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Mary Jane Hayes|
March 6, 1930
Charleston, West Virginia, U.S.
February 27, 1977 (aged 46)|
San Diego, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Leukemia or lead poisoning|
Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City
|Occupation||Actress, model, advocate|
Allison Hayes was born Mary Jane Hayes to William E. Hayes (1880–1959) and Charlotte Gibson Hayes (1893–1977) in Charleston, West Virginia. She was in the class of 1948 at Calvin Coolidge High School. Hayes won the title of Miss District of Columbia. She went on to represent D.C. in the 1949 Miss America pageant. Although she did not win the competition, it provided her with the opportunity to work in local television before moving to Hollywood to work for Universal Pictures in 1954.
Hayes made her film debut in the 1954 comedy Francis Joins the WACS. Her second film, Sign of the Pagan, provided her with an important role in a relatively minor film. Opposite Jack Palance, she played the part of a siren who ultimately kills him. Despite the strength of her second film role, she played minor roles in her next few films. Originally cast in Foxfire (1955), she was removed from the film during a lawsuit filed against Universal Pictures for injuries, including broken ribs, that she had sustained during the filming of Sign of the Pagan. Released from her contract, she was signed by Columbia Pictures in 1955.
Her first film for Columbia, Chicago Syndicate, did not require her to do more than look glamorous in a series of evening gowns. Her next film Count Three and Pray, however, gave her the role that she later described as the best of her career. Hayes played with Van Heflin, co-starring with Raymond Burr and Joanne Woodward in her debut. As an arrogant Southern belle she was in love with Heflin, returning from the Civil War as a minister. After being spurned by him, Hayes is reduced to becoming Burr’s live-in "housekeeper." Hayes had several well-played dramatic scenes. However, when the film was released much of the attention of reviewers was focused on Woodward, and Hayes was largely ignored. She appeared in films such as Steel Jungle, Mohawk, and Gunslinger (all 1956), but a fall from a horse during the filming of the latter left Hayes with a broken arm and unable to work. After she recovered she began appearing in supporting roles in television productions.
In 1958, she played in several B movies, including Wolf Dog, shot in Canada, as well as taking the lead role in Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, where she plays the part of an abused socialite who grows to giant size because of an alien encounter. In this film, she starred with Yvette Vickers and William Hudson, and it is probably her best-known role. With its science fiction storyline and low budget, the film attained popularity with some movie fans, and in the subsequent years has attracted a cult film following based primarily on Hayes spending almost all the time she’s enlarged calling for "Harry!" as she angrily searches for her philandering husband. The film did not lead to better roles, though she remained constantly employed, and also found work as a model. During 1963 and 1964 she played a continuing role in the soap opera General Hospital but by this time her movie career was virtually over.
That didn't stop her from finding work on television. In 1958 she appeared in the recurring role of Ellie Winters, beautiful poker dealer / secret agent, in seven episodes of the popular western series Bat Masterson starring Gene Barry. A close friend of Raymond Burr since filming Count Three and Pray, she made five guest appearances on his Perry Mason series during this time, including the role of Pearl Chute in the 1962 episode, "The Case of the Bogus Books."
As her acting career declined, she began to experience severe health problems and was unable to walk without a cane. In severe pain, her usually good-natured personality began to change and she became emotional and volatile, making it difficult for her to secure acting work. She was given a very minor role in the 1965 Elvis Presley film Tickle Me, making her final appearances in a guest role on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. in 1967.
Later years and death
Hayes later said that the pain of her illness caused her to contemplate suicide, and that her symptoms were not taken seriously by doctors. Reading a medical book about the metal poisoning of factory workers, Hayes recognized the symptoms described as being similar to her own. Hayes began to question the ingredients of a calcium supplement she had been taking for a long time and when she employed a toxicologist to test a sample of the product, he determined that it had an extremely high content of lead and concluded that Hayes was most likely suffering from lead poisoning. Hayes mounted a campaign to have the FDA ban the import or sale of the food supplement.
