Hayes, Helen, 1900–1993, American actress, b. Washington, D.C., as Helen Hayes Brown. She made her New York stage debut at the age of nine. Performances in Caesar and Cleopatra (1925), and Mary of Scotland (1933) brought her fame; her portrayal (1935–39) of the title role in Laurence Housman's Victoria Regina established her as an actress of the first rank. Later stage triumphs include The Show-Off (1967) and Harvey (1970). She was active also in films, winning Academy Awards for The Sin of Madelon Claudet (1932) and Airport (1969).
See her memoirs Gift of Joy (1965; with L. Funke), On Reflection (1968; with S. Dody), Twice Over Lightly (1972; with A. Loos), and My Life in Three Acts (1990; with K. Hatch); biography by her mother, Catherine Hayes Brown (1940).
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