Home

CMG Worldwide Welcomes You to the Official Website of Helen Hayes

Biography

Helen Hayes was an American actress best known for being one of two women to have received all four entertainment awards: an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony.

Born on October 10, 1900, in Washington, D.C., Helen Hayes was known as the “First Lady of the American Theater.” She spent decades delivering stellar performances on the stage and television and in films. She started acting as a child with the encouragement of her mother, once an aspiring actress herself. At the age of 5, Hayes made her professional debut in a production of The Prince Chap.

Several years later, Hayes made her way to Broadway to appear in Old Dutch in 1909. She soon established a reputation as a talented actress with a knack for comedy. In 1920, Hayes starred in one of her first leading roles as the title character in Bab.

In 1927, Helen Hayes had a major career breakthrough with Coquette. This tragedy showcased her ability to handle serious dramatic material. Hayes soon brought this talent to the big screen in 1931’s The Sin of Madelon Claudet. In this emotional melodrama, she stars as a woman who turns to crime to support her son. Hayes won her first Academy Award for this film.

More weighty roles soon followed in two well-received historical dramas. In 1933, Hayes portrayed the tragic royal in Mary of Scotland. She took on one of her most famous roles two years later. Hayes gave her first performance as Queen Victoria in Victoria Regina in 1935. This demanding role called for her to portray the legendary monarch from youth to old age. Over the years, Hayes starred in numerous productions of this drama.Offstage, Hayes was devoted to her family. She married playwright Charles MacArthur in 1928. They welcomed a daughter, Mary, two years later. The family settled in Nyack, New York, a short time later, and adopted a son, James, in 1939.

After decades in the theater, Helen Hayes won her first Tony Award in 1947 for Happy Birthday. She also had a chance to share the stage with her daughter Mary around this time. The pair appeared in Alice-Sit-By-The-Fire in 1946 and Good Housekeeping in 1949. Unfortunately, Mary started to feel ill during Good Housekeeping. She soon learned that she had polio and succumbed to the disease a short time later. Hayes and her husband dealt with their grief in different ways. She dedicated herself to raising funds for polio research and he started drinking heavily.

Hayes suffered another loss in 1956 with the death of her husband. She soon channeled her heartbreak into her work. She appeared with Ingrid Bergman in Anastasia. A few years later, Hayes picked up her second Tony Award for another royal role in Time Remembered with Richard Burton.Hayes retired from the stage in the early 1970s after discovering that she was allergic to the dust found in theaters, but she didn’t stop acting. She won her second Academy Award for the 1970 film Airport, and she made numerous television appearances over the years. She had guest roles on such shows as The Love Boat, Highway to Heaven and Hawaii Five-O, in which her son, James, starred.In 1976, Hayes won a Grammy Award for her work on the best spoken word album Great American Documents along with Henry Fonda, Orson Welles and James Earl Jones. This win made her part of an elusive group of entertainers. Few performers have received all of the top American honors—a Academy Award, a Tony Award, a Grammy Award and an Emmy Award.

Films

1910 Two unidentified Vitagraph films Juvenile lead Hayes recalled in a 1931 interview with The New York Times that she had played the juvenile lead in two films starring Jean, the Vitagraph dog.[27]
1917 The Weavers of Life Peggy
1928 The Dancing Town Olive Pepperall short subject
1931 The Sin of Madelon Claudet Madelon Claudet Academy Award for Best Actress
Arrowsmith Leora Arrowsmith
1932 A Farewell to Arms Catherine Barkley
The Son-Daughter Lian Wha ‘Star Blossom’
1933 The White Sister Angela Chiaromonte
Another Language Stella ‘Stell’ Hallam
Night Flight Madame Fabian
1934 Crime Without Passion Extra in hotel lobby Uncredited
What Every Woman Knows Maggie Wylie
1935 Vanessa: Her Love Story Vanessa Paris
1938 Hollywood Goes to Town Herself, uncredited short subject
1943 Stage Door Canteen Herself
1952 My Son John Lucille Jefferson
1953 Main Street to Broadway Herself
1956 Anastasia Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
1959 Third Man on the Mountain Tourist Uncredited
1961 The Challenge of Ideas Narrator short subject
1970 Airport Ada Quonsett Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
1974 Herbie Rides Again Mrs. Steinmetz Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1975 One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing Hettie
1977 Candleshoe Lady St. Edmund

