I received an e-mail from another Susan Hayward website today asking if the members knew that Susan had gone out with Howard Hughes at one time. I responded that, not only had I read this, but I'd also read she cooked a chicken dinner for him!
I guess like most actresses that Hughes pursued, Susan was fascinated by this man. But I'm also glad nothing serious came of it.
Unless, of course, somebody out there knows something I don't know.
Gloria - there is a book on Hughes by Charles Higham that mentions Susan. I will copy a description of it below.
From what I can gather - Higham has been a prolific writer on Hollywood and celebrity with books on Bette Davis, Lucille Ball, Orson Welles, Brando, Dietrich, the feud between De Havilland and Fontaine, Wallis Simpson the Duchess Of Windsor and others - not to mention the Errol Flynn bio that caused quite an upset when it was published.
His critics often maintain that some of the data is "questionable" - his fans consider his books true exposes - I don't know - but here is the blurb for the Hughes bio where Susan is included with other Hollywood luminaries.
Higham, Charles: Howard Hughes
Book Number: 25531
Sidgwick & 24 September, 1993 first edition 8vo hardcover 368pp index, b/w plates. very good / very good d/w. In his time, Howard Hughes was the richest man in the world, his fortune gained from motion pictures, aviation and engineering. He had romantic involvements with Katherine Hepburn, Lana Turner, Ginger Rogers, Olivia de Havilland, Bette Davis, Susan Hayward, Ava Gardner and many more. This book describes these relationships, as well as Hughes's little known homosexual life including affairs with Cary Grant and Tyrone Power. Hughes made the films "The Outlaw", in total defiance of the censors, and "Scarface" in which there was a hint of incest. So obsessed was he with the details of his business that he controlled the actual cut of Jane Russell's brassiere. This book also describes Hughes's relationship with the politicans whom he corrupted and bent to his will, his business transactions and his involvement in Watergate and his anti-semitism as well as his round the world journey in 1937. The later years were ones of breakdowns and seclusion, with Hughes literally insulating himself from the world. (copied)
I'm anxious to see The Aviator. I'm wondering if there might be any reference to Susan in this film...just curious.
Ginger: My friend, the movie maven, saw a preview of the film and said nothing was mentioned about Susan. I'm not surprised. I don't think his time with Susan was that long, and knowing that she wasn't a publicity hound with her romantic ventures (witness her unfortunate, and certainly not wanted, laison with Red Barry and his supposed fiance), I wouldn't expect anything about her to be in the flick. After all, Hughes spent much more time with Hepburn, which is in the movie.
Kerry: I have heard of Higham. Incidentally, I've read two books on Hughes, and there was no mention of Susan in either one. But then, this man had so many women, it would probably take an encyclopedia to list themall!
Whilst on "The Aviator" - I see that Cate Blanchett has been nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting for her part as Hepburn.
I am an avid fan of Blanchett as her work since "Elizabeth" has been marvellous ( even in "The Missing" she acted the pants off everyone around her -with the exception of veteran Tommy Lee Jones) but Meryl is also nominated for the same award and must admit I am utterly in awe of Meryl's performances.
The woman is absolutely brilliant.
Back to the topic - I agree Gloria - Hughes was so rampant and had such a vast array of girlfriends that it is highly unlikely that any brief liaison with Susan (if indeed there was one) would get any publicity given her well documented desire for personal privacy.
Gloria and Kerry...I think I was curious about it because when I saw the previews there was a quicly passing scene of Hughes riding in a car with a beautiful redhead, but the scene was so brief that I really didn't know the full extent of it. I'm actually happy that she isn't mentioned because Susan was so classy and such a private person. I'd prefer that she weren't associated with the film.
A while ago, I read what is considered the definitive bio of Howard Hughes, and Susan is featured in one chapter. I believe the book was on the bestseller list, and I found it to be compelling, tho disturbing in many ways. The title is "Hughes, The Private Diaries, Memos and Letters: The Definitive Biography of the First American Billionaire," by Richard Hack.
