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Ginger's Susan Hayward Message Board
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What's in a name?

With so many of today's actors keeping their birth names (at least some of them sound like birth names) when they become famous, I wonder if Susan Hayward would have kept her birth name, Edyth Marrenner, if she were just getting into the business today. Any thoughts on this?

Re: What's in a name?

Very likely so. It is such a radically different age for film stars compared to the era of Susan's first foray into movies.

It is probable that with the power of the studios and the system at that time, that even if a budding starlet particularly wanted to retain their birth name professionally, if the studio heads and casting personnel decreed otherwise, then otherwise it usually was. !

A touch of serendipity here Gloria, because I was honestly thinking only this week when the Golden Globes were underway and I was dwelling on some of the cinema and tv players who were not nominated as well as the nominees - how impossible it would have been for some of those names to be on billboards, in lights, in the press etc back in the 30's - 50's era.

Either they would have been deemed as ugly sounding or clunky, perhaps too ethnic or not melodic and lyrical to the ear etc.
Presumably when the storm of "cinema verite" and "tell it like it is" and reality at all costs broke over Hollywood in the 1960's, the concept of 'screen names' was decimated along with many firm customs of the day.


Re: What's in a name?

Gloria, more than likely, if Susan Hayward had entered show business in this day and time, she would have kept her real name. If Uma Thurmon, Meryl Streep,
Rene Zelweger,Sissy Spacek,and others can get away with it, surely Edythe Marrener could...BTW..didn't she spell her name with an "e" at the end or maybe she would spell it differently at different times. Also, I believe she dropped one of the "n" 's in her last name from what I recall in reading...??

Re: Re: What's in a name?

Hi, Ginger. Yes, I think she'd have tried to keep her own name if it was possible. But in those days the studios ruled with an iron fist.

I used the spelling of her first name without the "e" because I thought that's how it was spelled in her high school yearbook, but I could be wrong. And yes, she did drop one of the "n"s from Marrenner, but my feeling is like Barbra Streisand's: when the bosses told her she'd have to add an "a" to Barbra (and fix her nose), you know who won that battle.

I think Susan was every bit as strong-willed as Barbra, but the studios ruled then.

Re: Re: Re: What's in a name?

I agree...she would have probally have used her birth name...but I'm sure the studios didn't think it had the 'style and hype' needed for a...STAR!

I sometimes wish it had been a little different than it was..only because so many people did and still do, get her confused with the other redhead from Columbia. RITA HAYWORTH. The last names were too close for comfort and both became big stars.

I do like that the studios did try to get good, exciting, classy names for their actors (well most of the time) I remember thinking ROCK HUDSON was a very strange name...a 'rock' for your first name, but it faired him well. And then you have the big, maucho JOHN WAYNE...Wonder if he would have been as pouplar with the first name of...MARION. Might get him mixed up with MARION DAVIES...

Now...names today are as bad as the actors who have them...Who gets a thrill our any excitement out of names like...MINI DRIVER...ICE-CUBE...VING DIESEL..THE ROCK (good grief...thank goodness ROCK HUDSON..had a...HUDSON)

Errol (the FLYNN)

Re: Re: Re: Re: What's in a name?

My favorite would be "Archie Leach" instead of Cary Grant.