I have always wondered how Susan got along with supporting players in her films and I have some who were
my favorite 'supporting actors'...not leads that she worked with in films.
THELMA RITTER...as her nurse in WITH A SONG IN MY HEART
AGNES MOOREHEAD as the withered old woman..LOST MOMENT
and as her frontier friend..UNTAMED
JO VAN FLEET....as her stage mother in I'LL CRY TOMORROW
MARSHA HUNT..as the gal who wants her hubby...SMASH-UP
JULIE LONDON..as her sister in...TAPP ROOTS
BORIS KARLOFF..as the Indian in..TAPP ROOTS
ROBERT PRESTON..as her love interest..REAP THE WILD WIND
RITA MORENO..in two very small roles..GARDEN OF EVIL
and...UNTAMED...but so good in both.
I guess I should mention...
ANNE BANCROFT..in so small a role as a woman for the Gladiators...in DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS
JAY ROBINSON..as the evil ruler in DEMETRIUS AND THE
VIRGINIA GREY..as her sister in BACK STREET
ADD some of your favorites..or...let's discuss some of these, if they were also your favorites.
OH..AND ONE I TRULY DIDN'T LIKE...
JOEY HEATHERTON as her daughter in WHERE LOVE HAS GONE
PLUS TWO MORE..I DIDN'T LIKE..BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T LIKE SUSAN..AND HAVE SAID SO MANY TIMES...
JANE GREER..THEY WON'T BELIEVE ME and WHERE LOVE HAS GONE..
JAYNE MEADOWS...DAVID AND BATHSHEBA
I think we did co-stars before, but what the heck: let's do it again!
I agree with all of yours, especially Thelma Ritter, Virginia Grey and Jay Robinson.
I would add these to the list:
Both Simon Oakland and Theodore Bikel in "I Want to Live"; Wilfrid Hyde-White in "Ada"; Fay Bainter in "The President's Lady"; Sam Jaffee in "I Can Get It For You Wholesale"; Pedro Armenariz in "Tulsa"; Ingrid Bergman in "Adam Had Four Sons"; Eddie Albert, both in "I'll Cry Tomorrow" and "Smash-Up"; the great writer and wit, Robert Benchley, in "I Married a Witch"; the adorable boy Peter, Robert Bacon, in "Stolen Hours;" Barbara Nichols in "Woman Obsessed"; and, in Susan's last appearance, in TV's "Say Goodbye, Maggie Cole," Michael Constantine, Jeannette Nolan and Maidie Norman.
I don't know how these actors felt about Susan personally or professionally, but they played off her (and she off them) brilliantly, so I have to think there was a personal connection as well).
My immediate response to Errol's question was -
Robert Wagner in WITH A SONG IN ME HEART. He always
spoke so lovingly of Susan saying that she took time
to support him in his role of the shell shocked soldier. I have also read that Wagner had told a journalist (who was interviewing him in Hong Kong during the late nineties) that Susan Hayward was his favourite star.
Eve Arden was also foremost in my mind as she and
Susan played cousins in HIT PARADE OF 1943. They
appeared to work well together, on screen anyway
and Eve was always a joy to watch in all her many
Rory Calhoun - again WITH A SONG IN MY HEART as
everyone will know and also I'D CLIMB THE HIGHEST
MOUNTAIN - another fan of Susan's and noted for
his admiration of her. He is also quoted as saying
she was his favourite star. Such a good looking man,
in my opinion.
James Stacey - with Susan in HEAT OF ANGER. He
and Susan came over well together in this made for
TV movie. His success was short lived though as he
lost a leg and an arm in a motor cycle accident and
then spent time in jail in his later years.
Agnes Moorehead - I know she has been mentioned but
I really thought her a great actress and liked her
part in UNTAMED. She was also a big fan of Susan's.
Gigi Perreau - Susan's daughter in MY FOOLISH HEART -
a very talented little girl (unlike the dreadful
Joey Heatherton who has also been mentioned!!)
Ronald Reagan - played opposite Susan in GIRLS ON
PROBATION which is really quite a nice watchable little film for its time.
