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Helen Sharp

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Helen Sharp is the second protagonist villainess of the black comedy film Death Becomes Her, sharing the role with her rival Madeline Ashton - she has been Madeline's love rival ever since the actress stole her first fiance out of jealously and married him. Madeline continues to do this (much to Helen's discontent). In 1978, at the time of Madeline's failing career, Helen takes her third fiancee, Ernest Menville, to see her. Madeline flirts with Ernest and Helen later reveales that Ernest needed to pass 'The Madeline Ashton Test' in order to marry her. Despite promising that he has no interest in Madeline, Ernest promptly marries Madeline.

This forces Helen into decline. 7 years later She has become morbedley obese and lives in a hovel, eating melted ice cream and re-watching a tape of one of Madeline's films, which depicts her being violently strangled. Due to not paying her rent, Helen is thrown out of her apartment and institutionalized in a mental hospital. During her stay, all Helen wishes to talk about is Madeline Ashton. Helen is accused by her nurse of being lazy in her treatment. She then makes a remark about how Helen must "eliminate" Madeline. She means this in a metaphorical sense, but Helen seems to have an epiphany at the word "eliminate".

Another 7 years later, Helen sends Madeline invitation for her and Ernest to come to the book party celebrating Helen's new book "Forever Young". When they arrive, Helen reveals herself to be thin, attractive and a sensual creature. She tells Madeline that she never blamed Madeline for Ernest leaving her- something Madeline is relieved to here. Later, Helen leads Ernest to the garden and tells him the exact oppisite; that she thinks Madeline lured him away from her.

When Madeline goes to visit her lover, Dakota,(And subsequently taking the potion of youth from Lisle Von Rhoman) Helen visits Ernest and seduces him into kissing her passionately. However, Helen claims that she and Ernest cannot be together with Madeline still alive. She then reveals her plan of drugging Madeline with Narconal, driving her to the top of Mulholland Drive, packing the car full of alcohol bottles and pushing her off. The police would class her as "just another drunk driver" and she would be cremated.

Ernest is at first horrified at such an idea, but Helen persuades him using femenine wiles. That night, after a newley rejuvinated Madeline is pushed down the stairs by Ernest, Helen realises that the police may trace calls and see how Ernest called her before the police. Helen instructs Ernest to wait for her in his house. Ernest cannot do this as Madeline- because of the youth potion- is kept alive after her fall and he takes her to ER.

Helen follows Ernest and sees him buying Formaldehyde, and suspects he is using his skills as an undertaker to do "something funny" with Madeline's supposed corpse. When she shows up at Madeline's house, she tells Ernest they will bury her in Death Valley together. Madeline appears and the pair sarcastically greet eachother as old friends. Madeline then blasts Helen into the outside pond with a double-barreled shotgun.

Helen rises up when Ernest and Madeline are planning to bury her body in Death Valley, with a huge basket-ball sized hole in her stomach. Madeline and Helen realise they both took Lisle's potion. Helen then challenges Madeline to a spade fight, proclaiming "Engarde. Bitch!" An epic fight scene occurs, in which Madeline's head is knocked from its bones and the two women trade quips remarking on eachother's physical condition.

The two realise how little pain they are causing eachother and reconcile. They ask Ernest to fix their dead bodies, as a last favour them, stating they will allow him to leave them.

Helen and Madeline are "fixed" by the next morning, but then realise that both of their new skins are beggining to peel off. Realising this may happen again, Helen suggests drugging Ernest and making him take the youth potion. When this does not work, Helen smashes a pot over Ernest's head, rendering him unconscious.

When Helen and Madeline are at Lisle's annual client's party, they see Ernest and see how he has not taken the potion, and chase him to a ledge where he hangs by his breeches from a drainpipe. Despite Helen and Madeline's persuasive but furious protests, he chooses death, but finds he has dropped right into Lisle's indoor pool. He steals another guests car, just before Helen and Madeline rush down the steps looking for him.

37 years later, Helen and Madeline attend Ernest's funeral, only to hear that Ernest led a full and happy life without them. The two women bicker over a lost can of spray paint, as we see that their faces are melting and droopy. Ironically, Helen falls down the church steps after tripping on the can of spray paint, and pulls madeline down with her. Helen and Madeline both reach the bottom of the steps and smash into pieces. The final shot is of Helen's head asking Madeline's;"Do you remember where you parked the car?"

Trivia

  • Helen was portrayed by Goldie Hawn.
  • The 'Hole through the body shot' is now considered to be a revolutionary piece of cinema.
  • The film was directed by the Back to the Future director Robert Zemeckis.

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