Susan Hayward


Susan Hayward was an American actress who rose to fame during the Golden Age of Hollywood. She is renowned for her versatile acting abilities and was particularly known for her strong, independent female characters. Hayward's performances in a wide range of films earned her critical acclaim and several prestigious awards, including an Academy Award for Best Actress. Throughout her career, she worked with some of the most prominent directors and actors of her time, leaving a lasting impact on the film industry. Hayward's influence can still be seen today in the legacy she has left behind as a talented and respected actress.

Early Life and Background

Susan Hayward, born Edythe Marrenner, was born on June 30, 1917, in Brooklyn, New York City. She was the youngest of three children in her family. Hayward's childhood was marked by tragedy, as her father passed away when she was just seven years old. This loss had a profound impact on her early years and shaped her resilient and determined character.

Despite facing hardships, Susan Hayward was a bright and ambitious student. She attended the Girls' Commercial High School in Brooklyn, where she excelled in her studies. Hayward's passion for performing arts emerged during her teenage years, and she became involved in local theater productions.

After completing high school, Hayward pursued her dream of becoming an actress and enrolled in a dramatic arts school in New York City. She worked odd jobs to support herself while honing her craft and eventually landed her first professional acting gigs in local theater and radio productions. Hayward's dedication and talent caught the attention of Hollywood executives, leading to her eventual success as a renowned film actress.

Career Beginnings

Susan Hayward began her career in the entertainment industry by participating in local talent contests and beauty pageants. She was noted for her striking looks and charismatic presence, which attracted the attention of talent scouts. Hayward's early interests in performing led her to pursue acting opportunities in Hollywood. She landed her first roles in a series of B-movies and small supporting parts, gradually gaining recognition for her talent and dedication to her craft. Through perseverance and hard work, Hayward eventually secured leading roles that showcased her remarkable acting abilities and launched her into stardom.

Breakthrough and Rise to Fame

Susan Hayward made her breakthrough in Hollywood through her role in the 1937 film "Hollywood Hotel." She continued to rise to fame with her performances in movies such as "Beau Geste" (1939), "My Foolish Heart" (1949), and "I Want to Live!" (1958), for which she won an Academy Award for Best Actress. Some of her other notable performances include "Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman" (1947), "With a Song in My Heart" (1952), and "I'll Cry Tomorrow" (1955). Hayward's key performances showcased her versatility as an actress and solidified her reputation as a talented and respected performer in the industry. Throughout her career, she received five Academy Award nominations and won one. Susan Hayward's milestones include becoming one of the most acclaimed actresses of her time and being recognized as a Hollywood icon for her memorable performances on screen.

Career Highlights

Susan Hayward had a successful career in Hollywood during the Golden Age of cinema. She received critical acclaim and popularity for her roles in films such as "I Want to Live!" (1958), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. Hayward also received four other Academy Award nominations for her performances in "Smash-Up, the Story of a Woman" (1947), "My Foolish Heart" (1949), "With a Song in My Heart" (1952), and "I'll Cry Tomorrow" (1955).

Apart from her Oscar success, Hayward was known for her roles in various other films including "My Foolish Heart," "David and Bathsheba" (1951), and "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" (1952). She was also praised for her work in television, appearing in shows such as "Light's Diamond Jubilee" and "The Ed Sullivan Show."

Throughout her career, Hayward received multiple awards and nominations, including a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama for "With a Song in My Heart." She also won the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin International Film Festival for her role in "I'll Cry Tomorrow."

Overall, Susan Hayward's career was marked by critical acclaim, numerous accolades, and enduring popularity among audiences.

Personal Life

Susan Hayward was a private person who kept much of her personal life away from the public eye. She was married three times, first to actor Jess Barker, with whom she had twin sons, Gregory and Timothy. After their divorce, she married Floyd Eaton Chalkley, who tragically passed away not long after their marriage. Her third marriage was to Eaton Chalkley's physician, Dick Barker.

In terms of hobbies and interests, Susan Hayward was known to enjoy playing tennis and horseback riding. She was also an avid reader and liked to spend time in her garden.

Regarding philanthropy and activism, Susan Hayward was actively involved in charitable endeavors, particularly focusing on cancer research and treatment. She was a supporter of the American Cancer Society and lent her voice and presence to various fundraising events for cancer-related causes.

Controversies and Challenges

Susan Hayward faced various controversies and challenges throughout her acting career. She was criticized for her strong and often intense on-screen portrayals, with some accusing her of being too forceful or dramatic in her performances. Additionally, Hayward was known for her fiery temperament off-screen, leading to clashes with co-stars and directors.

One of the publicized issues surrounding Susan Hayward was her tumultuous personal life, including multiple failed marriages and struggles with alcoholism. These struggles often overshadowed her professional accomplishments and led to negative publicity within the media.

Despite facing personal and professional challenges, Susan Hayward was able to overcome adversity and continue her successful acting career. She received critical acclaim for her performances in films such as "I Want to Live!" and "I'll Cry Tomorrow," earning several award nominations and a Best Actress Oscar win in 1959 for her role in "I Want to Live!"

Overall, Susan Hayward's career was marked by controversies and challenges, but she was able to navigate through them and leave behind a lasting legacy in the world of film and entertainment.

