Best Known For
Helen Hayes was an American actress best known for being one of two women to have received all four entertainment awards: an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Helen Hayes was an American actress born on October 10, 1900, in Washington, D.C. The accomplished entertainer acted from age 5 to 85. She appeared on Broadway at age 8, and over the next several years, she received much acclaim for her performances. With the expansion of movies in Hollywood, Hayes moved to California to pursue films. In 1931,
"I was once the typical daughter, then the easily recognizable wife, and then the quintessential mother ...Perhaps I am the triumph of 'Plain Jane.'"
"Age is not important unless you're a cheese."
"If you rest, you rust."
she won a Best Actress Academy Award for The Sin of Madelon Claudet. Hayes also received accolades for her Broadway performances in Mary of Scotland (1933) and Victoria Regina (1935). She is one of two women who have received all four entertainment awards: an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award. Hayes died on March 17, 1993, in Nyack, New York.
Born on October 10, 1900, in Washington, D.C., Helen Hayes was known as the "First Lady of the American Theater." She spent decades delivering stellar performances on the stage and television and in films. She started acting as a child with the encouragement of her mother, once an aspiring actress herself. At the age of 5, Hayes made her professional debut in a production of The Prince Chap.
Several years later, Hayes made her way to Broadway to appear in Old Dutch in 1909. She soon established a reputation as a talented actress with a knack for comedy. In 1920, Hayes starred in one of her first leading roles as the title character in Bab.
In 1927, Helen Hayes had a major career breakthrough with Coquette. This tragedy showcased her ability to handle serious dramatic material. Hayes soon brought this talent to the big screen in 1931's The Sin of Madelon Claudet. In this emotional melodrama, she stars as a woman who turns to crime to support her son. Hayes won her first Academy Award for this film.
More weighty roles soon followed in two well-received historical dramas. In 1933, Hayes portrayed the tragic royal in Mary of Scotland. She took on one of her most famous roles two years later. Hayes gave her first performance as Queen Victoria in Victoria Regina in 1935. This demanding role called for her to portray the legendary monarch from youth to old age. Over the years, Hayes starred in numerous productions of this drama.
Offstage, Hayes was devoted to her family. She married playwright Charles MacArthur in 1928. They welcomed a daughter, Mary, two years later. The family settled in Nyack, New York, a short time later and adopted a son, James, in 1939.
After decades in the theater, Helen Hayes won her first Tony Award in 1947 for Happy Birthday. She also had a chance to share the stage with her daughter Mary around this time. The pair appeared in Alice-Sit-By-The-Fire in 1946 and Good Housekeeping in 1949. Unfortunately, Mary started to feel ill during Good Housekeeping. She soon learned that she had polio and succumbed to the disease a short time later. Hayes and her husband dealt with their grief in different ways. She dedicated herself to raising funds for polio research and he started drinking heavily.
profile name: Helen Hayes profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
An acronym was born the day actor Philip Michael Thomas (a.k.a. Detective Rico Tubbs of Miami Vice fame) announced his aspiration to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony within five years. But it was his gold EGOT medallion, which he had made as a reminder of his aims, that really solidified the term in Hollywood history. Sadly, Thomas still hasn't achieved his 1984 goal but, to be fair, only a small group of performers ever has. Here are the notable few who have made awards history.
EGOT Winners 11 people in this group
presented by EGOT Winners
Best Actress Oscar Winners 68 people in this group
Explore our collection of Best Supporting Actress Oscar winners, including Anne Hathaway, Angelina Jolie, Penelope Cruz, Octavia Spencer, Juliette Binoche, Marisa Tomei and Whoopi Goldberg. View full biographies, photos and videos, only at Biography.com.
Best Supporting Actress Oscar Winners 45 people in this group