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John Michael Hayes

John Michael Hayes

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Also Known As: Died: November 19, 2008
Born: May 11, 1919 Cause of Death: natural causes
Birth Place: Worcester, Massachusetts, USA Profession: screenwriter, producer, screenwriting teacher, journalist

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Penned a host of scripts during the 1950s and 60s, many of them so-called "women's pictures", but is best remembered for his work on several witty Hitchcock films. Twice nominated for an Oscar ("Rear Window" 1954, "Peyton Place" 1957), Hayes had a string of respectable box office and occasional critical hits. His other Hitchcock collaborations include, "The Trouble With Harry" (1955), "To Catch a Thief" (1955) and the remake of "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (1956). His relationship with Hitch soured when the trades began referring to their projects as "Hitchcock-Hayes" films. Hitchcock was never crazy about sharing credit with anyone. In 1956 he asked Hayes to work for nothing on a film he owed Warner Bros., "The Wrong Man". When Hayes refused Hitchcock never spoke to him again. Hayes scripted such steamy outings as the garish Joan Crawford vehicle "Torch Song" (1953) and the Susan Hayward-Bette Davis sudser "Where Love has Gone" (1964). He also adapted several bestsellers for the screen that featured other legendary above-the-title Hollywood ladies: Lana Turner ("Peyton Place" 1957), Elizabeth Taylor ("Butterfield 8" 1960; for which she won her first Oscar), Carroll Baker ("The Carpetbaggers") and...

Penned a host of scripts during the 1950s and 60s, many of them so-called "women's pictures", but is best remembered for his work on several witty Hitchcock films. Twice nominated for an Oscar ("Rear Window" 1954, "Peyton Place" 1957), Hayes had a string of respectable box office and occasional critical hits. His other Hitchcock collaborations include, "The Trouble With Harry" (1955), "To Catch a Thief" (1955) and the remake of "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (1956). His relationship with Hitch soured when the trades began referring to their projects as "Hitchcock-Hayes" films. Hitchcock was never crazy about sharing credit with anyone. In 1956 he asked Hayes to work for nothing on a film he owed Warner Bros., "The Wrong Man". When Hayes refused Hitchcock never spoke to him again.

Hayes scripted such steamy outings as the garish Joan Crawford vehicle "Torch Song" (1953) and the Susan Hayward-Bette Davis sudser "Where Love has Gone" (1964). He also adapted several bestsellers for the screen that featured other legendary above-the-title Hollywood ladies: Lana Turner ("Peyton Place" 1957), Elizabeth Taylor ("Butterfield 8" 1960; for which she won her first Oscar), Carroll Baker ("The Carpetbaggers") and Deborah Kerr ("The Chalk Garden" both 1964), as well as stage plays, "The Matchmaker" (1958) and "The Children's Hour" (1961). After the disastrous Sophia Loren war drama "Judith" (1966), he was absent for fourteen years from theatrical features (1966-80), during which time he wrote TV-movies "Winter Kill" (1974) and "Nevada Smith" (1975), based on the 1966 Steve McQueen of the same title, which is an adaptation of "The Carpetbaggers". He returned to the big screen with the erotic feature "Champagne for Breakfast" (1980).

When his wife was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, Hayes returned to his native New England where he taught screenwriting at Dartmouth College. In 1994, he sold the script for "Iron Will", the story of a boy who earns his medical school tuition by training an odd bunch of mutts and entering them in a dogsled race, to Disney.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Nevada Smith (1975) Creator

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Thrill of Genius, The (1986) Himself
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Was a sickly child, spending much of his youth suffering with a series of illnesses
:
In early 1930s, family relocated from Michigan to New Hampshire and later Worcester, Massachusetts
:
While still in his teens, hired as a cub reporter at the Worcester <i>Telegram</i>
:
Left newspaper reporting to work as an editor and feature writer for radio
:
After college, worked as editor of daytime serials for Proctor and Gamble
:
Drafted into the US Army during WWII; spent part of time entertaining troops by recreating his father's vaudeville act
:
Moved to California after WWII to pursue career as a radio writer
:
Wrote for the radio series "The Whistler" and "Twelve Players"
:
Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis; hospitalized for a year and a half at a veterans' facility in Massachusetts
:
Returned to California
:
Hired as a writer on "My Favorite Husband", starring Lucille Ball
:
Wrote for radio shows including "Amos and Andy", "Alias Jane Doe" and "The Adventures of Sam Spade"
1952:
First produced screenplay, "Red Ball Express"
1954:
First script directed by Alfred Hitchcock, "Rear Window"; nominated for an Academy Award
1955:
Wrote two screenplays filmed by Hitchcock, "The Trouble With Harry" and "To Catch a Thief"
1956:
Last collaboration with Hitchcock, "The Man Who Knew Too Much"
1957:
Penned the adaptation of "Peyton Place"; earned second Oscar nomination
1958:
Adapted Thornton Wilder's play "The Matchmaker" into a feature film
:
Moved to Maine
1960:
Scripted "Butterfield 8", adapted from stories by John O'Hara
1962:
Began association with Joseph E Levine and Embassy Pictures
1964:
Had two screenplay adaptations produced, "The Chalk Garden" and "The Carpetbaggers"
1966:
Wrote the original story and the screenplay for the Western "Nevada Smith"
1973:
Penned the screenplay for "Walking Tall", the biography of Sheriff Buford Pusser; opted to remove name from credits
1974:
First script for a TV-movie, "Winter Kill" (ABC)
1975:
Produced and wrote pilot episode for a proposed NBC series based on "Nevada Smith"
1980:
First feature script after 14-year pause, "Champagne for Breakfast"
1988:
Wrote the teleplay for the CBS biopic "Pancho Barnes"
1988:
Taught film studies and screenwriting at Dartmouth College
1994:
Wrote "Iron Will"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Massachusetts State College: Amherst , Massachusetts -

Notes

He won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for the "Rear Window" script. When he showed Hitchcock the ceramic statuette, the ever dour director remarked, "You know, they make toilet bowls out of the same material." --From Premiere, February 1994.

There is an official Web site at www.johnmichaelhayes.com.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Mel Lawrence. Fashion model. Married on August 29, 1950.

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Rochelle Hayes. Born in August 1952 in California.
son:
Garrett Hayes. Born in February 1956 in California.
daughter:
Meredyth Hayes. Born in Maine.
son:
Corey Hayes. Born in Maine.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Writing with Hitchcock: The Collaboration of Alfred Hitchcock and John Michael Hayes" Faber and Faber

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