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Martha Hyer Profile

Martha Hyer
Martha Hyer
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10 August 24 is born in Ft. Worth, Texas, to Agnes Barnhart and Julien C. Hyer, Texas state senator and international president of the Lions Clubs, the middle of three daughters, the others named Agnes and Jeane. Her father will later become Judge Advocate with the Fifteenth Army, setting up the war crime trials in Germany.
c. 29 her sister Jeane is born
? Tom Mix is her favorite childhood star
June 41 graduates from high school
her family moves to San Antonio, Texas
Fall 41 enrolls in Fairfax Hall Junior College for Girls in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia
43 enrolls at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
44 enrolls in the summer session of the Pasadena Playhouse in California
Summer 45 is spotted at the Pasadena Playhouse by agent Milton Lewis and given a reading at Paramount, but nothing comes of it
Fall 45 songstress Ella Logan sees her picture on her father's office desk in Bad Nauheim, Germany, and cables her producer-husband in California to see her at his 20th Century-Fox office
is spotted by agent Frank Orsatti, who gives her an interview at RKO
48 on the set of Roughshod, high in the Sierras, she develops appendicitis and is transported back to Hollywood in an ambulance
February 48 attends Elizabeth Taylor's sixteenth birthday party with actor Marshall Thompson
1 April 49 crowns 16-year-old Jackie Thurston "Wistaria Princess" at Sierra Madre's Wistaria Wine Festival
April 49 is crowned "Azalea Queen" by North Carolina football star Charlie Justice at the Wilmington Azalea Festival
49 meets her future husband Hal B. Wallis for the first time at a private party at the home of her agent, Frank Orsatti. Wallis gives actress Linda Christian a ride home that afternoon.
becomes friendly with actress Rosalind Russell and her husband Freddie Brisson
meets director-producer Ray Stahl, the son of Sennett bathing beauty Roxanna McGowan and silent film star Charles Ray. He was adopted by his stepfather, director John M. Stahl.
September 49 is seen at the Beverly Hills Gourmet with Ray Stahl
? becomes materialistic. Clothes, cars, houses, and possessions seem very important to her.
? moves to Japan for a year with Stahl to film, in co-production with Toho, Fate and Geisha Girl, where she's the lead
50 agrees when Stahl suggests she marry him immediately
31 March 51 marries Stahl at the Little Church Around the Corner. They honeymoon in Bermuda and make their home with his mother in New York City on upper-crust East 64th Street.
? models with the Conover Agency under the name of Martha Lou Spring
? is off to Kenya, British East Africa, for Stahl's next movie, The Scarlet Spear. They stay at Limuru, near Nairobi. There she falls in love with the African continent and realizes that when it comes to her husband, she will be always be second to his mother.
53 leaves Stahl in Africa
March 53 columnist Earl Wilson writes: "Martha Hyer of Fort Worth, one of the purtiest I ever saw, now in the Abbott and Costello pic, Go to Mars, used to be a model under the name Mary Lou Spring. When looking for modeling jobs, she left a card saying 'Spring Was Here.' Now Spring's in Hollywood."
October 53 Wilson reports her divorcing Ray Stahl
November 53 columnist Walter Winchell knows: "Phil Silver's latest crush is beautiful Martha Hyer. They study their Lucky Me script together after hours..."
February 54 her attorney waits for her to finish her role in a current picture before setting a date for her divorce trial. "She separated from Ray Stahl several months ago."
takes a day off from Lucky Me and quietly obtains her first decree from Stahl
54 films Cry Vengeance in Ketchikan, Alaska
is a blonde for the first time in Sabrina
her social life improves. She goes to a formal dinner party given by Mr. and Mrs. Jack Warner for Pierre de Gaulle and his date, young actress Grace Kelly. Mrs. Gary Cooper invites her to her housewarming party.
has a lot of boyfriends and lots of romance and fun with Gene Kelly
a new acquaintance sends her a gift-wrapped black Thunderbird the day after their date
meets Senator John F. Kennedy at a dinner party given by actress Jean Howard at Coldwater Canyon, but turns down his invitation to lunch with him the next day on the beach
September 54 is seen at Lindy's with Danny Kaye
October 54 Winchell thinks she "and William Strong III (of Texas) are discussing betrothal..."
