Louis Hayward

Active - 1932 - 1973  |   Born - Mar 19, 1909   |   Died - Feb 21, 1985   |   Genres - Drama, Adventure, Action, Mystery, Romance

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Born in South Africa, roguishly handsome leading man Louis Hayward was educated in England and the Continent. Hayward briefly managed a London nightclub before he went on stage as a protégé of playwright Noel Coward. He co-starred in the London stage productions of several Broadway plays, among them Dracula and Another Language, and in 1933 made his screen bow in the British Self Made Lady. Hayward came to Broadway in 1935 to star in Point Verlaine (1935), which won him a Hollywood contract. His first American film role of note was as the hero's father in the prologue of Warner Bros.' Anthony Adverse (1936). Hayward went on to play both heroes and heels, and sometimes a charming combination thereof. He starred as Leslie Charteris' soldier-of-fortune Simon Templar in the first and the last entries in the "Saint" "B"-picture series. He also thrived in costume swashbucklers, appearing twice as the Count of Monte Cristo and once each as D'Artagnan, Captain Blood and Dick Turpin. In 1941, he was cast in a pivotal role in Orson Welles' The Magnificent Ambersons, but his part ended up on the cutting room floor. Serving as a Marine during World War II, Hayward supervised the filming of the battle of Tarawa, winning a Bronze Star for his courage under fire. After the war, he developed one of first percentage-of-profits deals, ensuring him a steady income in perpetuity for both the theatrical and TV releases of his post-1949 films. In 1954, Hayward produced and starred in the 39-week TV series The Lone Wolf (aka Streets of Danger), after buying exclusive rights to several of Louis Joseph Vance's original "Lone Wolf" stories. His later TV projects included the British series The Pursuers (1966) and the American The Survivors (1970). The first of Louis Hayward's three wives was actress Ida Lupino; the others were Peggy Morrow and June Blanchard.

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