 1935, Helen married Clifton Johnson, a studio electrician who had been a chief gunner in the Navy.
1940 47 Years Old In 1940 he asked for active duty, and while he was serving in World War II, she carried on working as an extra and became treasurer of the stunt girl's fraternal organization. … Read More


1957 64 Years Old Gibson suffered a slight stroke in 1957, but it did not prevent her working as an extra in film and television.
1961 68 Years Old Her last role was in the autumn of 1961, John Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, for which she was paid $35; she was 69 years old.
1962 69 Years Old She retired in January, 1962 on a Motion Picture Industry Pension of $200 a month plus social security. … Read More
1977 85 Years Old Helen Gibson died of heart failure following a stroke in 1977 aged 85.
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