Mid-February 55 wins a divorce from Stahl in Hollywood after testifying that he made her live outside of the United States in order to reduce income tax. Stahl will die of a malignant melanoma at age 38 in April 1959 in Hollywood.
April 55 columnist Erskine Johnson reports: "Now that her divorce from Ray Stahl is final, Martha Hyer is strong for Dallas oil man Edwin Strong III..."
May 55 sees a lot of George Nader
June 55 is discovered by the wolf pack since she divorced Stahl. George Nader escorts her to the Foreign Press Awards.
July 55 columnist Dorothy Manners tells: "The former serious romance between Martha Hyer and wealthy Texan Edwin Grant III is as tired as an old tumbleweed. There's now a handsome medico in her life, but she won't name him."
August 55 is most likely to be the "Number One Glamour Girl Of Tomorrow"
she and Edwin Grant III are finally reported having iced their romance
does the night spots with fellow actor George Nader
October 55 columnist Mike Connolly asks her if she will marry Dr. Bob Hamilton of San Francisco. She says she can't right now because she's married to Universal-International.
Winchell reports her "hyer than a kite around Grant Williams..."
November 55 she and Stahl are reported on the verge of calling their marriage quits
December 55 is dated by George Nader, whose real heart goes to a Pasadena non-pro, whose name he keeps a well-guarded secret
56 has been dating Jeff Richards
April 56 admits her big heart interest is a San Francisco doctor. She will later confess that this story is a hoax to save her privacy.
May 56 she and Dr. Bob Hamilton are considered close to an engagement
films Mr. Cory at Lake Arrowhead. "Her male lead is Anthony Curtis. La Hyer's Venus figure sells more tickets than 'My Fair Lady'..."
July 56 tells Louella Parsons on the phone that she isn't copying Grace Kelly
August 56 Winchell asks: "Was that Martha Hyer with U-I's English actor, John Bentley?..."
October 56 George Nader is noted buying her dinner at the Oyster House
December 56 the press tells: "Blonde Martha Hyer, who completed several paintings while working on film, will exhibit them at Greenwich Village Art Gallery. Actor John Bentley escorts the lovely Martha."
57 doesn't enjoy working with Rock Hudson on Battle Hymn; She finds him self-centered and spoiled.
January 57 is seen out with actor Don Taylor
February 57 columnist Louella Parsons knows: "Martha Hyer, who has a 6:45 a.m. call every day for My Man Godfrey, isn't going to let this interfere with her romance with Dr. Robert Hamilton in San Francisco. She'll plane out to spend the weekend with him."
March 57 is reported collecting paintings, owning a Utrillo, a Renoir, a Dufy, and two Vlamincks
July 57 is scheduled to entertain young Polish prince Jean Pontiatowski by giving him a grand tour of Hollywood in October. "He was Martha's favorite boyfriend all the time she was in Paris with Bob Hope."
August 57 is reported on fire with producer Ross Hunter
October 57 she and Gene Kelly are "Flickerville's most talked about new twosome. The experts haven't figured out whether the combination indicates business or pleasure or both..."
columnist Harrison Carroll tells: "Although her titled Polish admirer Jean Pontiatowski arrives in Hollywood this month, Martha Hyer assures me there is nothing serious between them. 'Long distance romances never work out,' says Martha. 'Jean showed me Paris when I was there. I hope to do the same for him when he visits here. That's all there is to it.' Martha also dates George Nader and attorney Richard Mark. The most exciting thing in her life right now, she says, is the prospect of moving into her new house when she finishes Houseboat at Paramount."
is reported president of the Hollywood Bachelor Girls Club. The press notes that Anna Kashfi has been kicked out for marrying Marlon Brando and that Argentine actress Linda Cristal was given her place on the club roster.
December 57 attends MCA's Jule Stein's cocktail party with Gene Kelly
58 goes to Paris for the first time to film Paris Holiday
February 58 columnist Hedda Hopper reports: "Martha Hyer tells me she's between pictures and beaux, enjoying her new home. She spent couple of weeks with her family in Dallas, Texas, and is getting ready for opening the new Hilton hotel in Havana, Cuba. She's got the glad rags, will travel."
