Nielsen, Helen Berniece 1918-2002

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NIELSEN, Helen Berniece 1918-2002

(Kris Giles)

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born October 23, 1918, in Roseville, IL; died June 22, 2002, in Prescott, AZ. Landlord, artist, drafter, scriptwriter, and author. Nielsen's largest audience may have been the viewers who saw her scripts enacted as episodes of such popular television series as Alcoa Theater, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and Perry Mason. From the 1950s through the 1970s, however, Nielsen also published nearly twenty mystery novels and short-story collections, her work appreciated by readers and critics alike because she provided sufficient clues to enable the astute reader to solve the mystery. Many of Nielsen's novels were set in southern California, where she lived, but she occasionally took her readers abroad to Denmark or to Greece. Nielsen believed that characterization is a vital element in fiction, and she was often complimented by critics for creating characters realistic enough to believe in yet unusual enough to set them apart from the ordinary. Nielsen's novels include Gold Coast Nocturne, which was later adapted as the 1954 screenplay Blackout and The Fifth Caller, which was later broadcast as a television movie, as well as A Killer in the Street, Shot on Location, The Severed Key, and The Brink of Murder. Her writings also appeared in anthologies; some of her work appeared under the pseudonym Kris Giles. During her career as a writer Nielsen also owned and managed an apartment house; during World War II she worked as a freelance artist and as a drafter for various engineering companies.



Los Angeles Times, June 29, 2002, p. B20.