An invalid, Hayes moved to San Clemente, California and her health continued to deteriorate. In 1976, she was diagnosed with leukemia and was treated regularly at La Jolla. While at the hospital receiving a blood transfusion, her condition unexpectedly and rapidly deteriorated as she experienced chills, flu-like symptoms and intense pain. She was transferred to the University of California Medical Center in San Diego on February 26, 1977, where she died the following day, one week before her 47th birthday. Allison Hayes was interred with her father at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California. Her mother Charlotte died 8 months later and was buried in a nearby unmarked grave. In a letter that arrived after her death, the FDA advised her that amendments were being made to the laws governing the importation of nutritional supplements, largely as a result of her situation.
|1954||Francis Joins the WACS||Lt. Dickson|
|Sign of the Pagan||Ildico|
|1955||So This Is Paris||Carmen||Alternative titles: Three Gobs in Paris and So This Is Paree|
|The Prodigal||Bit role||Uncredited|
|The Purple Mask||Irene de Bournotte|
|Double Jeopardy||Barbara Devery||Alternative title: Crooked Ring|
|Chicago Syndicate||Joyce Kern, alias Sue Morton|
|Count Three and Pray||Georgina Decrais||Alternative title: The Calico Pony|
|1956||The Steel Jungle||Mrs. Archer|
|1957||Zombies of Mora Tau||Mona Harrison||Alternative title: The Dead That Walk|
|The Unearthly||Grace Thomas|
|The Disembodied||Tonda Metz|
|1958||Hong Kong Confidential||Elena Martine|
|Attack of the 50 Foot Woman||Nancy Fowler Archer|
|Wolf Dog||Ellen Hughes|
|1959||A Lust to Kill||Sherry|
|Pier 5, Havana||Monica Gray|
|1960||The Hypnotic Eye||Justine|
|The High Powered Rifle||Sharon Hill||Alternative title: Duel in the City|
|1963||The Crawling Hand||Donna||Alternative title: Don't Cry Wolf|
|Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?||Mrs. Grayson|
|1955||Four Star Playhouse||Christine||1 episode|
|1957||The Ford Television Theatre||Marian Abbott||1 episode|
|Death Valley Days||Mary Granger||1 episode|
|The Millionaire||Linda Kendall||1 episode|
|The Web||Blonde||1 episode|
|1957–1959||Tombstone Territory||Various roles||4 episodes|
|1958||Cool and Lam||Evaline Dell||Television pilot|
|1958–1960||Bat Masterson||Ellie White||7 episodes|
|1959||Mike Hammer||Miriam Courtney||1 episode|
|The Rough Riders||Ellen Johnston||1 episode|
|Captain David Grief||Melba||1 episode|
|World of Giants||1 episode|
|Rawhide||Rose Morton||1 episode|
|The Alaskans||Stella||1 episode|
|1960||Richard Diamond, Private Detective||Angel Case||1 episode|
|Men into Space||Mandy Holcomb||1 episode|
|77 Sunset Strip||Marianne Winston||Episode: "The Parallel Caper"|
|The Untouchables||Mrs. Charles "Pops" Felcher||1 episode|
|1960–1965||Perry Mason||Various roles||5 episodes|
|The Case of the Dangerous Robin||1 episode|
|Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater||Millie||1 episode|
|Surfside 6||Lotta||Episode: "Prescription for Panic"|
|1962||Ripcord||Laura Coulter||1 episode|
|Bachelor Father||Loretta||1 episode|
|Kraft Mystery Theatre||1 episode|
|1963–1964||General Hospital||Priscilla Longsworth||Unknown episodes|
|1966||The F.B.I.||Anne Frazier||1 episode|
|1967||The Iron Horse||Dana||1 episode|
|Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.||Rose Pilchek||2 episodes|
- "Allison Hayes - The Private Life and Times of Allison Hayes. Allison Hayes Pictures". www.glamourgirlsofthesilverscreen.com.
- Wilson, Scott (2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. McFarland. ISBN 9781476625997. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
- Room, Adrian (2012). Dictionary of Pseudonyms: 13,000 Assumed Names and Their Origins, 5th ed. 223: McFarland. ISBN 9780786457632. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
- Hogan, David J. (1997). Dark Romance: Sexuality in the Horror Film, p. 65. McFarland Classics.
- "Bat Masterson (TV Series 1958–1961)" – via www.imdb.com.
- Davis, W. Marvin (2006). Consumer's Guide to Dietary Supplements and Alternative Medicines, pp. 1–3. The Haworth Press, Inc.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Allison Hayes.|
- Allison Hayes on IMDb
- Allison Hayes at the TCM Movie Database
- Allison Hayes in Trailer for Attack of the 50 Foot Woman
- Allison Hayes Biography
- Brian's Drive-In Theatre – biographical fansite
- Cult Sirens – Allison Hayes
- Allison Hayes at Find a Grave
|Awards and achievements|
| Miss District of Columbia