March 58 Universal-International buys her a fine new house, furnishes it lavishly, and comes across with an elegant new car
Easter 58 she flies from Paris to the Cote d'Azur and stays in Cap Ferrat
Early April 58 Hopper tells from New York that Martha resumed her old palship with Syd Chaplin, "who's her constant companion since she hopped into town on behalf of Paris Holiday"
is seen at Goldie's with Syd Chaplin
Late April 58 is Prince Aly Khan's lunch date at New York's Romeo Salta's
August 58 columnist Earl Wilson reports: "Bernie Kamber, the Tyler Hill, Pennsylvania, Clark Gable, is passing himself around between Martha Hyer and Nicole Maurey, lucky girls!..."
George Nader escorts her to a party thrown by Arthur Loew, Jr., for Liz Taylor
attends Judy Garland's closing at the Cocoanut Grove with Henry Ginsberg. Other guests are Mitzi Gaynor and Jack Bean, the Ronnie Reagans, Betty Furness, Dolly O'Brien and George Marshall, the Marty Melchers, Don Loper, and Liz Taylor and Arthur Loew, Jr.
October 58 is signed by MGM for the lead role in Beneath the Arctic Circle, produced by Edmund Grainger, about the nuclear-powered submarine Nautilus; Glenn Ford will play the lead.
November 58 spends Thanksgiving with her family in Dallas
tells Hedda Hopper: "When I was in Paris, I attended the Biddle and Aly Khan auctions and saw canvases worth $18,000 go for $150,000 and $250,000. It was fantastic. I bought a Rouault from a Paris dealer for $2,000, but when I went to pick it up he tried to get out of the sale. He finally confessed to me that, since the auction, he realized he could get 12 times the price I'd paid. But I held him to our bargain, and since then I've turned down an offer of three times what I gave for it." She tells Hedda that she likes to live luxuriously. She has a housekeeper and a part-time gardener. Her house was built by a woman who lived alone and sports an efficient burglary alarm.
January 59 attends Archie Preissman's Headdress Ball and wins first prize with a creation by Don Loper, a fountain of ostrich feathers 5 feet high. It takes the help of four men to put it on her head.
February 59 is among Conrad Hilton's celebrity guests at the Nile Hilton opening in Cairo, Egypt. Other guests include Merle Oberon, Jeanne Crain, Bob Cummings, Van Johnson, Ann Miller, Leo Carillo, Hugh O'Brian, Miiko Taka, and Diahann Carroll.
at the pyramids in Egypt, she hears about her Academy Award nomination for her part in Some Came Running
6 April 59 attends the Oscar dinner with her parents
her friend actor George Nader escorts her to the Academy Awards ceremony at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood and to the Academy dinner party afterwards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. When the winner is Wendy Hiller, she tries to be a good looser but, at home she cries all night.
Mid-April 59 columnist Earl Wilson writes: "And Oscar Nominee Martha Hyer, there with Hilton publicist Frank Hefter, blasted Wendy Hiller for her 'ungracious' remarks about her award..."
Early May 59 is seen at the Harwyn with Frank Hefter
4 May 59 Life magazine gives her lifestyle a ten-page photographic layout. Soon after the spread, her home is robbed while she's attending a party at the home of actress Merle Oberon.
Mid-May 59 Wilson reports from the Cannes Film Festival: "Jorge Guinle, the Brazilian millionaire, got a yacht to squire Martha Hyer across to Monte Carlo for the Grand Prix auto races where he and Martha had lunch with his son and his ex-wife Dolores in the most civilized fashion. Martha then had to fly back to New York to start shooting the best of Everything film, and she was undoubtly mighty pleased with her trip here because several people said she was the prettiest girl at the party."
June 59 is among 150 guests of a party thrown at his home by producer Ross Hunter for Sandra Dee. Other guests are Rock Hudson, Doris Day, John Saxon, Susan Kohner, Delmer Daves, Edd Byrnes, and Tom Tryon.
July 59 shoe man Harry Karl, the ex of Marie McDonald, is reported "her today's item"
is off to New York to read for Arthur Penn and William Inge for a possible part in Inge's new play, The Loss of Roses
August 59 columnist Lee Mortimer tells that reports of her "New York conquests continue to pour in from press agents. Latest is broker Jerry Zipkin..."
columnist Dorothy Kilgallen writes "Martha Hyer's real sweetheart has managed very neatly to keep his name out of the papers. He's a West Coast banker, and the chap's really responsible for her much-publicized collection of masterpieces..."
