About Susan Hayward

Susan Hayward, whose real name was Edythe Marrenner, was born on June 30, 1917, in Brooklyn, New York. She rose from the humble beginnings of a Brooklyn apartment to become one of Hollywood’s most respected and talented actresses. Hayward’s journey in the film industry is a compelling tale of resilience, versatility, and indomitable spirit that resonates with many even today.

Hayward’s film career began in the late 1930s, but it wasn’t until the 1940s and 1950s that she gained significant recognition. Her breakthrough role came in 1947 with “Smash-Up, the Story of a Woman,” where she played an anguished nightclub singer. This role earned her the first of five Academy Award nominations. Despite her recognition, an Oscar win eluded her until 1958 when she portrayed death row inmate Barbara Graham in “I Want to Live!” This role finally earned Hayward the Best Actress Oscar, solidifying her place among Hollywood’s elite.

Susan Hayward was renowned for her ability to fully immerse herself in her characters, bringing authenticity and depth to her performances. She was often cast in roles that depicted strong, independent women facing adversity, which resonated with audiences and critics alike. Whether she was playing a real-life figure or a fictional character, Hayward’s portrayals were compelling and convincing, drawing moviegoers into the narrative.

Apart from her Oscar-winning performance in “I Want to Live!”, Hayward’s notable films include “With a Song in My Heart” (1952), where she portrayed singer Jane Froman, overcoming a plane crash to return to singing. This role earned Hayward one of her Academy Award nominations and further demonstrated her singing abilities, although her voice was dubbed by Froman herself. Other significant films include “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” (1952), “The President’s Lady” (1953), and “Valley of the Dolls” (1967), showcasing her versatility as an actress.

Off-screen, Hayward’s life was marked by personal trials, including health issues and a tumultuous marriage to actor Jess Barker, with whom she had twin sons. In her later years, Hayward fought a valiant battle against brain cancer, believed to be caused by exposure to radioactive fallout while filming “The Conqueror” in 1956, near a nuclear test site in Nevada. She passed away on March 14, 1975, leaving behind a legacy of unforgettable performances and a spirit that refused to be broken by the challenges she faced.

Today, Susan Hayward is remembered not only for her remarkable contributions to cinema but also for her resilience in the face of adversity. Her performances continue to inspire actors and captivate audiences, serving as a testament to her talent and determination. Hayward’s journey from a Brooklyn girl to an Oscar-winning actress is a story of triumph over adversity, making her one of Hollywood’s timeless icons.