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Ginger's Susan Hayward Message Board
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Susan's near sightedness!

When there were no contacts or surgery to correct vision, what did Susan do? She must have had some trouble seeing
when she was working!
I know it is a silly question, but I've had about four cornea transplants and about 18 surgeries in my 64 years. I know what it is to not see.

Re: Susan\\\'s near sightedness!

Interesting that you mention her near-sightedness. I guess from early on in my reading about--and adoration of--Susan, I knew she was nearsighted,, but it was only apparent to me one time. And this is surely sheer coincidence. There's a scene in Demetrius and the Gladiators, where Susan-Mesalina--is watching the gladiatorial games and she's looking into the distance, and one arm reaches back--and it "sort-of" looked like she was reaching back for her glasses so she could see what's going on!


Re: Susan's near sightedness!

" When there were no contacts or surgery to correct vision"

Jody - I may be in error but while I am certain that laser surgery and the like, to correct short-sightedness was indeed not available back then- that contact lenses were an option.
I think? the first corneal ones that just sat on the cornea rather than across the entire eye surface, came onto the market around 1949 so were available during the 50's and 60's.

Of course many people cannot wear them, even now with soft permeable modern ones, and perhaps that applied to Susan as well? The technology in the 50's was still fairly basic with them, and being non permeable, they often caused eye infections and strain. They were also quite fragile I recall reading.
And expensive ( but the financial element would / should not have been a problem for her as such.)

Nowadays, a star ( female and attractive) in glasses is not extraordinary. Unfortunately for Susan, she was dominant in movies at the time when Dorothy Parker did her ditty about ' Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses'.

Re: Susan\'s near sightedness!

Jody, get your mind off my mind! ha... I was just thinking that TODAY! It must have been really difficult at times to work and deal with her poor vision.. I don't know if she wore any kind of contact lenses or not. I have read that people often thought she was stuck up, and the fact was, she didn't see them!! So I'm thinking she might not have worn contacts, but I really don't know.

Side note - I tried contacts and no way.. couldn't tolerate them.. scratched my eyeball all up, and had to wear sunglasses when on the computer for about a week!

Re: Susan\\\'s near sightedness!

I know that contacts were very hard to wear back then. If she had an astigmatism they were hard to fit. I tried to wear hard and gas perms but they were terribly hard to wear. I could wear soft lenses, but as I said they don't correct an astigmatism very well.
Maybe Tim knows. Thank you for your reply! Jody

Re: Susan\\\\\\\'s near sightedness!

Bill, I watched the movie and saw what you saw. That could have been why she moved her hand or she might have done that
Because she was worried about Demitrius would be killed. Thank you so much, Jody

Re: Susan\\\'s near sightedness!

I just read Beverly Linet's book about Susan. Basically it seems that Susan had had corrective lenses put in all her sunglasses. It doesn't say anything about whether she wore regular glasses when she wasn't acting or wasn't in the public eye. I guess Tim would know about that. Love to all, Jody

Re: Susan\\\\\\\'s near sightedness!

I have a couple of pictures of Susan in glasses - she looked beautiful as ever.
I also have had prescription sunglasses for many years.

Regarding contact lenses, I have an astigmatism and I personally wore them for 40 odd years. I had them fitted in 1959 when I was living in Montana and they were so very much cheaper than the ones available in the U.K. They were the small, micro lense type and fortunately, I never had any problem wearing them at all - just took them out to sleep. The only drawback I found was when I was out in the wind and occasionally a little dust would blow in my eye and find its way under the contact. This necessitated removal immediately as it was very painful and many a time I was in a shop doorway, getting out the lense, putting it in my mouth to clean it off and putting it back in!! (I always had to clean off the smears when I got home!) Fortunately, I never dropped one outside. So many people tried to wear them and couldn't so I guess I was just lucky.