September 59 Mortimer notes her around with Cornel Ascher, "a broker who used to date Ginger Rogers"
says the art hanging in her house is worth $500,000
Early November 59 reports a $15,000 Renoir and furs and jewelry were stolen from her Hollywood home while she attended a Halloween party. The loot is valued at $79,000.
? flies back from Dallas to discuss the theft with the FBI, cancels her South American tour, and flies right out to Berlin to report to William Dieterle for the starring role in Mistress of the World. "She'll be gone three months."
? is off to Bangkok, where she stays at the Oriental, Angkor Wat, Cambodia, and Munich, Germany, for the filming of Mistress of the World. At the Peninsula Hotel in Bangkok, she runs into William Holden, who takes her to dinner.
60 while filming Ice Palace, co-star Richard Burton tries to make a pass at her
Early April 60 is heralded to star with Curd Jurgens and Claire Bloom in The Royal Game, to be filmed in Munich, Germany
June 60 is named a target for tax man Robert A. Riddell, Los Angeles district director of the Internal Revenue Service. He claims she owes $4,800 in federal income taxes.
1 July 60 is accused of defaulting on payments on a $215,000 home in the swank seaside district of Corona Del Mar. Martin Klitten, who sold the home to her in November 1959, files suit in Santa Ana, California, claiming she owes the firm that holds the first trust deed $590 - the June 1 payment - and that she failed to pay a $67,770 payment due June 30 on Klitten's second trust deed. Klitten and his wife Russellia demand immediate occupancy of the home and say they could rent it during the summer months for $1,000 a month. Martha is reported on location in Louisiana.
Mid-September 60 leaves Hollywood for a 16-city-tour in behalf of Desire in the Dust. On her return, she will go into a "Zane Grey Theater" segment.
October 60 is part of the Hollywood scene once more, dating Richard Gully
November 60 after filming Mistress of the World for a German company on location from Hong Kong to Paris, she says she likes wine foreign but men domestic. "American men are the best in the world, as far as their treatment of women is concerned." She thinks English are charming but dull; French are self-centered; Italian are wolfish; German are stolid and one-track-minded.
Christmas 60 Ross Hunter presents her with an Edith Tuchman painting. Asked by Hedda Hopper when he is going to marry Martha, he replies: "Tomorrow if she'd have me."
? meets and falls for producer Hal B. Wallis on a flight to New York to publicize The Big Fisherman
May 61 wardrobe expert Charles Lemaire names her, Loretta Young and Liz Taylor the best-dressed actresses in town
September 61 is reported joining the Hollywood contingent in Rome to star in Seven Arts' Calypso
Mid-November 61 is on hand to guide visiting India's Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru through Paramount Studios in Hollywood. Several hundred actors and technicians sing "Happy Birthday" to the prime minister, who will be 72 on November 14.
January 62 is reported having paid $40,000 to the art thief via an intermediary to get back the Renoir and Utrillo stolen from her home. "There seems to be little that can be done about it," she says.
62 dislikes her co-star Laurence Harvey while filming A Girl Named Tamiko
August 62 will play the sweetheart and wife of Marine General
"Chesty" Puller in James Ellsworth's Marine
November 62 will head for Hawaii for the world premiere of A Girl Named Tamiko on December 7
April 63 columnist Walter Winchell writes she's "making the Inner Circle look beautiful..."
is a Voisin duo with producer Hal B. Wallis
22 November 63 when returning to the Dorchester Hotel in London, where she stays for the filming of First Men in the Moon, she is informed about the assassination of President Kennedy
August 65 looks for a bigger place to house her $500,000 collection. "It's very embarrassing when you are forced to hang an original Renoir in the bathroom," she says.
29 October 65 she and some 1,500 guests, including Rory Calhoun, Elke Sommer, and Steve McQueen, have to flee an outdoor banquet when flames ravage Paramount and Desilu studios. No one is injured.
November 65 "the right guy" behind her career is producer Hal B. Wallis
December 65 is pictured at Paramount Studio's Western outdoor jamboree and barbecue with actor Stephen Boyd
February 66 gets the leading role in Color Mommy Dead when Merle Oberon turns it down
? sells a Pissarro for $107,000 "because it was too big for our house in Beverly Hills." She and Wallis reside at Mapleton Drive.
