Hello Everybody. Joe Morella and Frank Segers here to report that — yes, finally, after a couple of months — we heard from a Susan Hayward fan who disagrees with us when we say she is today a forgotten star. (Check out our blog to this effect which ran on July 14.)
Philippe Elan writes, “Happy to disagree on the fact that Susan Hayward is a forgotten star….Most people who like movies of the Golden Age of Hollywood still know her and she is very popular among them.
“Lots of her movies have found their ways on official DVD releases and they have been big sellers : ‘With a Song in My Heart,’ ‘I’ll Cry Tomorrow,’ ‘I Want to Live,’ ‘Snows of Kilimanjaro,’ ‘Where Love Has Gone,’ ‘David and Bathsheba,’ ‘Smash Up’….and many others. Movies unlimited has just issued the official DVD of her 1961 major box office hit ‘Back Street’…
“One thing I agree is that Hayward was a front rank star in the second part of the 1940s…she became one of the superstars of the 1960s and remained a major box office draw until the late sixties… Quite a great achievement for a female Hollywood star of her time….
“She was unique, both a great beauty and a very talented actress.”
Thanks for writing in, Philippe. (We LOVE to hear from our readers, and please feel free to call us on the carpet when you feel it’s necessary. The tougher you are, the better.)
And, yes, we certainly appreciate Philippe’s view that she was unique, beautiful and talented. And we note that among old movie buffs she’s still remembered.
BUT, we contend she’s a forgotten star for the obvious reason (to us) that she’s little (if at all) remembered today by younger generations of film fans. True, many in the under 40 set might not know much about Rita Hayworth, or Lana Turner either.
But — and here is a crucial point — those actresses made some films which might be considered classics (none of Haywards can be, in our view) and Rita and Lana have been noted in song, story and myth.
The general rule is — you make really good pictures, you will be remembered by succeeding generations. (We will, for example, always cherish Lana’s torrid performance opposite John Garfield in 1946’s The Postman Always Rings Twice.” As for Rita, she remains a Frank favorite just for marrying Orson Welles.)
No question that Susan Hayward in her time was a top star. And one of the attributes of the “real” stardom she shared with Cary Grant, Barbara Stanwyck and Joan Crawford was that during her glory days in Hollywood, most people knew her real name as well as her screen name.
OK, we challenge you Susan Hayward fans (and non-fans). Any guesses about the name she was born with?