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Helen Gahagan Douglas

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ENTERTAINMENT
December 9, 2009
The Pink Lady The Many Lives of Helen Gahagan Douglas Sally Denton Bloomsbury Press: 242 pp., $26
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OPINION
December 22, 2009 | By Sally Denton
Sarah Palin feels singled out as the victim of sexist smear tactics by the "liberal" media and rivals in the Democratic Party. But such tactics have been around since the first woman entered politics. And in one of the great political ironies in contemporary American history, the dirty tricks she so abhors are the brainchild of an infamous operative from her own party. Sixty years before Palin was thrust into the national limelight, Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas, the most powerful woman in California, was relegated to obscurity by a vicious political smear.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 3, 2006 | John Balzar, Times Staff Writer
SHE starred on Broadway and in the opera. She was described as one of the most beautiful women in the country, and she married a famous actor. She came out to Hollywood and starred in the adventure picture "She." History, though, remembers Helen Gahagan Douglas for something else entirely. She blazed the trail down that curious and starlit road leading from celebrity to politics. Back in 1944, it was a novelty to see a movie star on the stump.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 9, 2009
The Pink Lady The Many Lives of Helen Gahagan Douglas Sally Denton Bloomsbury Press: 242 pp., $26
NEWS
April 29, 1992 | JONATHAN KIRSCH, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Although movies like "Mambo Kings" have cast the 1940s in the golden light of myth, "Center Stage" provides a stark and tragic contrast. Focusing on Helen Gahagan Douglas, the actress-turned-politician who was sacrificed on the altar of McCarthyism by an ambitious young climber named Richard Nixon, it reminds us that the era had its dark side.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 9, 2009 | By Tim Rutten
It is odd how history often bequeaths to us iconic names bereft of personality. Helen Gahagan Douglas, once a paladin of California's progressive politics and a congressional stalwart of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, is such a name. To the extent she's now remembered at all, it's as the victim of Richard M. Nixon's notoriously dirty 1950 campaign for one of the state's U.S. Senate seats. Sally Denton's "The Pink Lady: The Many Lives of Helen Gahagan Douglas" does an admirable if sometimes needlessly breathless job of restoring flesh and sinew to a remarkable woman and political personality, who stands as a kind of archetype of today's engaged Hollywood celebrity.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 17, 1990
It seems inconceivable to me that three former presidents and other dignitaries will gather next month to pay homage to Richard Nixon, the most disgraced president since Ulysses S. Grant and who came within a hair of being impeached. I hope his library will contain not only the record of his Administration but the complete story of Watergate and the stories of his vilified campaigns against Reps. Jerry Voorhees and Helen Gahagan Douglas. The missing 18-minute White House tape might also provide a useful insight.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 9, 1990 | COLLEEN M. O'CONNOR, Colleen M. O'Connor is a San Diego historian who has written on the Nixon-Douglas race. and
The California campaign for governor has dredged from political memory the infamous Senate race of 1950 between Richard M. Nixon and Helen Gahagan Douglas. Former San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein has compared a television ad aired on behalf of her opponent in the Democratic primary, Atty. Gen. John Van de Kamp, to the smears against Douglas. But what was it like back then? That 1950 race still ranks as one of the most hate-filled in California--and U.S.--political history.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 25, 1994
In a Dec. 11 Film Clip, Judy Brennan, writing about a new Al Pacino movie in which he plays the part of a New York mayor, says, "You may even see a little of Mark Antonio, the congressman from New York, in Pacino's character." Could she be referring to Vito Marcantonio, the fiery, left-wing congressman who was elected on the ticket of the American Labor Party for years? Readers may remember it was Marcantonio's name that Richard Nixon invoked in his vicious senatorial campaign against Helen Gahagan Douglas in 1950, attempting to tie her votes to his, thereby labeling her as a "left-winger."
ENTERTAINMENT
January 15, 1996
Stephen J. Rivele and Christopher Wilkinson asked--apparently in jest--if they could have obviated Howard Rosenberg's criticism of the mix of reality and invention in the film "Nixon," which they co-wrote with Oliver Stone, by "flashing subtitles on the screen" ("Critic's Ploy to Review 'Nixon' Is the Only Dirty Trick," Calendar, Jan. 1). Yes! Please! I was a reasonably concerned adult during the Watergate episode. I was aware of Nixon's checkered (pun) past, of his vicious destruction of Helen Gahagan Douglas and of his despicable role as a member of the House Un-American Activities Committee.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 9, 2009 | By Tim Rutten
It is odd how history often bequeaths to us iconic names bereft of personality. Helen Gahagan Douglas, once a paladin of California's progressive politics and a congressional stalwart of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, is such a name. To the extent she's now remembered at all, it's as the victim of Richard M. Nixon's notoriously dirty 1950 campaign for one of the state's U.S. Senate seats. Sally Denton's "The Pink Lady: The Many Lives of Helen Gahagan Douglas" does an admirable if sometimes needlessly breathless job of restoring flesh and sinew to a remarkable woman and political personality, who stands as a kind of archetype of today's engaged Hollywood celebrity.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 1, 2008 | Tina Daunt
BEFORE Lee Atwater became a political hit man and before "Rovian" was written into the nation's campaign lexicon, the campaign against actress Helen Gahagan Douglas symbolized the viciousness of politics by smear. Douglas, a liberal Democrat who ran against Congressman Richard Nixon for a California senatorial seat in 1950, was characterized as a communist -- "pink down to her underwear" -- by an opponent who would become known as "Tricky Dick."