31 December 66 marries Harold Brent Wallis, "one of the richest men in Hollywood," in his Palm Springs home. Later they have another ceremony at Temple Israel in Los Angeles. He's 68; she's 42. The press gives her age as 37. Hal's son from his former marriage to late actress Louise Fazenda, Brent, and his wife are present. Martha will consider the marriage the best thing to ever happen to her.
February 67 columnist Sheila Graham reports that Wallis encourages Martha in her movie career
? she and Wallis trips to Taormina in Sicily, Bad Gastein in Austria, Capri and Venice in Italy, and to Mexico and Hawaii
? gives up her hilltop home and moves into the Wallis house on South Mapleton Drive. They have architect Harold Levitt build a second home in Palm Springs to house their growing collection of Western Americana, where they will spend every weekend.
? Elvis Presley and his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, are guests to dinner several times
Late 60s she and Wallis attend the final party of the American ambassador to the Court of St. James, Walter Annenberg, at the embassy residence
Late 60s - early 70s she and Wallis are off to England where Wallis is producing Anne of the Thousand Days. They live in a suite at the Dorchester and dine often at the Mirabelle and at the Connaught. They take trips to the south of France to La Reserve in Beaulieu and visit the David Nivens at their villa in Cap Ferrat. The explore Normandy and have Mediterranean cruises on the Richard Dutton-Forshaws' yacht. They spend weekends in Majorca, Venice, and Salzburg.
? accompanies her husband to all the locations where he's producing
Spring 69 her mother dies
71 she and Wallis are asked to give a dinner party for President Nixon and his secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, at their Palm Springs home, but both call it off at the last minute. She vows to vote the Democratic ticket next time.
72 on the set of The Public Eye, produced by her husband in England, she becomes friendly with actress Mia Farrow
Spring 74 her father dies
75 is off to Oregon with her husband for the filming of Rooster Cogburn
January 80 having spent too much money throughout the years, she has become involved with loan sharks and a web of duplicity and double-dealing. Her husband knows nothing.
? experiences the supernatural, the presence of God. Afterwards, she lives the Infinite Way as described in the book by Joel Goldsmith. Her life changes completely.
? when she confesses to her husband, Wallis forgives her, calls in the FBI and solves the problems with lawyers, at a great expense
? her husband begins to share his wealth, funding a research center at the Eisenhower Medial Center in Rancho Mirage, California
February 82 is on hand for NBC's two-hour special "Bob Hope's Road to Hollywood." Hope's other ladies this evening are Rosemary Clooney, Virginia Mayo, Janis Paige, Jill St. John, Martha Raye, Dorothy Lamour, Lucille Ball, Dina Merrill, Jane Russell, and Rhonda Fleming.
85 - 86 spends most of her time in hospitals due to the illness of her husband, who suffers from diabetes
5 October 86 becomes the widow of Wallis, who dies at age 88 in Rancho Mirage, California
? moves out of the homes she had with Wallis in California and settles in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in her beloved City of the Holy Faith
90 as Martha Hyer Wallis, she publishes her memoir, Finding My Way
Sources:
Finding My Way by Martha Hyer Wallis, Port Arthur News, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, The Times Recorder, Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Middletown Times Herald, The Fresno Bee, The Times Recorder, The Lowell Sun, The Zanesville Signal, Nevada State Journal, The Portsmouth Herald, The Post-Standard, Syracuse Herald-Journal, The New Mexican, Dixon Evening Telegraph, The Lima News, The Daily Intelligencer, Burlington Daily Times-News, The Hammond Times, The Coshocton Tribune, The Vidette-Messenger, The Kerrville Times, The Odessa American, The Herald-Press, Reno Evening Gazette, Indiana Evening Gazette, Mansfield News-Journal, Chronicle-Telegram, The Times Recorder, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, The Galveston News, Motion Picture, Screen Annual, Silver Screen, Modern Screen, www.Ancestry.com
Recommended Books:
Finding My Way by Martha Hyer Wallis
The Encyclopedia of Sixties Cool by Chris Strodder
Fifties Blondes by Richard Koper
Links:
Filmography
The Martha Hyer Tribute Page at the Spooky Tom's Nightmare Mansion Site
Swingin' Chicks: Martha Hyer
Brian's Drive-In Theater: Marthy Hyer