July 4, 1914
|Died||March 28, 1990 (aged 75)|
Atlantis, Florida, U.S.
|Other names||Helen Fortescue|
|Spouse(s)||J. Louis Reynolds (1936–1939; divorced)|
Whitney was born Kenyon Fortescue in 1914, but was known as Helene. Through her mother, Grace Fortescue (1883–1979), she was a grandniece (and cousin twice removed) of Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the telephone. Through her father Granville Roland Fortescue (1875–1952), she was a first cousin once removed of US President Theodore Roosevelt.
She grew up in Washington D.C. where she attended the National Cathedral School for Girls. She married Julian Louis Reynolds, son of Richard S. Reynolds, Sr. and heir to the Reynolds aluminum and tobacco fortunes, on July 15, 1936, in Washington, becoming Helene Fortescue Reynolds. After three years of marriage, they divorced in May 1939.
She became an actress, using the stage names of Joyce Gardner, Helene Whitney and Helene Reynolds, appeared in films in the late 1930s and 1940s and later in stage productions. After her acting career ended, she became a Manhattan art gallery proprietor and artist in the 1960s. She died of pneumonia at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Atlantis, Florida aged 75 on March 28, 1990.
As Helene Whitney/Helen Whitney
|1939||The Hunchback of Notre Dame||Fleur de Lys||NYT|
|1940||The Saint's Double Trouble||Anne Bitts||IMDb|
|1940||Millionaire Playboy aka Glamour Boy (UK)||uncredited||IMDb|
|1940||The Philadelphia Story||Main Line Society Woman||IMDb|
|1941||City of Missing Girls||Katherine Crawford||IMDb|
As Helene Reynolds
|1941||Confirm or Deny||Dorothy||IMDb|
|1941||Blue, White and Perfect||Helen Shaw||NYT|
|1942||Girl Trouble||Helen Martin||IMDb|
|1942||Roxie Hart||Velma Wall||IMDb|
|1942||Tales of Manhattan||Actress||IMDb|
|1942||Moontide||Woman in boat||IMDb|
|1942||The Man Who Wouldn't Die||Anna Wolff||NYT|
|1943||Dixie Dugan||Jean Patterson||IMDb|
|1943||Heaven Can Wait||Peggy Nash||IMdb|
|1943||Wintertime||Marian Daly (uncredited)||NYT|
|1943||The Meanest Man in the World||Wife (Park Ave. Neighbor)||IMDb|
As Helene Reynolds
|1945||The Front Page||Mollie Malloy||IMDb|
|1948||Mirage in Manhattan (Chevrolet Tele-Theatre)||IMDb|
- Oh, Captain! (February 4, 1958 – July 19, 1958)
- Happy Hunting (December 6, 1956 – November 30, 1957)
- Call Me Madam (October 12, 1950 – May 3, 1952)
- Miss Liberty (July 15, 1949 – April 8, 1950)
- High Button Shoes (October 9, 1947 – July 2, 1949)
- Yours Is My Heart (September 5, 1946 – October 5, 1946)
- Spinzia, Raymond E. "Those Other Roosevelts: The Fortescues". THE FREEHOLDER: Magazine Online. The Oyster Bay Historical Society. Retrieved 2009-01-03.
- Ancestry.co Historical Person Overview: Kenyon "Helene" Fortescue, accessed May 2017.
- "Obituary: Helene Fortescue Reynolds". The Washington Post. Mar 31, 1990. p. B5. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
- "Milestones". Time. July 27, 1936. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
- "Helene Reyonlds To Seek Friendly Divorce in Reno". The Washington Post. Mar 26, 1939. Retrieved 2009-01-03.
- Fine, Mary Jane (January 23, 1984). "Reliving a scandalous past". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2009-01-03. "The papers crowed about the wedding, when Helen Fortescue and Julian Reynolds married on July 15, 1936, in Washington, DC, where Helene had grown up. They gloated over the divorce a few years later in story after sparing nary a detail.... The divorce was granted in May of 1939."
- "Former Helen Fortesque at Reno to divorce Reynolds". The New York Times. March 28, 1939. p. 2. Retrieved 2009-01-03. "Mrs. Helen E. Fortesque Reynolds arrived here today by plane from New York, prepared to take up residence to divorce Julian Louis Reynolds, tobacco heir."