Legacy and Impact

Susan Hayward was a highly acclaimed American actress whose legacy continues to have a lasting impact on the entertainment industry. She was known for her versatility and ability to portray a wide range of characters with depth and authenticity. Hayward's influence on the film industry can be seen in the numerous accolades she received throughout her career, including an Academy Award for Best Actress.

Her performances on screen not only captivated audiences but also set a standard for excellence in acting. Hayward's cultural impact can be seen in the way she tackled complex and challenging roles, often shining a light on important social issues of the time. She was a trailblazer for women in the industry, breaking barriers and paving the way for future generations of actresses.

Although Susan Hayward passed away in 1975, her legacy remains relevant and her work continues to inspire aspiring actors and filmmakers. The future prospects for honoring her memory and contributions to the entertainment world are promising, with retrospectives of her films, academic studies on her craft, and continued recognition of her impact on the industry. Hayward's enduring influence serves as a reminder of the power of storytelling and the lasting impact of a talented performer.

Fan Base and Public Image

Susan Hayward, a renowned actor from the golden age of Hollywood, has an enduring fan base that continues to celebrate her work even decades after her passing. Her fans admire her remarkable talent and versatility as an actress, which she showcased in a wide range of roles across various genres.

In terms of public image, Susan Hayward is often remembered for her compelling on-screen presence and ability to portray complex and emotionally powerful characters. Her performances in films such as "I Want to Live!" and "I'll Cry Tomorrow" cemented her reputation as a talented and dedicated performer, earning her several award nominations and wins throughout her career.

While Susan Hayward may not have a social media presence herself, her fans have created dedicated online communities to share their love for her work and keep her legacy alive. These fan pages and forums serve as platforms for enthusiasts to connect, discuss her films, share memorabilia, and pay tribute to her enduring impact on the entertainment industry.

In terms of fan interactions, Susan Hayward's supporters often express admiration for her resilience, strength, and unwavering commitment to her craft. They appreciate her ability to bring depth and authenticity to her characters, making her performances resonate with audiences of all generations.

Overall, the public perception of Susan Hayward remains deeply positive, with many recognizing her as a trailblazing talent who left an indelible mark on Hollywood. Her timeless performances continue to captivate and inspire audiences around the world, ensuring that her legacy as a legendary actor endures.

Recent Projects and Current Status

There wouldn't be any recent activities, projects, or current status for Susan Hayward, as she passed away on March 14, 1975. An American actress who rose to prominence during Hollywood's Golden Age, Hayward's career was marked by her powerful performances and versatility in a range of dramatic roles.

Her last completed film, "Say Goodbye, Maggie Cole," which aired in 1972, offered a conclusion to her illustrious film career. Since then, there have been no new works or upcoming projects to speak of.

Historically, Hayward may be remembered for standout roles in films like "I Want to Live!" (1958), for which she won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of convicted murderer Barbara Graham. Her body of work in the 1940s and 1950s solidified her as one of the era's major stars, known for both her beauty and her intense, often somber performances.

Her legacy is preserved through the enduring impact of her films and the recognition she garnered throughout her career. Posthumous discussions of her work frequently highlight her major contributions to cinema, and retrospectives on classic Hollywood often include analyses of her most significant roles. No new activities or projects exist given her passing several decades ago.

Interesting Facts and Trivia

Susan Hayward was an American actress known for her powerful performances on the silver screen during the mid-20th century. She received five Academy Award nominations for Best Actress and won the award for her role in the film "I Want to Live!" in 1958. Hayward's journey to stardom was a challenging one, as she faced rejection and setbacks early in her career.

One interesting fact about Susan Hayward is that she was originally born as Edythe Marrenner in Brooklyn, New York, in 1917. She later changed her name when she embarked on her acting career. Hayward's transformation into a Hollywood star was not instant, and she paid her dues by taking on small, uncredited roles before landing significant parts in films.

Hayward's dedication to her craft was renowned, and she was known for her intense preparation for each role. She was a method actress who delved deep into her characters, often sacrificing her own comfort for the sake of a performance. This commitment led to memorable portrayals in films such as "With a Song in My Heart" and "My Foolish Heart."

Despite her professional success, Susan Hayward's personal life was marked by tragedy and hardship. She endured a tumultuous marriage to actor Jess Barker and faced health challenges, including a battle with brain cancer. Hayward's resilience and strength in the face of adversity mirrored the strong-willed characters she often played on screen.

In addition to her acting talents, Susan Hayward was also known for her philanthropic work, supporting various charitable causes throughout her life. She was actively involved in humanitarian efforts and used her platform to raise awareness about important issues.

Susan Hayward's legacy as a Hollywood icon endures, with her performances continuing to captivate audiences around the world. She remains a shining example of determination, talent, and grace in the entertainment industry, leaving behind a rich cinematic legacy that continues to inspire aspiring actors and fans alike.


Susan Hayward was a highly accomplished actor who left a lasting impact on Hollywood with her remarkable talent and performances. Throughout her career, she portrayed a wide range of characters with depth and charisma, earning critical acclaim and respect from audiences worldwide. From her early days in the entertainment industry to becoming one of the leading actresses of her time, she showcased versatility and dedication to her craft. Hayward's legacy continues to inspire aspiring actors and remains an integral part of cinematic history. Her compelling presence on screen and commitment to storytelling have secured her a place among the legends of classic Hollywood cinema.

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