Hayes, Helen

BORN 10 Oct 1900, Washington, D.C. - DIED 17 Mar 1993, Nyack, New York
BIRTH NAME Brown, Helen Hayes
CAUSE OF DEATH congestive heart failure
GRAVE LOCATION Nyack, New York: Oak Hill Cemetery, 140 North Highland Avenue

Helen Hayes was known as the 'First Lady of the American Theatre'. She was the daughter of the actress Catherine Estelle (born Hayes), a great-niece of the famous singer Catherine Hayes. Het father was Francis van Arnum Brown, who worked, among other jobs, as a clerk and as a salesman.

She already appeared on the stage and in several movies as a child. She was educated at the Academy of the Sacred Heart Convent in Washington. She appeared in several Broadway productions and in 1928 she married Charles MacArthur.

With him she moved to Hollywood. In 1931 she made her first sound movie "The Sin of Madelon Claudet" and she immediately won the Oscar for best actress. Several movies followed, among them "A Farewell to Arms" (1932), but they weren't very successful and in 1935 she returned to Broadway. There she played Victoria Regina in the play of the same name for three years.

In 1949 her daughter Mary died aged 19 and in 1956 her husband died. By that time she had returned to Hollywood and "Anastasia" (1956) was a success. In 1970 she won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her part in "Airport". She suffered from asthma and in 1971 she was forced to retire from the theatre.

Her later years she spent writing and raising money to fight asthma. She lived for many years in a historic house in Nyack near New York City that was named "Pretty Penny". She died in Nyack in 1993 and a few years later the house was bought by Rosie O'Donnell from her adopted son James MacArthur. The Helen Hayes Award was named after her and she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

• Husband: MacArthur, Charles (1928-1956)

Related persons
• knew Hecht, Jenny
• cooperated with Lortel, Lucille


The grave of Helen Hayes at Oak Hill Cemetery, Nyack.
Picture by Androom (13 Apr 2010)


The graves of Helen Hayes and Charles Mac Arthur at Oak Hill Cemetery, Nyack.
Picture by Androom (13 Apr 2010)


Helen Hayes - Wikipedia

Hayes-Bushnell, Catherine

Published: 21 Nov 2010
Last update: 25 Feb 2022