Helen was born in Burma to an Anglo Indian father named George Desmier and a Burmese mother named Marlene. Her father went missing during the Second World War. Her family migrated to India in 1942 as refugees in order to escape from the Japanese invasion of Burma. Helen was introduced to Bollywood in 1953 by the famous dancer Cuckoo. She got her break in 1958 when she performed the song ‘Mera Naam Chin Chin Choo’ in the movie Howrah Bridge. Helen rarely got roles as the lead heroine in movies. So, she opted dancing which proved to be her fortune. Throughout the 1960’s, 1970’s to 1985, she danced in more than 600 movies establishing herself as a prolific dancer. Her best performances are in films Pipili Saheb, Naya Aadmi, Halaku, Yahudi, Howrah Bridge, Uttamputhiran in Tamil, Bedard Zamana Kya Jane ,Sri Valli in Tamil, Hum Hindustani, Half Ticket, Hongkong, China Town, Woh Kaun Thi, Gumnaam, Kaajal, Jewel Theif, Yakeen, The Train, Caravan, Sange Muzhangu in Tamil, Zakhmee, Mere Jeevan Saathi, Ginny Aur Jhonny, Bairaag, Deewangee, Khel Khilari Ka, Inkaar, Don, Inteqaam, Kab Kyun Aur Kahan, Pagla Kahin Ka, Apradh, Mere Jeevan Saathi , Dil Daulat Duniya,Lahu Ke Do Rang, Shararat, Khamoshi, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. Her last few films for which danced Cabaret were Sawaal in 1982 and Pakhandee in 1984. She was known for wearing different colors of wigs, contact lenses and skimpy outfits in her movies. In the late 1970’s, her demand started diminishing because of her age along with the entry of younger dancers like Padma Khanna, Jayshree T, Bindu, Aruna Irani and Kalpana Iyer. In 1979, she won the best supporting actress award for her role as Vinod Khanna’s Chinese wife in ‘Lahu Ke Do Rang’. She officially retired from movies in 1984. She was married to director Prem Narayan Arora from 1957 to 1972 and she divorced him and later married screenwriter Salim Khan in 1981.