Helen Hayes

1900 - 1993

Known as "The First lady of the American Theater", Helen Hayes had a legendary career on stage and in films and television that spanned over eighty years. Hayes was born in Washington, D.C., to Catherine Estelle "Essie" Hayes, an actress who worked in touring companies, and Francis van Arnum Brown, a clerk and salesman. Her maternal grandparents were Irish. A child actress in the first decade of the 20th century, by the time she turned twenty in 1920 she was well on her way to a landmark career on the American stage, becoming perhaps the greatest female star of the theatre during the 1930s and 1940s. She made a handful of scattered films during the silent era and in 1931 was signed to MGM with great fanfare to begin a career starring in films. Her first three films, 'Arrowsmith', 'The Sin of Madelon Claudet', and 'A Farewell to Arms (1932)', were great hits and she would win the 1932 Oscar for Best Actress for her work in Madelon Claudet. Alas, her lack of screen glamour worked against

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