An added comment as I have already mentioned a
President - nothing to do with the subject matter but
President Nixon reportedly had said that Susan was
his favourite star too.
These are the names which come to mind for me.
I just realised I omitted an important name in my previous letter :
Robert Keith who played Susan's loving father in MY
FOOLISH HEART - a fine performance from a fine actor
who was the "real-life" father of Brian Keith.
Their scenes together in this wonderful film always
seemed so genuine to me.
Trish...wish I had remembered ROBERT KEITH, because there was 'real' father/daughter feeling in those roles.
I also loved EVE ARDEN and knew how much both ROBERT WAGNER and RORY CALHOUN had expressed their warmth and affection for working with Susan.
It also reminded me of, the late, MERV GRIFFIN on his tv show, when he had JOHN GAVIN on as a guest and Merv was saying all this stuff..about how well it was known, in the Hollywood community, that other actors disliked working with her. GAVIN came to her rescue and said that
he had 'never' had that happened and really thought it was unfair, because he found Susan to be very warm and one of the best actresses he had ever worked with.
I do think that 'some women' in the Hollywood acting world, disliked Susan...BUT..I think it was jealousy and..nothing more than that. Actresses like JAYNE MEADOWS and JANE GREER were the worse. BUT..then you had people like VERA MILES, THELMA RITTER, AGNES MOOREHEAD who have always been just the opposite. AND
the only leading man that I can think of, right now, who did not like working with her was..ROBERT MITCHUM.
TRUE...Susan did not like vulgarity and that is where they split straws. CAMERON MITCHELL 'came on to her' and she made sure he didn't do that again! But even though she did scratch his face for what he did, he still thought of her as a woman he really..'wanted'.
Sooo..a lot of things said about Susan being hard to work with...actually was...never true!
Errol - I was pleased to read your post on John Gavin's opinion of Susan. I had never heard anything about his feelings before or that Vera Miles had good things to say about her.
We will never know the real truth about things written, but we do know Susan was a hard working professional lady whom we all adore - and can never
see enough of her. She was breath-takingly beautiful - we can all attest to that and had the magical quality that made us all her devout fans. She has been and still is a major part of my life - God Bless You Susan.
Heartfelt thanks to Ginger for her loyalty to Susan in maintaining this site and thereby allowing us all to keep in contact.
Errol, like Trish, I too am thrilled to hear that John Gavin and Vera Miles had good things to say about Susan. But what bugs me is that Merv Griffin positioned his question on their relationship with her in a negative way, i.e., it's "well known" she didn't get along with co-stars (or however he phrased it). I'm glad they didn't fall for that bait.
I know Susan -- like all of us -- was not perfect. But I loved her for who she was, not who others wanted her to be. She was
-- and still is -- an original.
Trish and Gloria...I had to smile, when I read your remarks...about Merv and his try..'put-down' by saying that..it was known, in Hollywood, how hard Susan was to work with. I smiled...because if you ever watched the MERV GRIFFIN SHOW, you know he had a bad habit of asking a guest a question..and then..blurting out either before their answer..OR.. rudely interrupting the guest, while they are responding. He did it all the time..and this time, he got stopped..by the guests. It was also stated, by these stars, that Susan has remarked that she hoped VERA MILES role in BACK STREET would be a help to her acting career, as it had been for the woman who played it in an earlier version. Now, which 'earlier version' that was, I am not sure, but Susan had said it had really helped that actress gain praise for her role in the film. I thought VERA MILES was wonderful in the role and even though she and Susan only had one 'speaking scene' together, in the film, I think they complimented one another in their roles.
I also remember that it was another talk show, when ROBERT WAGNER had come to her defense, in the same manor, saying that she was 'most generous' in helping a 'new actor', like himself..and had even took him aside and was the first to show/teach him how to better himself, with camera angles and acting ability.
I do not remember which 'talk show' this happened on, but whomever the show-host was...was totally stunned, again...when a 'now-famous' actor came to our Susan's defense. MANY TIMES...Wagner has voiced his opinion on how much Susan did for him, at the time when he was 'green' to this business they call..'show'..