Helen Hayes, a renowned American actress, is most prominently celebrated for her exceptional stage portrayals of historical figures, notably Queen Victoria and other illustrious royal personalities.

Born Helen Hayes MacArthur on October 10, 1900, in Washington, D.C., USA, she departed from this world while proudly bearing her American heritage. Her astrological sign was Libra, and her lineage traced back to Irish-American roots.

Helen was the cherished offspring of Francis Van Arnum Brown (her father), an enterprising poultry and pork merchant, and Catherine Estelle Hayes (her mother), a thespian by profession.

In pursuit of knowledge, she embarked on her educational journey at the prestigious ‘Dominican Academy’ from 1910 to 1912. At the tender age of eight, she commenced her tenure at the ‘Sacred Heart Academy’ in Washington, culminating in her graduation in 1917.

During this formative period, Helen Hayes found herself under the tutelage of Lew Fields, who entrusted her with the lead role in Victor Herbert’s production of “Old Dutch” at the renowned Herald Square Theatre.

With great sadness, we note that she departed from this mortal coil on March 17, 1993, at the venerable age of 92, succumbing to heart failure at Nyack Hospital in New York.

Physical attributes gracing Helen encompass a stature of 5 feet 2 inches, weighing in at approximately 70 kilograms. Her visage was adorned with lustrous dark brown tresses and enigmatic black eyes, while her bodily dimensions measured a shapely 32-28-32 inches.

Helen Hayes’ illustrious career commenced at an early age, marked by her debut performance in Shakespeare’s timeless classic, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

In 1920, she memorably portrayed “the tallest woman in the world at five feet tall” during the New York premiere of “Bab.” From 1923 to 1925, she graced the stage in productions such as “We the Moderns” and “Caesar and Cleopatra.”

Her debut in 1926 featured her in the revival of the esteemed production, “What Every Woman Knows.”

Moreover, her silver screen presence was felt in the 1927 film “Coquette,” where she poignantly portrayed a Southern heiress who tragically takes her own life when faced with an unwanted pregnancy.

1930 marked a significant juncture in her career, with outstanding performances in “The Good Fairy,” “The Influence of the Petticoat,” “Mr. Gilhooey,” and “The Sin of Madelon Claudet,” earning her a coveted 1931 Oscar nomination for “Best Actress.”

In the enthralling cinematic landscape, she shared the screen with luminaries such as Gary Cooper, Clark Gable, and John Barrymore in “Arrowsmith.”

Equally compelling was her portrayal of Queen Victoria in “Victoria Regina,” wherein her remarkable acting prowess, coupled with her mastery as a makeup artist, facilitated her embodiment of the aging monarch throughout the play’s narrative.

Continuing her remarkable career trajectory, she portrayed Queen of Scots in “Mary of Scotland” (1933) and Harriet Beecher Stowe in “Harriet” (1943).

Her illustrious repertoire of stage productions encompassed titles like “Twelfth Night,” “Happy Birthday,” “The Wisteria Trees,” “Mrs. McThing,” “The Skin of Our Teeth,” “The Glass Menagerie,” “Time Remembered,” “The Touch of the Poet,” “School for Scandal,” “You’re Right,” and “We Comrades Three.”

A resounding late-career success arrived in the form of “Harley” during the 1970s, and she graced the silver screen in “Airport” (1971), “Vanessa, Her Love Story” (1935), “My Son John” (1952), and “Anastasia” (1993) (1956).

Ultimately, she withdrew from acting, profoundly moved after witnessing Eugene O’Neill’s film “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” in Washington, the place where her remarkable journey commenced.

Her filmography in the early 1970s included notable works such as “The Snoop Sisters,” “Victory at Entebbe,” “Family Upside Down,” “Murder is Easy,” and “Caribbean Mystery.”

In the year 1982, Helen Hayes co-founded the National Wildflower Research Center, generously dedicating her time and resources to charitable endeavors.

Her accolades were numerous, including a Best Actress Oscar in 1931, ‘Sarah Siddons Awards’ in 1953 and 1969, a second Academy Award in 1971, a coveted star on the ‘Hollywood Walk of Fame,’ and induction into the esteemed ‘American Theater Hall of Fame.’

Notable recognitions further graced her illustrious career. In 1979, ‘The Catholic Interracial Council of New York’ paid homage to her, followed by the Kennedy Center Honors in 1981, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1986, and the National Medal of Arts in 1988.

Prestigious institutions like Smith College, Princeton University, and Columbia University bestowed upon her honorary degrees.

As an accomplished actress, Helen Hayes amassed considerable wealth, with an estimated net worth of around $10 million at the time of her passing.

Helen Hayes ventured into matrimony on two occasions during her lifetime. Her first union, in 1926, was with John Swanson, which regrettably dissolved after a mere two years in 1928.

Later that same year, she entered into a lifelong commitment with Charlie MacArthur. Their marital bond resulted in the birth of a daughter named Mary and the subsequent adoption of a son named James.

Constantly besieged by asthma, she found herself frequently admitted to the hospital. In commemoration of her artistic excellence in professional theater, the Helen Hayes Award is annually presented to outstanding actors and actresses.

Her enduring legacy is exemplified by the naming of the Fulton Theater in her honor. When the structure met its fate through demolition, the Little Theater was fittingly rechristened as the Helen Hayes Theatre.

Additionally, the Helen Hayes Rehabilitation Hospital was established in 1974 as a tribute to her indelible contributions.

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