Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Leland Hayward

Leland Hayward

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Leland Hayward'
Start a new discussion about 'Leland Hayward'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Leland Hayward was a Hollywood and Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 agent and theatrical producer
Theatrical producer
A theatrical producer is the person ultimately responsible for overseeing all aspects of mounting a theatre production. The independent producer will usually be the originator and finder of the script and starts the whole process...

. He produced the original Broadway stage productions of Rodgers and Hammerstein
Rodgers and Hammerstein
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II were a well-known American songwriting duo, usually referred to as Rodgers and Hammerstein. They created a string of popular Broadway musicals in the 1940s and 1950s during what is considered the golden age of the medium...

's South Pacific
South Pacific (musical)
South Pacific is a musical with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and book by Hammerstein and Joshua Logan. The story draws from James A. Michener's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1947 book Tales of the South Pacific, weaving together characters and elements from several of its...

and The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music is a musical by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. It is based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers...

.

Early years



Hayward was born in Nebraska City, Nebraska
Nebraska City, Nebraska
Nebraska City is a city in Otoe County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 7,228 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Otoe County...

, the grandson of Monroe Leland Hayward, a senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 from Nebraska
Nebraska
Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

. His father, Colonel William Hayward, was a celebrated hero of the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 who commanded the 369th Infantry Regiment, the "Harlem Hellfighters". Hayward's father and mother, Sarah Coe Ireland, divorced when he was nine. Hayward's father subsequently remarried Maisie Manwaring Plant, one of the wealthiest women in America at the time, who later traded her Fifth Avenue mansion to Cartier
Cartier SA
Cartier S.A., commonly known as Cartier , is a French luxury jeweler and watch manufacturer. The corporation carries the name of the Cartier family of jewellers whose control ended in 1964 and who were known for numerous pieces including the "Bestiary" , the diamond necklace created for Bhupinder...

 for a perfectly matched strand of pearls.

Hayward attended boarding school, then studied at Princeton University
Princeton University
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....

, but dropped out. He took on a number of jobs including newspaper reporter and press agent, but eventually became a talent agent in Hollywood. In the early 1940s, he handled about 150 artists, including Fred Astaire
Fred Astaire
Fred Astaire was an American film and Broadway stage dancer, choreographer, singer and actor. His stage and subsequent film career spanned a total of 76 years, during which he made 31 musical films. He was named the fifth Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute...

 who had been his first client, James Stewart
James Stewart (actor)
James Maitland Stewart was an American film and stage actor, known for his distinctive voice and his everyman persona. Over the course of his career, he starred in many films widely considered classics and was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one in competition and receiving one Lifetime...

, Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economic and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the...

, Boris Karloff
Boris Karloff
William Henry Pratt , better known by his stage name Boris Karloff, was an English actor.Karloff is best remembered for his roles in horror films and his portrayal of Frankenstein's monster in Frankenstein , Bride of Frankenstein , and Son of Frankenstein...

, Judy Garland
Judy Garland
Judy Garland was an American actress and singer. Through a career that spanned 45 of her 47 years and for her renowned contralto voice, she attained international stardom as an actress in musical and dramatic roles, as a recording artist and on the concert stage...

, Ginger Rogers
Ginger Rogers
Ginger Rogers was an American actress, dancer, and singer who appeared in film, and on stage, radio, and television throughout much of the 20th century....

, as well as the two former husbands of wife Margaret Sullavan
Margaret Sullavan
Margaret Brooke Sullavan was an American stage and film actress. Sullavan started her career on the stage in 1929. In 1933 she caught the attention of movie director John M. Stahl and had her debut on the screen that same year in Only Yesterday...

, Henry Fonda
Henry Fonda
Henry Jaynes Fonda was an American film and stage actor.Fonda made his mark early as a Broadway actor. He also appeared in 1938 in plays performed in White Plains, New York, with Joan Tompkins...

 and William Wyler
William Wyler
William Wyler was a leading American motion picture director, producer, and screenwriter.Notable works included Ben-Hur , The Best Years of Our Lives , and Mrs. Miniver , all of which won Wyler Academy Awards for Best Director, and also won Best Picture...

