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Susan Hayward’s remarkable career


Learn about one of the most popular actresses who reached fame during the 1950s.

During each decade in cinematic history, there has always been a sense of popularity for certain actors and actresses. Susan Hayward fits that description because she reached the height of her fame during the 1950s. This article is an examination of her career that eventually led to her first (and only) victory at the Academy Awards.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, on June 30, 1917, Susan Hayward’s real name was actually Edythe Marrener. She started her film career in uncredited roles during the late 1930s. As she became more mature, though, her film career finally reached new heights during the 1940s and 1950s. She won her first Golden Globe Award in 1953 for “World Film Favorite – Female.” A fun fact is that she received a total of three Golden Globes, but never lost!


Her relationship with the Academy was not that favorable, though. Hayward received her first nomination for her leading role for Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman in 1947. After that first loss, she lost the coveted award an additional three times. In spite of the first four failed attempts at Oscar glory, she finally won the Academy Award in 1959 for playing Barbara Graham in I Want to Live! (1958).

In spite of the Hollywood glamour that surrounded her, Hayward had a troubling personal life. She divorced her first husband, and lost her second husband after his unfortunate death. Hayward’s own death was tragic because she died from brain cancer. Nevertheless, her legacy lives on in some of the greatest films made during the 1940s and 1950s.

Alex Phuong