Oscar Spotlight: Susan Hayward


1058-banner.jpgMany a late night, I would run across films starring the brilliant, fiery Susan Hayward, but the first time I was introduced to her was in a film that many people would not know or ever heard of…Backstreet.

Adapted from the Fannie Hurst novel by William Ludwig and Eleanor Griffin, aspiring fashion designer Rae Smith  (Susan Hayward) falls in love with department store heir Paul Saxon (John Gavin) and due to very complicated circumstances their love affair is never fully actualized.

Susan Hayward got my attention with that film, but it was her campy role in the cult classic “Valley of the Dolls” as the old Broadway diva Helen Lawson that made me fall in love with her!hayward-22222.jpg

Baby, those scenes with her and Patty Duke (Neely O’Hara) are to die for!!!

However…it was for her role as bad girl Barbara Graham in the riveting drama “I Want to Live” that had her taking home the gold in 1959. This victory came on her fifth nomination.  Her previous noms were for “Smash Up”, “My Foolish Heart”, “With A Song in My Heart” and “I’ll Cry Tomorrow”.

Susan always played flawed characters with some major obstacle to overcome.  As many other the women she portrayed were real people, she had the uncanny ability to inhabit and tap into that pain and vulnerability that made these women compelling .

After her Oscar win, she appeared in about one movie a year. In 1972 she made her last theatrical film, The Revengers. Having been diagnosed with cancer,the disease finally claimed her life on March 14, 1975, in Hollywood. She was 57.

Check out her Academy Award performance in “I Want to Live”…



I love, love love movies, watching them and discussing them...thus the birth of The Curvy Film Critic!!! Host/Producer/FilmCritic,Carla Renata is a member of such esteemed organizations as Critics Choice Association (Co-President Documentary Branch and Board Member), African American Film Critics Association and Online Association of Female Film Critics. My op-eds or features have been seen in Variety , RogerEbert.com, The Wrap The Cherry Picks, as well as being a frequent Guest Contributor to Fox 11-LA, Good Day LA, ET Live!, Turner Classic Movies, The Cherry Picks, The Stream Team (Beond TV) ITV, Fox Soul's The Black Report, The ListTV and more. Catch my reviews on The Curvy Critic with Carla Renata - LIVE!!! Sundays 5pm PST via You Tube or Facebook Live. If you like what you read please shout me out and subscribe to The Curvy Critic on YouTube. You can chat with me across all social media platforms @TheCurvyCritic and as always, thanks for supporting a sista'

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