. He dated some of his female clients, including Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo , born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson, was a Swedish film actress. Garbo was an international star and icon during Hollywood's silent and classic periods. Many of Garbo's films were sensational hits, and all but three were profitable...

 and Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Houghton Hepburn was an American actress of film, stage, and television. In a career that spanned 62 years as a leading lady, she was best known for playing strong-willed, sophisticated women in both dramas and comedies...

. Hepburn refused to marry him, despite a three-year relationship, because she was too focused on her career.

In 1945, Hayward sold his talent agency and became a producer. His 1949 production of South Pacific
South Pacific (musical)
South Pacific is a musical with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and book by Hammerstein and Joshua Logan. The story draws from James A. Michener's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1947 book Tales of the South Pacific, weaving together characters and elements from several of its...

was a great success. He produced both the 1948 play Mister Roberts
Mister Roberts (play)
Mister Roberts is a 1948 play based on the 1946 Thomas Heggen novel of the same name.The novel began as a collection of short stories about Heggen's experiences aboard the USS Virgo in the South Pacific during World War II...

and the 1955 film version.

Other noteworthy film productions included The Spirit of St. Louis
The Spirit of St. Louis (film)
The Spirit of St. Louis is a 1957 biographical film directed by Billy Wilder and starring James Stewart as Charles Lindbergh. The screenplay was adapted by Charles Lederer, Wendell Mayes, and Billy Wilder from Lindbergh's 1953 autobiographical account of his historic flight, which won the Pulitzer...

(1957), and The Old Man and the Sea
The Old Man and the Sea
The Old Man and the Sea is a novel written by American author Ernest Hemingway in 1951 in Cuba, and published in 1952. It was the last major work of fiction to be produced by Hemingway and published in his lifetime. One of his most famous works, it centers upon Santiago, an aging fisherman who...

(1958). He was a co-producer (with David Merrick
David Merrick
David Merrick was a prolific Tony Award-winning American theatrical producer.-Life and career:Born David Lee Margulois to Jewish parents in St. Louis, Missouri, Merrick graduated from Washington University, then studied law at the Jesuit-run Saint Louis University School of Law...

) of the 1959 show Gypsy
Gypsy: A Musical Fable
Gypsy is a musical with music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and a book by Arthur Laurents. Gypsy is loosely based on the 1957 memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous striptease artist, and focuses on her mother, Rose, whose name has become synonymous with "the ultimate show business...

. His biggest success, however, was The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music is a musical by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. It is based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers...

that opened the same year.

Hayward's forays into television were similarly notable. He produced The Ford 50th Anniversary Show on June 15, 1953, a live two-hour simulcast on CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

 and NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 which looked back on the history of the United States and the world until 1953 (featuring a memorable extended duet by Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman was an American actress and singer. Known primarily for her powerful voice and roles in musical theatre, she has been called "the undisputed First Lady of the musical comedy stage." Among the many standards introduced by Merman in Broadway musicals are "I Got Rhythm", "Everything's...

 and Mary Martin
Mary Martin
Mary Virginia Martin was an American actress and singer. She originated many roles over her career including Nellie Forbush in South Pacific and Maria in The Sound of Music. She was named a Kennedy Center Honoree in 1989...

), and That Was The Week That Was
That Was The Week That Was
That Was The Week That Was, also known as TW3, is a satirical television comedy programme that was shown on BBC Television in 1962 and 1963. It was devised, produced and directed by Ned Sherrin and presented by David Frost...

, a groundbreaking American adaptation of a British television show, from 1963-1965.

Hayward's interest in aviation led to his co-founding, in 1941, Southwest Airways, with financial help from his Hollywood friends.

After suffering several strokes, Hayward died at his home, Haywire, in Yorktown Heights, New York
Yorktown Heights, New York
Yorktown Heights is a census-designated place in the town of Yorktown in Westchester County, New York, United States. The population was 1,781 at the 2010 census.-Geography:Yorktown Heights is located at ....

 on March 18, 1971.

Marriages and family


Hayward was married five times.

In 1921 he married the debutante Lola Gibbs. They divorced one year later, remarried and divorced again in 1934.

