Brooke Hayward papers

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Collection Data

Brooke Hayward is the oldest child born to stage and screen actress Margaret Sullavan and super-agent and producer, Leland Hayward. She is a writer, having authored the book Haywire in1977. Her early career choices were actress and model. Hayward has been married three times: Michael Thomas, 1959, Dennis Hopper, 1961-1969, and Peter Duchin, 1985.
Hayward, Brooke, 1937- (Creator)
Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1911 - 1977
Library locations
Billy Rose Theatre Division
Shelf locator: *T-Mss 1997-021
Sullavan, Margaret, 1909-1960
Hayward, Leland, 1902-1971
galley proofs
Biographical/historical: Brooke Hayward, the writer, was born July 5, 1937. Hayward is the oldest of three children born to Margaret Sullavan and Leland Hayward. Bridget Hayward was born in 1939. William Bill Hayward was born in 1942. Haywards growing up years, were chaotic. There were several moves between California and Connecticut with the last to Greenwich, Connecticut in 1948, after Margaret Sullavan divorced Leland Hayward. Sullavan wanted her children to have a normal childhood, and isolated them from the evils of Hollywood. The children lived in a separate house with a nurse (nanny) and a cook. A tutor taught Hayward and her siblings at home for the first few years of their life. When they were older, Brooke and Bridget attended Greenwich Academy a private girls school, where Jane Fonda was a classmate. Bill Hayward and Peter Fonda attended Brunswick, a boys school around the corner from Greenwich Academy. In the fall of 1953, the Hayward children (Brooke, Bridget and Bill) all left home to attend boarding schools. Hayward attended Madeira, a private girls school in McLean, Virginia. Bridget went to Gstaad, Switzerland and Bill to Lawrenceville in New Jersey. Brooke attended Madeira her junior and senior years, graduating in 1955 going to Vassar and Yale. By the time Hayward was 22 years of age she had married Michael Thomas, an art historian and budding investment banker, whom she met at Yale. They had two children, Jeffrey and Willie. After Hayward divorced Thomas, she and the children moved to New York City, and she began a modeling and acting career. In December 1959, Hayward was starring in an Off-Broadway production of Marching Song, when she learned of her mothers death. Margaret Sullavan died of an accidental drug overdose January 1, 1960. At this time, both Bridget and Bill were patients in mental asylums, Austen Riggs in Stockbridge, Massachusetts and Menningers in Topeka, Kansas, respectively. In October 1960, Bridget Hayward died of a drug overdose just 8 months after her mother. Leland Hayward died in 1971 at home, after an extensive hospital stay following an unsuccessful surgery. Hayward was married to Dennis Hopper, 1961-1969; they had one child, a daughter, Marin. Hopper worked closely with Peter Fonda (a long-time Sullavan/Hayward family friend) and Bill Hayward on the movie Easy Rider.Hayward married Peter Duchin, the orchestra leader in December 1985. She has three grandchildren, Anna, Cooper and Violet.
Content: The collection is separated into two unequal sections: the material in the smaller section concerns Haywards writing of the book Haywire. The bulk of the collection consists of Haywards mother, Margaret Sullavan's papers. The Haywire material consists of correspondence, edited draft manuscripts, transcripts of taped interviews, and galley proofs. There is almost no personal material from or about Brooke Hayward in this collection. What little personal material there is, is from her childhood and was part of the scrapbooks that her mother, Margaret Sullavan, created. The Sullavan material contains correspondence, photographs, and scrapbooks. Sullavan herself meticulously created the scrapbooks. Where possible photographs have been labeled. The material is divided into Sullavans theatre work, motion picture work, and home and personal life.
Physical Description
Extent: 12.8 linear ft. (11 boxes)
Type of Resource
Still image
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b15993213
MSS Unit ID: 21727
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 38f8e830-9813-0136-6cd3-337d2a738a4d
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