In his new autobiography, "Ernie," Ernest Borgnine mentions Susan. First he talks about getting the part in Demetrius and the Gladiators with "the wonderful Susan Hayward."
On the next page, he goes further:
"Susan Hayward was a doll -- beautiful, funny, talented, about as unaffected as a superstar could be." (He was much less effusive on Victor Mature.)
So much for all that "cold as a polar bear" and not-sociable-with-co-workers-on- the-set nonsense on our gal.
I thought you would enjoy his words. I know I did.
Yes that is some kudos for Susan. I am not surprised that Vic Mature may not have rated so highly in praise. While he may or may not have been pleasant to work with (I have no idea), he did not ever take acting seriously and said so many times, so if Borgnine was a serious actor ( and I have always thought he very much was) he may have found Mature's attitude less than committed.
Also, I think 'Demetrius..' was made around 1953 or '54 ? So although Ernie had a couple of promising appearances prior to that ( I do recall him in " From Here to Eternity" and wasn't he in " Johnny Guitar" ?) he was still a relatively new kid on the thespian block, and compared to Susan, hardly rated on the cinema radar.
La Hayward had not just an impressive catalogue of movies already under her belt by then, but they comprised some of her best roles and featured the occasional Oscar nomination as well.
So since Ernie played a somewhat small part in 'Demetrius...' by comparison, it speaks even more highly of Susan that she would be gracious and affable in her dealings with a relative ingenue on the movie scene.