Helen Gibson

Description   [from Freebase]

Helen Gibson (August 27, 1892 – October 10, 1977) 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. Born Rose August Wenger in Cleveland, Ohio; one of five girls to Swiss-German parents, Fred and Annie Wegner. Her father had wanted a son, and encouraged her to be a tomboy. 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. They taught her to ride, and she performed in her first 101 Ranch Real Wild West Show in St. Louis in April 1910. Said Helen: "( I ) was already practicing picking up a hand-kerchief from the ground at full gallop. When veteran riders told me I could get kicked in the head, I paid no heed. Such things might happen to others but could never happen to me, I believed. We barnstormed all over the US and the season ended all too soon. I was sorry when I had to go home, and could hardly wait to open in Boston in the spring of 1911." When the Miller-Arlington Show suddenly closed in 1911, it left many performers stranded in Venice, CA.
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