Susan Hayward


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(1918–1975). Film performer. A red-haired, husky-voiced passionate actress of over sixty films, she made six musicals, two of which were popular biographies. Hayward was born in Brooklyn and after high school worked as a model before going to Hollywood in 1937 to be tested for Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind (1939). Her screen test led to minor roles in feature films but stardom would not come until the early 1940s for melodramas that displayed her intense characterizations on screen. While Hayward was not suited to light musical comedy, she was cast in such musicals as Hollywood Hotel (1937), Sis Hopkins (1941), Star-Spangled Rhythm (1942), and Hit Parade of 1943. Her best musical roles were portraying tragic figures in show business: Jane Froman in With a Song in My Heart (1952) and Lillian Roth in I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955). Hayward continued making films into the 1970s. Biographies: Susan Hayward: Her Life and Films, Kim R. Holston (2002); A Star Is a Star Is a Star: The Lives and Loves of Susan Hayward, Christopher P. Andersen (1980).

From The Oxford Companion to the American Musical in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Music Theatre.

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