Facts on Burl Ives’ Ex-Wife: Helen Peck Ehrlich

Helen Peck Ehrlich was a scriptwriter and the ex-wife of American musician and actor Burl Ives. She was born on July 13, 1916, in New York, New York City, United States of America. Helen Peck Ehrlich met Burl Ives in the 1940s, and they got married on December 6, 1945. Four years later, they had a son named Alexander.

Helen continued supporting her husband in his music career in the 1950s and 1960s while caring for their one child. However, things did not work out between the couple, as they filed for divorce in 1971 after 25 years of marriage. Helen’s ex-husband mentioned that they had separated for 15 years.

Personal Life After Divorce

After their divorce, Helen kept a low profile while focusing on her career. However, she did not remain single; she married William Lawrence Lovelock, six years her junior. It is unclear if they had any children together. Helen’s ex-husband was ordered to give her 2000 dollars monthly, so she had no financial issues.

On the other hand, Burl Ives also remarried; he tied the knot with Dorothy Koster Paul two months after his divorce. However, the couple did not have any children together.

Her Ex-Husband

Helen’s ex-husband started his singing career as an itinerant singer playing his banjo across the US. He then started performing on the radio before venturing into acting. In the late 1930s, Burl Ives performed in Broadway plays, including The Boys from Syracuse. Helen’s ex-husband also had his radio show, which he named The Wayfaring Stranger.

In his radio show, Burl Ives popularized folk songs; he met several other bands he worked with and even released some music with them. Helen’s ex-husband joined the US Army but was released a year later due to health issues. In 1943, Burl moved from California to New York City, where he worked on CBS Radio.

In the 1950s, Helen’s ex-husband started landing acting roles appearing in several films and shows, including Our Man in Havana, East of Eden, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Wind Across the Everglades, Desire Under the Elms, and The Big Country. Burl faced some issues in the 1950s which affected his income, given he was barred from American employment.

Helen’s ex-husband concentrated on country music in the 1960s, with his first three songs doing well. These were Funny Way of Laughin’, Call Me Mister In-Between, and A Little Bitty Tear. Burl continued making music and taking television roles until he retired in 1989 but occasionally performed in concerts.

Helen’s Ex-Husband’s Death

Burl Ives had been smoking for most of his life. A year before his death, he was diagnosed with oral cancer, he tried going for surgeries to deal with cancer, but they were unsuccessful. Days before his death, he fell into a coma dying from oral cancer on April 14, 1985, in Anacortes, Washington, aged 85.


Helen Peck Ehrlich died on June 3, 1990, in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Her family did not mention the cause of her death.