Susan Hayward was a flame-haired, Oscar-winning actress who appeared in more than 50 motion pictures before her death from a malignant brain tumor at age 55.
In 1939, producer David O. Selznick spotted her picture on a Saturday Evening Post cover. He invited her to Hollywood to try out for the part of Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone With the Wind." But Vivien Leigh won the part, and an Oscar for it.
Within a year, however, Hayward was playing the feminine lead in "Beau Geste" opposite Gary Cooper.
She won her Academy Award in 1958 for best performance by a leading actress when she portrayed convicted murderess Barbara Graham in "I Want to Live."
Oscar nominations also came her way for "Smash Up" in 1947, "My Foolish Heart" in 1949, "With a Song in My Heart" in 1952 and "I'll Cry Tomorrow" in 1955.
In 1955, at the height of her career, she attempted suicide by taking an overdose of sleeping pills in her Sherman Oaks home. At the end of her life, by then a convert to Catholicism, Hayward waged a courageous battle against a malignant brain tumor. Given six weeks to three months to live, Hayward survived for more than two years.
"She had a tremendous desire to live," said her doctor, Lee Siegel, when Hayward died in 1975. "She was a terrific fighter."
Points of interest
|1947||Best Actress||Smash Up: The Story of a Woman||Nomination|
|1949||Best Actress||My Foolish Heart||Nomination|
|1952||Best Actress||With a Song in My Heart||Nomination|
|1955||Best Actress||I'll Cry Tomorrow||Nomination|
|1958||Best Actress||I Want to Live!||Win|