All There is To Know About Helen Peck Ehrlich

Helen Peck Ehrlich was the ex-wife of Burl Ives. Burl was an American actor, author, and musician. She got married to Burl on December 6, 1945, and at the time, she was a scriptwriter. Four years later, they adopted a child named Alexander Ives and lived in an apartment in New York. The couple divorced in 1971, with Helen winning the custody of Alexander.

Life After Divorce.

It is uncertain if Helen remarried after her divorce or if she decided to raise her son on her own; after the divorce, she kept a low profile; on the other hand, her ex-husband married Dorothy Koster Paul. It is unclear if Burl had any kids with Dorothy.

Her Ex-Husband

Helen’s ex-husband dropped out of college and soon started his music career by moving around, playing his banjo, and doing odd jobs. In 1931, Burl Ives started performing on WBOW and decided to return to Indiana State Teachers College. Seven years later, Helen’s ex-husband made his Broadway debut in the musical, The Boys from Syracuse.

Burl’s music career was not going as he intended, so Burl named his radio show, where he popularized folk songs, including songs by Almanacs, with whom he was associated and recorded several songs.

In 1942, Burl Ives joined the US Army, where he attained the rank of corporal and appeared in the musical comedy film, This is the Army. After a year in the Army, he was discharged for medical issues, and he moved to New York, where he landed a job at CBS Radio.

In the late 1940s worked with several celebrities as he was involved in recordings and film appearances. In the 1950s, he made more film appearances, appearing in East of Eden, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Desire Under the Elms, The Big Country, Ensign Pulver, and Everglades, among others.

Helen’s ex-husband started singing country music in the 1960s, and some of the songs he released that did well include Funny Way of Laughin, Call Me Mister In-Between, and A Little Bitty Tear. Ives also had several television roles, including singing the folk song I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly in a film of the same name.

Burl Ives was featured in many films and television between 1960 and 1989. Despite starting his career with many challenges, things turned out well for him. He retired from acting in 1989 but continued concert performances until 1993.

As an author, Helen’s ex-husband wrote the autobiography The Wayfaring Stranger, published in 1948. His other books include Tales of America, The Wayfaring Stranger’s Notebook, and Sea Songs of Sailing.

Burl’s Death

Helen’s ex-husband smoked pipes and cigars, adversely affecting his health as he was later diagnosed with oral cancer. He tried to do surgeries, but there was no success; he then decided not to go for any more surgeries. While at his home, he fell into a coma and died due to cancer aged 85.


Helen Peck Ehrlich, born on July 13, 1916, died on June 8, 1990, in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.