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Reddy, Helen (1941–)

Reddy, Helen (1941–)

Australian-born singer and actress. Born in Melbourne, Australia, Oct 25, 1941; dau. of Max Reddy (comedian) and Stella Lamond (actress); half-sister of actress Toni Lamond; m. 2nd husband Jeff Wald (div. 1982); m. Milton Ruth, 1983 (div. 1996); children: (1st m.) Traci Wald; (2nd m.) Jordan Ruth.

Made professional debut on parents' radio show at age 2; in early 20s, had a twice-weekly radio program on Australian Broadcasting Commission, "Helen Reddy Sings"; moved to NY (1966), then Los Angeles (1968); landed a spot on "The Tonight Show," (1970) which opened doors to a contract with Capitol Records; recording of "I Don't Know How to Love Him," from rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, went to #13 on the charts (1971); became involved in growing feminist movement and co-wrote, with Ray Burton, 'I Am Woman,' which languished without radio play for over a year until makers of a feminist documentary, Stand Up and Be Counted, included the song in their film and it hit #1 on the charts; released 7 albums that made Top 20, had 2 more #1 hits, "Delta Dawn" and "Angie Baby," and others that made the Top 10 (1972–76): "Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)," "You and Me Against the World" and "Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady"; hosted variety program "The Midnight Special" (1973), becoming its regular host (1975); made film debut in Pete's Dragon (1977); appeared frequently on stage, in revivals of Call Me Madame and Anything Goes, among others, as well as starring roles in both West End and Broadway productions of Shirley Valentine and Blood Brothers. Won Grammy for Best Contemporary Female Pop Vocal Performance for "I Am Woman."

See also Women in World History.

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