According to this book, Susan was one of two dates Hughes had one night and he left her sitting at a nightclub table while he went to see another woman. He kept juggling the two all evening until Susan got disgusted and left. (At least I think that's the way it went--read it a while back so don't remember all of it.) But she was interested in him at the beginning as many others were until they couldn't put up with his eccentricities.
The most disturbing part of the book for me was the fact that Hughes bankrolled "The Conquerer" and knew full well the dangers that film location posed. Years later when he was living in Vegas he railed against the atomic test site there, even trying to use his influence to get to the president to try to get it stopped. I thought that was a bit hypocritical, considering he didn't care about the film's cast and crew being exposed to that lethal radiation in Utah.
I haven't seen "The Aviator," but from what I've read about it, it doesn't scratch the surface of what a dispicable character he was--not to mention being a racist and antiSemite. But, of course, when he knew Katherine Hepburn, he was still fairly "normal" and most of his craziness came later.
All in all, it is a very well-written book and gives what I think is an accurate portrait of the man.
Jill: I too had read that book on Hughes, which is where I got the information about Susan's "dating" him. But I also read somewhere that she had cooked him that chicken dinner. (I wonder how her children took that, if they were there at the time!)
Did you also know that they finished shooting The Conquerer in California, and Hughes had sand from the Utah location (which we later learned was the reason for the radiation) shipped back to the Hollywood location for accuracy!!!
I agree that he was a racist and anti-Semite, as many rich men of his era and even before were (such as Henry Ford). What a shame so many people are drawn to these characters by their money and, in the case of Hughes, celebrity.
GREETINGS TO ALL: Wanted to put in my two cents worth on this subject. Not that I know any more than the rest of you on it...but I have heard the chicken dinner story too, but had heard that there were two dates with Hughes. One at Susan's...where she cooked for him...then later, the switching-tables date that he was caught doing by Susan.
I don't think she ever had another thing to do with him..but again, that is all I have ever heard.
As far as 'THE AVAITOR'...the only ones who have been singled out for this story were KATHERINE HEPBURN and AVA GARDNER. I have no idea how far the film goes, since there is to be a sequel that will continue with the rest of his life, and the actor for Hughes in that one is to be JIM CAREY.
I would have said that the redhead, in the previews, might have been TERRY MOORE, but then, it all depends on how far this film goes, in his life, and where they leave off. Afterall, Moore was the one everyone thought would be 'the wife' when they finally got all the corrected things figured out from 'all the women' and she was from Utah...but then it didn't work out that way, afterall, since Moore was never married to him...but...JEAN PETERS....was...so she was the once married to him...but who knows for how long. Maybe it was another BRITTNEY SPEARS...marriage...(overnight)
ALSO...it is true that sand was taken from here in southern Utah, back to the studios in Hollywood, to finish the picture, BUT...the people who died from the ratiation, on the film and people from here in the St. George area,...died from the fallout in the air. I have never heard of any of the crew/cast getting the cancer from the sand that was shipped to the studio. I know many people, here, contacted the cancer and died of it, just as some of the people in the cast of THE CONQUERER. What you all might like to know...is that the 'same thing' is now suppose to happen with our government administration now. They are involved in doing other military blasts in the Nevada desert...and believe me, the people around here are very upset and afraid of loosing their lives as the people did while filming here.
Big boycotts are forming...but who are WE...just the no-good people who may loose are lifes if they do this horrible thing again!
It reminds me of the song from the Broadway show "Lil' Abner".."The Country's In the Very Best of Hands"...where the government people tell the folks of Dogpatch..that they have been choosen to be...'the most...un-nessary people of the USA...so..Show Your Apperication!!" ...Errol
Hi, Errol. Good to hear from you again. I guess we'll never know whether there ever was anything serious between Susan and Howard Hughes. From everything we know about her personality, I don't think she would have putup with a philanderer like Howie baby.
As to the radiation, we probably don't know for sure about that, either. Was it all airborne? Could the sand have transferred any offshoot of radiation?
I know one thing: Like the people of that region in Utah, I would do anything I could to stop them from doing any further nuclear testing. Who are we to tell North Korea and Iran to stop doing the same thing we want to do? Unbelievable.
I hope you're doing well. Stay in touch.