Helen Hayes known as “the First Lady of the American theater” was born Helen Hayes Brown on October 10, 1900 in Washington, District of Columbia. The diminutive star was an award winning actress of stage, film and television. Her show business career spanned seven decades from 1931 to 1985. Hayes had a very disciplined stage technique but was never totally at ease in Hollywood or with the star system. As a result she never fully embraced the screen but she adored the theater. Although her film appearances were few in quantity they were almost always high in quality. Her major film credits include; Arrowsmith (1931), A Farewell to Arms (1932), Another Language (1933), Night Flight (1933), Crime Without Passion (1934), Vanessa: Her Love Story (1935), and Airport (1970). She won two Academy Awards, first in 1932 for best actress, playing the role of a prostitute in The Sin of Madelon Claudet (1931), which was her debut on the big screen. A second Oscar win was for best supporting actress and it came forty years later, in 1970’s Airport. She was nominated for numerous other awards including nine Emmy awards (winning one), two Golden Globes, and three Tony Award wins. Helen Hayes died on March 17, 1993 at the Nyack Hospital in Nyack, New York from heart failure at age ninety-two. Her funeral was held at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Nyack. The funeral mass was attended by nearly five hundred mourners and was officiated by Cardinal John J. O’Connor. She is buried in a simple grave at the Oak Hill Cemetery in Nyack, New York.
Who died on this date:
On October 10, 1985, actor/ director Orson Welles died. He was born on May 6, 1915in Kenosa, Wisconsin. He is noted for his innovative dramatic productions as well as his distinctive voice and personality, Welles is widely acknowledged as one of the most accomplished dramatic artists of the twentieth century, especially for his significant and influential early work, despite his notoriously contentious relationship with Hollywood. His long career in film is noted for his struggle for artistic control in the face of pressure from studios. Many of his films were heavily edited and others left unreleased. After directing a number of high-profile theatrical productions in his early twenties, including Macbeth and The Cradle Will Rock, Welles found national and international fame as the director and narrator of a 1938 radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds performed for the radio drama anthology series Mercury Theatre on the Air. It was reported to have caused widespread panic when listeners thought that an invasion by extraterrestrial beings was occurring, although these reports of panic were mostly false and overstated. His first film with RKO, Citizen Kane (1941) is often considered the greatest film ever made. Several of his other films, including The Magnificient Ambersons (1942), The Lady from Shanghai (1947), Touch of Evil (1958), Chimes at Midnight (1965), and F for Fake (1974). He died on October 10, 1985 in Los Angeles, his ashes were given to family with final disposition being unknown.
On October 10, 1985, actor Yul Brynner died. He was born on July 11, 1920 in Primorsky Krai, Russia. He was best known for his portrayal of Mongkut, king of Siam, in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The King and I, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Actor; he also played the role more than 4,500 times on stage. He is also remembered as Rameses II in the 1956 Cecil B. DeMille film The Ten Commandments, General Bounine in Anastasia and Chris Adams in The Magnificent Seven. Brynner was noted for his distinctive voice and for his shaven head, which he maintained as a personal trademark long after adopting it for his initial role in The King and I. Brynner is one of only nine people who have won both a Tony Award and an Academy Award for the same role. Brynner was married four times, the first three ending in divorce. He fathered three children and adopted two. According to Marlene Dietrich's daughter Maria Riva (as she wrote in her memoir Marlene Dietrich, 1994), he had a passionate affair with the famous actress during the first production of The King and I. Brynner died of lung cancer on October 10, 1985, in New York City. Knowing he was dying of cancer, Brynner starred in a run of farewell performances of his most famous role, The King and I, on Broadway from January 7 to June 30, 1985. Throughout his life, Brynner was often seen with a cigarette in his hand. In January 1985, nine months before his death, he gave an interview on Good Morning America, expressing his desire to make an anti-smoking commercial. A clip from that interview was made into just such a public service announcement by the American Cancer Society, and released after his death; it includes the warning "Now that I'm gone, I tell you, don't smoke. Whatever you do, just don't smoke. If I could take back that smoking, we wouldn't be talking about any cancer. I'm convinced of that." He is interred, in France, on the grounds of the Saint-Michel-de-Bois-Aubry Russian Orthodox monastery, near Luzé.