Susan Hayward/Biography /Page 5
After making "I Want To Live", Susan formed her own production company, Carrollton Productions. Her company's first film was "Thunder In The Sun" with Jeff Chandler. She did the film mainly to help Chandler's fading career.
This film was released by Paramount in 1959.
On April 6, 1959 she was awarded the Oscar for "I Want To Live". She and Eaton flew back to Carrollton Georgia that same night. Walter Wanger said, "We can all relax now. Susie's finally got what she's been chasing for twenty years." The Chalkley's bought a retirement home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., not far from where Susan had three boats. The twins were enrolled in Georgia Military Academy.
Susan took off for a year, and returned to do "The Marriage-Go-Round" with James Mason. The picture was completed in August, 1960, and then
Susan went on a very strict liquid diet to shed 15 pounds for her upcoming role in Ross Hunter's "Back Street", also starring John Gavin. Susan then went on to make "Ada" with Dean Martin. The picture was released in 1961, three months before "Back Street".
Susan then made "I Thank A Fool" (Ingrid Bergman had been offered the role but had rejected it) with Peter Finch. This was to be filmed in England and Ireland. At the end of the year she and Eaton bought a 600 acre farm in Heflin, Alabama.
In 1963, Susan signed with United Artists to do "Stolen Hours". This was a remake of Bette Davis's "Dark Victory". To watch "Stolen Hours" today
is eerie and troubling since the story line is so close to what actually happened to Susan later in real life.
In 1964, Susan and Bette Davis teamed to make "Where Love Has Gone".
This turned out to be a real "wet blanket". The critics blasted it and it wasn't so popular at the box office either. The film was a fictionalized version of the Lana Turner-Cheryl Crane-Johnny Stompanato murder case.
In September of 1964, Eaton Chalkley's son, Joe, age 26, was killed in an accident near Louisville, Ky. Eaton was devastated and Susan helped him as much as she could.
In the early part of 1965, she agreed to fly to Hollywood to discuss a role in Joe Mankiewicz's new film, "Anyone For Venice?" to be made in Italy the following
autumn. It was a film that focused on Rex Harrison with three ladies
fluttering around him. Susan had only a few good scenes. It also starred
Capucine, Edie Adams, and Cliff Robertson. The name of the film was later
changed to "The Honey Pot".
Eaton became ill and died on January 9, 1966. He was 56 years old. The following June, Susan converted to the Catholic faith.
In May of 1967, Susan replaced Judy Garland in "Valley of the Dolls". She got
$50,000 for two weeks work. She only had a few scenes in the film but they
were important and unforgettable. Critics panned it, but the public loved it, and it grossed $50 million dollars.
In 1968, she ventured into a new arena. She signed on to play in "Mame"
at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. The role had been played by Angela Lansbury on Broadway and Lucille Ball on film. (Rosalind Russell had made the non-musical version of the film) Susan had mixed reviews. She had to leave the show after a very short time because of throat problems. She didn't particularly like the theater, and having to do the same thing performance after performance after performance.
In 1971 she and Willam Holden were reunited in Sam Peckinpah's "The Revengers". It was filmed in Mexico. Her role was that of a cameo.
Susan made two Made-for-TV films: "Heat of Anger" and "Say Good-Bye, Maggie Cole". She was terrific in both of them, and if fate had not intervened, a
television show of her own was surely in the future. The public loved Susan in
these films, and she was excited about the younger generation getting to know her.
Susan's Final Days....Biography continued..."next"