 

Television

1950 Showtime, U.S.A. Episode #1.1
Prudential Family Playhouse The Barretts of Wimpole Street
Pulitzer Prize Playhouse Mary, Queen of Scots The Late Christopher Bean
1951 Pulitzer Prize Playhouse Mary, Queen of Scots Mary of Scotland
Schlitz Playhouse of Stars Dark Fleece
Schlitz Playhouse of Stars The Lucky Touch
Schlitz Playhouse of Stars Not a Chance
Robert Montgomery Presents Queen Victoria Victoria Regina
Nominated — Emmy Award for Best Actress (nonspecific role)
1952 Omnibus The Twelve Pound Look
Nominated — Emmy Award for Best Actress (nonspecific role)
1953 Omnibus The Happy Journey
Omnibus Mom and Leo
Christmas with the Stars
Medallion Theatre Harriet Beecher Stowe “Battle Hymn”
Emmy Award for Best Actress (nonspecific role)
1954 The United States Steel Hour Mrs. Austin Welcome Home
The Best of Broadway Fanny Cavendish The Royal Family
The Motorola Television Hour Frances Parry Side by Side
1955 Producers’ Showcase Mrs. Antrobus The Skin of Our Teeth
The Best of Broadway Abby Brewster Arsenic and Old Lace
1956 Omnibus Dear Brutus
Omnibus The Christmas Tie
1957 The Alcoa Hour Mrs. Gilling and the Skyscraper
Nominated – Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Playhouse 90 Sister Theresa Four Women in Black
1958 Omnibus Mrs. McThing
The United States Steel Hour Mother Seraphim One Red Rose for Christmas
Nominated – Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1959 Hallmark Hall of Fame Essie Ah, Wilderness!
Play of the Week Madame Ranevskaya The Cherry Orchard
1960 The Bell Telephone Hour Baroness Nadedja von Meck The Music of Romance
Play of the Week Madame Ranevskaya The Velvet Glove
Dow Hour of Great Mysteries Letitia Van Gorder The Bat by Mary Roberts Rinehart
1961 Michael Shayne Murder Round My Wrist
1963 The Christophers What One Bootmaker Did
1967 Tarzan Mrs. Wilson The Pride of the Lioness
1969 Arsenic and Old Lace Abby Brewster
1970 The Front Page Narrator
1971 Do Not Fold, Spindle, or Mutilate Sophie Tate Curtis Nominated – Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1972 Harvey Veta Louise Simmons
Here’s Lucy Mrs. Kathleen Brady Lucy and the Little Old Lady
Ghost Story Miss Gilden Alter-Ego
1973–1974 The Snoop Sisters Ernesta Snoop Nominated – Emmy Award for Best Lead Actress in a Limited Series
1975 Hawaii Five-O Aunt Clara Retire in Sunny Hawaii – Forever
Nominated – Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress for a Single Appearance in a Drama or Comedy Series. Costarred with her son James MacArthur (who played her nephew in the episode).
1976 The Moneychangers Dr. McCartney miniseries
Victory at Entebbe Etta Grossman-Wise
1978 A Family Upside Down Emma Long Nominated – Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1980 The Love Boat Agatha Winslow 1 episode
1982 Love, Sidney Mrs. Clovis Pro and Cons
Murder is Easy Lavinia Fullerton
1983 A Caribbean Mystery Miss Marple
1984 Highway to Heaven Estelle Wicks
1985 Murder with Mirrors Miss Marple

Licensing

As the exclusive licensing agent for Helen Hayes, CMG Worldwide is dedicated to maintaining and developing a positive brand image for our client. CMG is a leader and pioneer in its field, with over 35 years of experience arranging licensing agreements for hundreds of personalities and brands in various industries, including sports, entertainment, music, and more. We actively seek out commercial opportunities that are consistent with our brand positioning goals, and we are committed to pursuing strategies that meet the goals of our clients, as well as our licensing partners.

Please contact us today if you are interested in licensing opportunities with Helen Hayes. For a full list of CMG Clients, please visit our website here.

 

Your Name*

Your Email*

Telephone

Your Message*

* denotes a required field