Helen Hayes

Helen Hayes MacArthur, born on October 10, 1900, and passing away on March 17, 1993, was an American actress with a remarkable career spanning eighty-two years. Recognized as the “First Lady of American Theatre,” she achieved the distinction of being the second person and the first woman to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony Award (an EGOT). Additionally, she became the first person to secure the Triple Crown of Acting. Hayes was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States, presented by President Ronald Reagan in 1986. In 1988, she also received the National Medal of Arts.

The Helen Hayes Awards, annually recognizing excellence in professional theatre in greater Washington, D.C. since 1984, bear her namesake. In 1955, the former Fulton Theatre on 46th Street in New York City’s Theatre District was renamed the Helen Hayes Theatre. When that venue was dismantled in 1982, the nearby Little Theatre was renamed in her honor. Helen Hayes is widely regarded as one of the greatest leading ladies of 20th-century theatre.

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