- Hayes, Helen, 1900-1993
- Call number
- *T-Mss 2005-016
- Physical description
- .25 linear feet (1 box)
- Preferred Citation
- Helen Hayes correspondence with Anita Loos, Billy Rose Theatre Division, The New York Public Library
- Billy Rose Theatre Division
- Access to materials
- Some collections held by the Dance, Music, Recorded Sound, and Theatre Divisions at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts are held off-site and must be requested in advance. Please check the collection records in the NYPL's online catalog for detailed location information. For general guidance about requesting offsite materials, please consult: https://www.nypl.org/about/locations/lpa/requesting-archival-materials
Letters, cards and postcards by Hayes to Loos are intimate and detailed, providing a rich depiction of Hayes' work, theatrical touring and personal life. Most of the material is undated. Also includes a few letters and telegrams from Loos to Hayes, a few items of correspondence with third parties, a few clippings and a snapshot of Hayes from 1978.
Helen Hayes (1900-1993), leading American actress, known as the "First Lady of American Theater," made her stage debut in 1905 and by the 1920s was a fixture on the Broadway stage, appearing over the years in such classics as SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER, MARY OF SCOTLAND, THE FRONT PAGE, and THE GLASS MENAGERIE, and as Queen Victoria in VICTORIA REGINA, perhaps her best-known role.
Anita Loos, American author and screenwriter, wrote over 150 screenplays beginning in the silent era, but is perhaps best known for her 1925 novel, GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES, which she adapted for both the stage and screen. Her witty touch helped propel the careers of Douglas Fairbanks, Mae West, Carol Channing and Marilyn Monroe. In the 1940s, Loos was asked by her friend, actress Helen Hayes, to write a script that would help Hayes break out of a string of overly serious roles. Loos wrote HAPPY BIRTHDAY, starring a librarian in a bar. The play premiered on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theater on Halloween 1946 and ran for 564 performances. Later, Loos collaborated with Hayes on a book about New York City, TWICE OVER LIGHTLY: NEW YORK THEN AND NOW (1972).
Source of acquisitionPapers: Gift/Purchase, A. Lovell Elliott, 11/27/2005
Using the collection
LocationBilly Rose Theatre Division
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
40 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023-7498