During the late 1960s, Helena Kallianiotes was the resident belly dancer at The Intersection, a Greek restaurant in North Hollywood, California. This engagement led to her first film appearance as an uncredited belly dancer in the 1968 film Head, directed by Bob Rafelson and starring the The Monkees. Kallianiotes was later cast in another Rafelson film Five Easy Pieces, starring Jack Nicholson and Karen Black, in which she played Palm Apodaca, a neurotic, foul-mouthed "butch" lesbian hitch-hiker, traveling with her "fem" companion, played by Toni Basil. In 1972, Kalllianiotes appeared in her most celebrated role as the ultra-aggressive roller derbyskater Jackie Burdette, in The Kansas City Bomber, for which she received a Best Supporting Actress nomination for the 1973 Golden Globe Awards. Other film roles include Mata Hari in Shanks (1974), Elaine Reavis in The Drowning Pool (1975), Anita in Stay Hungry (1976), and the Visionary Woman in The Passover Plot (1976).