(1911–60), actress. The throaty-voiced blonde beauty was born in Norfolk, Virginia, and after several years in amateur and stock productions made her Broadway debut in 1931 in A Modern Virgin. She is best remembered for four roles: the aspiring actress Terry Randall in Stage Door (1936); Sally Middleton, who finds love with a soldier on wartime leave in The Voice of the Turtle (1943); Hester Collyer, a woman in love with an unloving man in The Deep Blue Sea (1952); and the chauffeur's daughter Sabrina Fairchild in Sabrina Fair (1953). Sullavan was trying out in what promised to be another success when she committed suicide. She was also popular in films. Haywire, a book by her daughter Brooke Hayward about her and Brooke's father, producer Leland Hayward, was published in 1977.
From The Oxford Companion to American Theatre in Oxford Reference.