Helena Macree Tsavalas:

Life in Film and Her Stories


Biography of Helena Macree Tsavalas


Born in Athens, Greece, on February 15, 1915, Helena Macree became a writer whose first works were published when she was a precocious nine-year old.   Her father was a lawyer, playwright and critic.   Her mother was a poet and teacher.   Ms. Macree earned a BA in Political Science in Greece and went on to study art and writing at seven institutions of advanced learning, including the Sorbonne, the University of Lyons, and Queens College, New York.   In 1948, she married Christopher Tsavalas in New York City.  

Ms Macree has written all her life, specializing in children's books.   Her stories generated games, dolls and puppets, all of which she created herself.   She began constructing her International Friendship dolls while studying at France's Institute of Highest Studies and Film on a three-year scholarship from the French government.   This formidable collections of dolls, puppets and marionettes - all dressed in authentic costumes telling stories of life and culture - was developed with the idea of building understanding and friendship among the world's children.

Exhibitions and contests including Ms. Macree's creations regularly earned first-prize awards in Paris, Lausanne, Basel, Athens, Calgary, and throughout the United States. Beginning in 1948, Ms. Macree gave lectures and demonstrations in America complementing displays of her work in colleges and universities, libraries and other forums.

As a guest instructor in many institutions, Ms Macree shared her craft with students and adults, encouraging them to share her techniques and love of art with others.   Her work with the Girl Scouts of the United States National Training School, especially, was highly praised, and she was invited back many times.

Ms. Macree has received testimonials from educators, artists and writing professionals on both sides of the Atlantic.   She was crowned champion of the annual Women's International Exposition ( Hand Arts Exposition) from 1948 to 1962.   In 1950, she was invited to show her work at the One-Person Special Exhibit at the New York Times' Fourth Annual Boy's and Girls' Book Fair at the Museum of National History in New York.

At 94, this international treasure, Helena Macree Tsavalas lives in San Francisco.  It is an appropriate time to recognize her accomplishments.  Helena's stories, The Dazzling Beast and Fairy Stop had one common thread that the film pursues:  peace and understanding.


Her books and the film of her life can be purchased by emailing me for details.

Books:  $10 each
DVD: $20 each

Email:  thedazzlingbeast@gmail.com