|She was popular with some, and not so popular with others, but there is one thing that the those in the film industry agreed upon....she was a PROFESSIONAL.
She arrived to work on time and knew her lines.
Character actress Virginia Vincent, who played Susan's
girlfriend in "I Want To Live" had these comments
regarding working with Susan. (Virginia Vincent's quotes are excerpted from Beverly Linet's biography of Susan--("Susan Hayward:Portrait of A Survivor").
"She was so beautiful. Oh, that nose, that sweet chin, those eyes, and yet she had a lot of strength though there was something fragile. She was small-boned, everything was in the right place....a sweetness and yet such strength."
She was sedate, but you know a lot of people once tore her over the coals. She was very nice to everybody. She was working on scenes in the party, doing all those crazy drills with the sailors and soldiers. She was right there with us, having a good time and enjoying it. She was very professional and just very involved in her work. From what I could see the important thing was the work. She gave it 100 percent.
Susan was basically very private. She didn't joke, but she laughed a lot when we were doing that rowdy scene. And she just seemed to be enjoying that very much, just as I was and everybody else. You know when you're working on a good movie, it's incredible, it's a real high. Everybody's in a great mood....I saw no temperament from Susan, and I was there when she was talking to Bob Wise and others."
.....Actor Robert Wagner credits his success to Susan. He had a small but moving and important role in "With A Song In My Heart"-- "When Zanuck put me in the picture,
he said it would be the greatest thing I'd ever do, because people would walk out of the picture and say "Who is that guy?" That's true, you know, but when I did it, I had no idea of how it all worked or what was going to happen. And Susan was marvelous to me.
Before I did the picture, I used to see Susan Hayward on the lot all the time. She was a very big star, and I was just a young kid starting out, but even before we worked together I remember her being so very nice to me--so very, very gracious.--The Jane Froman role was a very difficult and demanding role for her--to have to "sing" with all of those playbacks, and act a living person.
Because Walter Lang, the director, liked me, I was permitted to watch the recordings and be around the music department and all, to get the feeling of things.
Everything I did in the picture was with Susan. Our first scene together was at the
theater where she is appearing in "Artists and Models," and she calls me to the stage and sings 'Embraceble You'. Then, later on, she recognizes me, a shell-shocked victim in one of the hospitals at which she's performing. It was a very moving thing, because the guy was real and the scene a real incident........
You know, they say that young actors or child stars who don't know much about what they're doing are sometimes better. Well, Walter Lang said to me, 'Just watch her...' There's an old saying in our business --one I've often used -that goes, 'It's like working with Rin Tin Tin...you just pull the cat out of the bag and the ears will go up.' That's what they used to do with Rin Tin Tin. When they wanted his ears to go up, they'd have a guy standing offstage with a cat in a bag...and then let the cat out at the crucial moment. For me, Susan was the best 'cat' I could possibly have had, because when she started to work, I automatically responded. I didn't know how to put the proper emotions across. What she did was produce a whole reaction in me.
When she sang 'I'll Walk Alone' to me in the hospital scene, I got so caught up in the moment that the tears just came. It got to her too--because after it was over, she ran to her dressing room and just came apart."--(excerpted from Beverly Linet's biography of Susan ("Susan Hayward: Portrait Of A Survivor")
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