Susan Hayward

Date Of Birth:
30 June 1917
Date Of Death:
14 March 1975
Place Of Birth:
Brooklyn, New York
Best Known As:
The redhead who starred in 'I Want To Live'

Name at birth: Edythe Marrener

Susan Hayward was a Hollywood movie star who was Oscar nominated five times, winning her best actress award for 1958's I Want to Live. A fierce redhead who reached her box office peak in the 1950s, she was modeling in New York when she answered the call to audition for Gone With the Wind in 1937 (the part went to Vivien Leigh). In Los Angeles, Hayward ended up getting a studio contract and spent much of the 1940s in small roles. By the end of the decade, however, she proved her dramatic chops and got her first Oscar nomination, for Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman (1947). During the 1950s, Hayward seemed to specialize in playing long-suffering women struggling to overcome adversity. She was nominated for Oscars for My Foolish Heart (1949), With a Song in My Heart (1952) and I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955) before finally winning for I Want to Live. At the same time, she was stuck in what the tabloids called a "turbulent" marriage. Her 1955 divorce battle led a a suicide attempt while still filming I'll Cry Tomorrow, but she kept working and eventually remarried. She was diagnosed with multiple brain tumors in 1973 -- some say as a result of filming The Conqueror (1956, starring John Wayne as Genghis Khan) in Utah, near a nuclear test site -- and died in 1975. Her other films included David and Bathsheba (1951), The Lusty Men (1952), Woman Obsessed (1959) and Valley of the Dolls (1967).