He married his client, the stage and screen actress Margaret Sullavan
Margaret Sullavan
Margaret Brooke Sullavan was an American stage and film actress. Sullavan started her career on the stage in 1929. In 1933 she caught the attention of movie director John M. Stahl and had her debut on the screen that same year in Only Yesterday...

 (ex-Mrs. Henry Fonda
Henry Fonda
Henry Jaynes Fonda was an American film and stage actor.Fonda made his mark early as a Broadway actor. He also appeared in 1938 in plays performed in White Plains, New York, with Joan Tompkins...

) in 1936. They had three children (Brooke
Brooke Hayward
Brooke Hayward is an American actress and writer.-Early life and career:Born in Los Angeles, Hayward is the eldest, and only surviving, child from the marriage of former agent turned film-, television-, and stage producer Leland Hayward and actress Margaret Sullavan...

, born July 5, 1937, who was married to actor Dennis Hopper
Dennis Hopper
Dennis Lee Hopper was an American actor, filmmaker and artist. As a young man, Hopper became interested in acting and eventually became a student of the Actors' Studio. He made his first television appearance in 1954 and appeared in two films featuring James Dean, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant...

 from 1961–69; Bridget (1939–1960), who committed suicide by overdose in October 1960, less than a year after her mother's death by overdose; and William, born 1941, committed suicide March 20, 2008, by shooting himself in the heart). The family's dysfunctional life had been memorialized in daughter Brooke's memoir, Haywire
Haywire (book)
Haywire is a memoir by actress and writer Brooke Hayward , daughter of theatrical agent and producer Leland Hayward and actress Margaret Sullavan. It is a #1 New York Times Best Seller and was on the list for 17 weeks...

. In Haywire, Brooke wrote of a conversation she had with William in which he said if he ever committed suicide, he would do so by shooting himself in the heart.

Hayward's grandchildren include Marin Hopper, Brooke Hayward's daughter by actor/director Dennis Hopper, and William and Jeffrey Thomas, by Brooke Hayward's first marriage to writer Michael Thomas.

His great-grandchildren include Anna and Cooper Thomas, and Violet Hayward Goldstone.

In 1938, Hayward met Slim Hawks
Slim Keith
Nancy "Slim" Keith, Lady Keith was a New York socialite and fashion icon during the 1950s and 1960s, exemplifying the American jet set...

, then the wife of film director Howard Hawks
Howard Hawks
Howard Winchester Hawks was an American film director, producer and screenwriter of the classic Hollywood era...

. Hayward's marriage to Sullavan came to an end in 1946, and he married Slim Hawks three years later. Their marriage became strained after Slim had a one-night stand with Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra was an American singer and actor.Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became an unprecedentedly successful solo artist in the early to mid-1940s, after being signed to Columbia Records in 1943. Being the idol of the...

 and a longer affair with Peter Viertel
Peter Viertel
Peter Viertel was an author and screenwriter.-Biography:He was born to Jewish parents in Dresden, Germany, the writer and actress Salka Viertel and the writer Berthold Viertel. In 1928, his parents moved to Santa Monica, California where Viertel grew up with his brothers, Hans and Thomas...

.

In 1958 Hayward was introduced to Pamela Churchill, then the mistress of Elie de Rothschild
Élie de Rothschild
Baron Élie de Rothschild was a French banker, a member of the French branch of the Rothschild family. He followed his father as a partner in the family bank, de Rothschild Frères, and ran the Château Lafite-Rothschild premier cru claret vineyard from 1946 to 1974.-Lineage:Élie de Rothschild was...

. He proposed to her the following year. On May 4, 1960, hours after his divorce from Hawks was final, Hayward married Pamela Churchill in Carson City, Nevada
Carson City, Nevada
The Consolidated Municipality of Carson City is the capital of the state of Nevada. The words Consolidated Municipality refer to a series of changes in 1969 which abolished Ormsby County and merged all the settlements contained within its borders into Carson City. Since that time Carson City has...

.

Quote

  • "Damn few women are genuinely beautiful. A handful. I must have come close to knowing them all. As close as any man alive. Fell in love with half of them, married three-" - Leland Hayward

External links