She came into the world, one of her sons says, “with her fists up.” And during her life, Susan Hayward fought her way from Brooklyn to Hollywood; from nowhere, to the top of a profession made of dreams.
In the century since her birth, Hayward has started to fade from the public consciousness – but not everywhere. Fans still make the pilgrimage to her gravesite at Our Lady of Perpetual Help outside Carrollton, to see the unlikely place where a Tinsel Town goddess made her onetime home and her final resting place. There are plenty of people around west Georgia, too, who remember the days when she used to rattle downtown in a pickup truck, running a farm errand with her flaming red hair bound in a kerchief.
But the fans who come here find nothing but a stone marker; and local memories, fond as they are, are selected moments from a complex life. She was a woman, after all, who inhabited many roles; wife, mother, friend, actress. At the edge of her 100th birthday, she now endures as a legend.
The real person who inhabited that legend, it turns out, is hard to find.
See the rest of this at The Times-Georgian.