Skip to main content Skip to Search Box
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).

© RM, 2018. All rights reserved.

Related Articles

Full text Article Hayes [Brown], Helen (1900 - 1993)
The Cambridge Guide to Theatre

With Katharine Cornell and Lynn Fontanne (see Lunt, Alfred ), Hayes was often called ‘the First Lady of the...

Full text Article Hayes, Helen (1900-93)
Chambers Film Factfinder

American, born in Washington, DC. A child actress who became one of the great ladies of the Broadway theatre, she dabbled in film during the...

See more from Credo