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Summary Article: Hayes, Helen from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

US film and theatre actor. Her long theatre career included the title role in Victoria Regina 1938–39. She won an Academy Award for her role as a stowaway passenger in the film Airport (1970).

Hayes was born in Washington, DC. The daughter of an actor, she played her first role in the theatre at the age of six, and became a Broadway star in Dear Brutus (1918). Over the next five decades, she consolidated a reputation as the ‘first lady’ of the US theatre, a regal association aptly underlined by her particular successes in the title roles of Mary of Scotland and Victoria Regina (both 1936). She appeared in several silent films and won an Academy Award for her first performance in a talkie, The Sin of Madelon Claudet (1931). Subsequently she made only a few sorties into the cinema, of which the best remembered is probably the role of the dowager empress in Anastasia (1956).

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