Memorable Manitobans: Helene Florence Winston (1922-2004)
Born at Winnipeg on 16 September 1922 to Bertha Muscovitch (1888-1970) and Moses Montefiore Weinstein (1885-1955), she was raised in Winnipeg and began her career in acting in the garages of Elmwood, and then at Theatre 77, which later became the Manitoba Theatre Centre. From there, she moved on to Toronto, Stratford, New York, Los Angeles, and many major North American theatrical centres, as well as the Edinburgh Festival. Her career encompassed radio, stage, television, and film. She appeared at the Stratford Festival in its early years, and was a prominent and frequent presence on CBC television in the 1950s.
After an active career in Canada, she made her Broadway debut in Milk and Honey. After touring with this production, she moved to Los Angeles, California in the early 1960s. She appeared in many Hollywood films, including the cult classic, A Boy and His Dog. She also acted in countless television series, such as The Monkees, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Sanford and Son, Bewitched, and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. In 1974, she returned to Toronto to star as Gladys King in the CBC’s hit comedy, King of Kensington. A prize-winning poet, she gave readings of her work in Los Angeles, Winnipeg, and Toronto; her last collection was titled From Sleeping Libido to Geriatric Erotica. She was also an avid bridge and poker player.
She was married twice, first to Nate Bershadsky and then to John Steiner. She died at Woodland Hills, California on 6 March 2004 and was buried in the Pleasant Hills Cemetery at Toronto.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 20 March 2002.
“Helene Winston,” Northernstars: the Canadian Movie Database.
Helene Winston, FindAGrave.
“Helene Winston,” Sara’s Family Tree, Ancestry.
This page was prepared by Lois Braun.
Page revised: 12 July 2021