- NAME: Helen Hayes
- OCCUPATION: Actress
- BIRTH DATE: October 10, 1900
- DEATH DATE: March 17, 1993
- Did You Know?: Helen Hayes is one of only 14 entertainers to have won Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards.
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Washington, D.C.
- PLACE OF DEATH: Nyack, New York
- Full Name: Helen Hayes Brown
- AKA: Helen Hayes
- Nickname: "First Lady of the American Theater"
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.
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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.
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