ENTERTAINMENT
December 3, 2006 | John Balzar, Times Staff Writer
SHE starred on Broadway and in the opera. She was described as one of the most beautiful women in the country, and she married a famous actor. She came out to Hollywood and starred in the adventure picture "She." History, though, remembers Helen Gahagan Douglas for something else entirely. She blazed the trail down that curious and starlit road leading from celebrity to politics. Back in 1944, it was a novelty to see a movie star on the stump.
BOOKS
February 15, 1998 | ALLEN WEINSTEIN, Allen Weinstein is the author of the recently reissued "Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case." His new book, "The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America," with co-author Alexander Vassiliev, will be published later this year
The most significant U.S. Senate contest in modern America occurred in California in 1950, when Republican Rep. Richard Nixon and Democratic Rep. Helen Gahagan Douglas squared off in a bitter struggle to win the seat held by a retiring incumbent. Nixon's earlier role in the 1948 House Un-American Activities Committee phase of the Hiss-Chambers case had brought him national recognition.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 15, 1996
Stephen J. Rivele and Christopher Wilkinson asked--apparently in jest--if they could have obviated Howard Rosenberg's criticism of the mix of reality and invention in the film "Nixon," which they co-wrote with Oliver Stone, by "flashing subtitles on the screen" ("Critic's Ploy to Review 'Nixon' Is the Only Dirty Trick," Calendar, Jan. 1). Yes! Please! I was a reasonably concerned adult during the Watergate episode. I was aware of Nixon's checkered (pun) past, of his vicious destruction of Helen Gahagan Douglas and of his despicable role as a member of the House Un-American Activities Committee.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 25, 1994
In a Dec. 11 Film Clip, Judy Brennan, writing about a new Al Pacino movie in which he plays the part of a New York mayor, says, "You may even see a little of Mark Antonio, the congressman from New York, in Pacino's character." Could she be referring to Vito Marcantonio, the fiery, left-wing congressman who was elected on the ticket of the American Labor Party for years? Readers may remember it was Marcantonio's name that Richard Nixon invoked in his vicious senatorial campaign against Helen Gahagan Douglas in 1950, attempting to tie her votes to his, thereby labeling her as a "left-winger."
ENTERTAINMENT
October 1, 2008 | Tina Daunt
BEFORE Lee Atwater became a political hit man and before "Rovian" was written into the nation's campaign lexicon, the campaign against actress Helen Gahagan Douglas symbolized the viciousness of politics by smear. Douglas, a liberal Democrat who ran against Congressman Richard Nixon for a California senatorial seat in 1950, was characterized as a communist -- "pink down to her underwear" -- by an opponent who would become known as "Tricky Dick."
NEWS
March 3, 1990
I read (Joseph N. Bell's) column regularly. I too am a Democrat in this County of Orange. You have hit on some themes that I have responded to in my mind but never took action to write. However the Feb. 1 column on the Nixon questions which I copied and mailed to my daughter still lingers in my unanswered letter file. "His life passed before me in Technicolor bursts. . . ." I could have written that! Richard Nixon, the politician, came into my home by way of a mailer designed to defeat my candidate Helen Gahagan Douglas.
NEWS
April 29, 1992 | JONATHAN KIRSCH, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Although movies like "Mambo Kings" have cast the 1940s in the golden light of myth, "Center Stage" provides a stark and tragic contrast. Focusing on Helen Gahagan Douglas, the actress-turned-politician who was sacrificed on the altar of McCarthyism by an ambitious young climber named Richard Nixon, it reminds us that the era had its dark side.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 17, 1990
It seems inconceivable to me that three former presidents and other dignitaries will gather next month to pay homage to Richard Nixon, the most disgraced president since Ulysses S. Grant and who came within a hair of being impeached. I hope his library will contain not only the record of his Administration but the complete story of Watergate and the stories of his vilified campaigns against Reps. Jerry Voorhees and Helen Gahagan Douglas. The missing 18-minute White House tape might also provide a useful insight.
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