Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Shame On You, Susan Hayward--and on me, too!

"Everybody gets a book; the ex-wife, the cook, the nanny..."

~John Lennon, on the perils of celebrity

That bad old Susan Hayward. Here she is, circa 1961, rich, famous, and an Academy-Award winning actress, and yet her poor poor sister can barely make ends meet. So claimeth this hatchet job from the evil that was Confidential magazine. Susan's older sister Florence was involved in a custody battle for her 17-year-old son in late 1960 and was trying to publicly guilt Susan into helping her. "I can sew...and I can do general housework and I can work as a saleswoman. If someone would only give me a job I could earn enough money to support my two children." Florence claimed that she hadn't seen Susan since their mother's funeral in April, 1958. Another article claimed that Florence wandered the fringes of skid row with her teenage son.

Being a celebrity sure is a lousy way to live one's life. If you happen to have a falling out with a sibling or parent, they can access the press and for a chunk of change can lob a Molotov Cocktail at you and all your shortcomings. Celebrities get partial treatment in the courts, but they also get that celebrity used against them, with hangers on, disgruntled relatives, and psychopathic "fans" (remembering John Lennon again) all taking their toll. Susan wisely didn't comment on her sister's accusations, and whatever feud that the two sisters had going was deep. However, I believe that just because you happen to share an accident of birth with someone and through the randomnity of some great cosmic lottery you happen to share the same parents, doesn't mean you'll get along with, or even like those in your family. Those of us schlubs who aren't rich and famous never have to worry about a disgruntled somebody publicly taking us to task, though with the internet, I guess it's possible to some degree, but not on this blog--too small an audience!

Sorry for the rant today, but I needed to bring Susan's name back on this blog, seeing as I've essentially left her in the dust what with my Susan Hayward Craze not taking off like I'd hoped, but seeing as Hayward was at her peak in the 1950s, and Hollywood Dreamland tends to concentrate on the 1930s-40s, Susan is omitted by default. But when I get into a 1950s mood, you can bet that the tough and lovely Susan will be back at center stage. After all, I think she's the Bee's Knees.

I also hope that they caught that Nazi fugitive...

Young and Lovely: Ingenue Susan, back when she was still considered a Vivien Leigh lookalike, though not so much here.


  1. Interesting! I guess the bitter sibling/family member taking it out in the press really has been going on forever. Any chance that you know if someone ended up giving her sister a job after seeing the article? I always wonder how situations like that turn out. Great post

  2. It really amazes me how people can treat their family in such ways. Some people seem to let greed totally manipulate their thinking.


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