Stage and Screen Actress Mary Healy Dies at 96

Stage and Screen Actress Mary Healy Dies at 96

Mary Healy, a beautiful and celebrated entertainer whose career in film, television, stage and radio spanned five decades, died of natural causes on Tuesday, February 3rd in Los Angeles.

Ms. Healy was born in New Orleans on April 14, 1918. Crowned Miss New Orleans in 1935, she was then discovered by a 20th Century Fox talent scout, while singing at the historic Blue Room of the Roosevelt Hotel. She first appeared on screen in 1938 in Josetta, followed by an additional 14 films. She made her stage debut in 1945 on Broadway in the musical revue Count Me In, co-written by her lifelong friend Walter Kerr. Ms. Healy also appeared in Common Ground that same year. In 1946 she starred as Madam Aouda opposite Orson Welles in his Broadway extravaganza production of Around the World.

In 1939 she starred in and sang the title song of the film Star Dust. That same year she met Peter Lind Hayes while he was performing with his mother, vaudevillian Grace Hayes, at the Grace Hayes Lodge in North Hollywood. They married in l940 and performed nearly exclusively together until his death in 1998. They enjoyed great success on television: The Peter Lind Hayes Show, The Star of the Family, and the 1960 NBC sitcom Peter Loves Mary, as well as being frequent guests on various game shows including What's My Line? They also starred in the cult fantasy film The 5,000 Fingers of Dr.T (a Stanley Kramer production). Their 1958 Broadway comedy Who Was That Lady I Saw You With? was produced by Leland Hayward. For several years in the early 1960's the couple hosted a popular daily radio program on WOR in New York, broadcast from the basement of their New Rochelle home. The couple's memoir, "Moments to Remember with Peter and Mary -- Our Life in Show Business from Vaudeville to Video" by Peter Lind Hayes and Mary Healy was published in 2004.

Mary and her husband had long made their home in Las Vegas after headlining at the Sands Hotel 14 times over the years. In 2006 she was inducted into the Nevada Entertainment/Artist Hall of Fame at UNLV.

She is survived by her daughter, actress Cathy Lind Hayes, and her son, Peter Michael Hayes, as well as a grandchild.

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