Helen Webb Harris, 85, a retired teacher with the D.C. Public Schools who also was a playwright and an award-winning golfer, died of cardiac arrest Aug. 11 at the Washington Hospital Center. She lived in Washington.

Mrs. Harris taught in the D.C. schools for 40 years before retiring in 1955. She spent the last 30 years of that time as a history and English teacher at Banneker Senior High. Before that, she had taught in elementary schools.

For her work as a founder of the Wake Robins golf club in 1937, an early area black women's golfing organization, she was awarded a bronze plaque by the Eastern Golf Association. In the mid-1930s, she won the Evening Star Newspaper Trophy for senior women and was runner-up in a Maryland Women's championship competition. She was a member of the United Golfers Association Hall of Fame.

Two of her plays, "Frederick Douglass" and "Genifred, the Daughter of Toussaint L'Ouverture," were performed at Howard University.

Mrs. Harris was a native of Washington. She was a graduate of the old M Street High School and the old Miner Normal School. She earned a bachelor's degree in English and history at Howard University and a master's degree in drama at Catholic University.

Her husband, Dr. Albert R. Harris, died in 1967. Her survivors include a daughter, Helen H. Combs of Washington; two brothers, Byron F. Webb of Los Angeles and Waldo E. Webb of Washington; two sisters, Ethel W. Downing and Adelaide W. Henley, both of Washington; two grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.