Mumbai: She occasionally makes a special appearance but yesteryear dancing diva - Helen prefers to keep away from the spotlight at most times.
The dancing queen is in the news once again as her name figures on the list of Padmashri winners from the Hindi Film Industry this year along with Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai.
But the honour bestowed by the Government of India seems to have come a little late in the 69 year old actress' career.
Helen made her entry into the film industry in the early 60's and became a regular feature in many 70's hits like Caravan, Sholay and Don with her stylised cabaret numbers and then gradually shifted gears to playing the vamp.
“She was just the most compact, graceful, sensual, alive dancing diva on screen. I have never seen anyone with so little clothes and still look so dignified, never looked crass or vulgar not only because it was not her expressions but the way she used her body. It was never titillating but always sexy and sensuous,” says Director/choreographer Farah Khan.
And though her contribution to the film industry has mostly gone unnoticed, those who tried to match her steps have realised that it's no cakewalk.
“I don’t think I could ever match upto her Helen Aunty because what she has is something else altogether,” says actor, Kareena Kapoor.
She may no longer shake a leg on the big screen but dancing remains a passion for Helen - practiced now in the confines of her bedroom.
“I don’t miss dancing; I still dance in my bedroom. I put my music on and there I am. that’s why I still have all this energy and vigor,” says Helen