Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Happy Birthday: Susan Hayward.

Susan Hayward, performed in small parts until she was cast in Beau Geste (1939) opposite Gary Cooper. During the war years, she played leading lady to John Wayne, in Reap the Wild Wind (1942) and The Fighting Seabees (1944). She also performed in the film version of The Hairy Ape (1944). Later in 1955, she was cast by Howard Hughes to play Bortai in the historical epic The Conqueror, also opposite John Wayne.

My favorite Susan Hayward movie is, The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952). The story is about the memories of a writer named Harry who is on safari in Africa. He is very ill when a wound becomes infected. While waiting for help to arrive he talks about his memories of the past years. Even though he has seen and experienced many wonderful experiences during his life, he had never written a book of the events.

After the war, she became one of Hollywood's most popular leading ladies in films such as Tap Roots (1948), My Foolish Heart (1949), David and Bathsheba (1951), and another favorite Susan Hayward movie, With a Song in My Heart (1952). Which is a biographical film which tells the story of actress and singer Jane Froman, who was crippled by an airplane crash on February 22, 1943, when the Boeing 314 Pan American Clipper flying boat she was on crash landed in the Tagus River, but entertained the troops in World War II even though she had to walk with crutches.

In 1947, she received the first of five Academy Award nominations for her role as an alcoholic nightclub singer in Smash-Up.

During the 1950s she won recognition for her performances as President Andrew Jackson's melancholic wife in The President's Lady (1953); the alcoholic actress Lillian Roth in I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955), based on Roth's autobiography of the same name, for which she received a Cannes award; and the real-life California murderer Barbara Graham in, I Want to Live! (1958). Hayward's performance of Graham won her the Academy Award for Best Actress.

In 1961, Hayward starred as a working girl who becomes the wife of the state's next governor (Dean Martin) and ultimately takes over that office herself in Ada. She replaced Judy Garland as Helen Lawson in the 1967 film adaptation of Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls.


  1. Dawn, I have always loved Susan Hayward. Her beauty, the distinctive way she carried herself, and her incredible talent. I too loved The Snows Of Kilimanjaro, and her performance as Barbara Graham in I Want To Live was extraordinary. I remember seeing her audition test for Scarlett in Gone With The Wind. If she had been a little older and more sure of herself, she could have been a very good Scarlett.

  2. Beck, I agree.. Susan Hayward's performance as Barbara Graham in, I Want To Live, was amazing.


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