Martha Hyer was once called “Universal’s Answer to Grace Kelly.” Indeed, she had the same elegance, the same flawless blond beauty (though she was not a natural blonde), and the same jet-setting lifestyle. Not a bad actress, she was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for Vincent Minelli’s Some Came Running. For some reason, she moved from fairly classy stuff to tons of genuine dreck. Overall, she had over 100 screen and TV credits before retiring.
Embarrassing Real Birthplace: Fort Worth
Cheesy Pageant Titles: Azalea Queen
- Francis in the Navy (Francis is a mule)
- Bikini Beach
- The Delicate Delinquent
- Oriental Evil
- Desire in the Dust (no, not the John Waters film)
- Abbott and Costello Go to Mars
- Pyro … The Thing Without a Face
- The strange desire that feeds on her cannot be quenched by love alone!
- He was half Oriental...but he used the women of two continents WITHOUT SHAME OR GUILT!
- Primitive emotions, savage passions, nature in the raw!
- It's where the girls are BARE-ing... the guys are DAR-ing and the surf's RARE-ing to GO-GO-GO
- Catherine Bailey Struthers III
- Melinda Marquand
- Miss Amity Babb
- Dr. Serena Standish
Unlikely Spouses & Boyfriends
- Prince Aly Khan
- Clark Gable
- Gene Kelly
- Danny Kaye
- Phil Silver
Whiffs of Scandal
- Trouble with the IRS over back taxes
- Was sued for failing to keep up with the payments on a fancy Corona del Mar home
- Got involved with loan sharks (totally unbeknownst to her very rich husband) to support her expensive lifestyle
- Her father was a state senator, international president of the Lions Club, and a judge advocate in the Nuremberg trials
- Once turned down a lunch date with JFK
- Northwestern grad (fellow students included Cloris Leachman, Paul Lynde, Charlton Heston, and Patricia Neal)
- Known for snooty socialite roles
- Lost out to Janet Leigh for the role in Psycho
- Owned paintings by Pissarro, Renoir, and Toulouse-Lautrec
- Convert to Judaism
- Ended up as a born-again Christian and something of a recluse
Where can I learn more?
- Finding My Way (her autobio)
- Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen
- Brian’s Drive-In Theater