|Source: The Film Historian-|
Susan Hayward was so adorable, a beautiful baby-face sweetheart and a hell of an actress. She was as great of an actress as she was to look at. So pretty and adorable at the same time and could always crack a joke and make people laugh. I believe very similar to Ava Gardner in that way, but not as beautiful. But both were very beautiful, adorable even in an immature way at times when they didn’t get their way and funny as well. I believe had she lived longer Susan would have ended up doing soap opera and perhaps even prime-time soaps like Dynasty or Dallas, which is what Joan Collins and Elizabeth Taylor did on Dynasty in the 1980s. Because she was so adapt at bringing drama and being very dramatic and mixing in wise cracks and making people laugh at the same time. She was the constant entertainer when she was working or not working.
Just saw two Susan Hayward movies this last week. Two of her best movies in Where Love Has Gone from 1964 with Mike Connor and Betty Davis. And I Want To Live, where she plays convicted murderer Barbara Graham who was convicted of murdering one of her partners in crime (I know that sounds lame) in the 1950s and gets sentenced to death in California. She plays a women who is on death row and she ends up having almost everyone in the movie hoping she gets her sentenced commuted to life without parole, because no one wants to see her die, because she knows how to treat people and is so sweet and adorable and real and knows she’s lived a bad life and is a career criminal. But ends up having a lot of people fighting for her life and getting her off of death row.
Where Love Has Gone, is basically a two-hour soap opera. Lots of sarcasm which is perfect for a movie where the stars are Susan Hayward, Mike Connors and Bette Davis. This movie (I at least believe) is based off of the Lana Turner-Johnny Stompanato relationship in the 1950s. Where Lana’s daughter Cheryl ends up killing Johnny who was an Italian mobster, because she believes Johnny is trying to kill her mother Lana. In Where Love Has Gone Susan’s daughter in the movie (played by Joey Heatherton) kills her mother’s boyfriend, because she believes her mother is spending too much time with him and her mom is not spending enough time with her. It’s a classic Susan Hayward movie, because it’s heavy on the drama and even soap opera and yet a movie with a lot of quick humor in it.
Susan Hayward I believe was a great dramatic-comedic actress. And not necessarily someone who could do both drama and comedy, because of course she could. But that she was adept at combining both genres in one movie. Very similar to Alfred Hitchcock, but as an actress and not as a director. She just had a great personality and was very real with her work and characters and always had the audience believing that she was exactly who she was playing. And not some actress pretending to be someone else. And had she not have died from radiation poisoning in the 1970s I believe she would be talked about today as the great dramatic-comedy actress that she was. And getting the attention for being as beautiful and adorable as she really was.
The Film Historian: Susan Hayward Biography