She and her family lived through the great depression. Helen used to tell stories of waiting on bread lines so that her family would have extra food on the table. She attended A.J. Demarest High School in New Jersey and New York University on a two year scholarship. During her young adulthood she sang with many big bands in New York City. Her first dream was to become a singer. Helen moved to Southern California in 1948, where she met Jack Miles and they soon married. One of her many happy memories was that of their friendship with Errol Flynn, who gave them their standard poodles “Duke” and Duchess.”
Following the premature death of her husband Helen went back to school, taking business classes at UCLA. With this knowledge she built two very successful businesses from the ground up, Carthay Studios and Carthay Set Services in North Hollywood where she worked until her retirement. Helen never thought of herself as beautiful. “I was not born a ‘Blondie’ so I had to roll up my sleeves and work hard”. She had a tireless work ethic and was well known in the entertainment industry. Helen Miles was a pioneer in Hollywood; she was the first woman to successfully run a studio. Richard Burton referred to her as “Helen of Troy”, as she was a force to be reckoned with! Later in life she regaled people with her witty anecdotes and many Hollywood tales.
Helen loved good food, especially Italian cuisine. She attributed her beautiful skin to a diet abundant in pasta. She had a generous heart, a wonderful smile that could light up a room and an infectious laugh. She was an incurable flirt even at 93. Her humorous ambition of wooing Robert Redford kept family and friends laughing.
Her husband, Jack Miles and her sister Theresa Kiely precede Helen in death. She is survived by her brother Salvatore Vincent Folino, two nieces Lisa and Tracey Folino, nephew Scot Folino and his wife Lani, along with their four children, Helen’s cousin Frank Richelieu and his wife Anita, their daughters Laurie Schoellkopf, Holly Evans; Leslie Richelieu and a large extended family, many of whom live in Southern California and brought great joy to her later years. Services were arranged by the Callanan & Woods Scovern Mortuary, Glendale, Calif.