Image of Allison Hayes

Allison Hayes

Born Mary Jane Hayes in Charleston, West Virginia, she was in the class of 1948 at Calvin Coolidge High School. Hayes won the title of Miss District of Columbia. She went on to represent D.C. in the 1949 Miss America pageant. Although she did not win the competition, it provided her with the opportunity to work in local television before moving to Hollywood to work for Universal Pictures in 1954. Taking the name Allison Hayes, she played small roles in a handful of films at Universal for a couple of years. In 1955 she filed a lawsuit against the studio over injuries she sustained while filming her second picture, SIGN OF THE PAGAN. Universal released Hayes from her contract, and she was subsequently signed by Columbia Pictures. After appearing in a handful of Columbia films including COUNT THREE AND PRAY, MOHAWK, and WOLF DOG, Hayes was given in the lead role in ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WOMAN (1958). The film would eventually gain a cult following and become the performance for which she is best known. However, it did not escalate Hayes's career at the time. For several years she remained consistently employed in movies and on television (including an extended stint on the soap opera "General Hospital" and several appearances on her friend Raymond Burr's "Perry Mason" series). By the mid-1960s, though, Allison Hayes's career was all but over and she was beset by health problems. She would later admit that the pain of her illness led her to contemplate suicide, and that her symptoms were not taken seriously by doctors. After reading about metal poisoning in factory workers and recognizing the similarity of the symptoms described to her own, she hired a toxicologist to test a calcium supplement she'd been using for an extended time. The tests revealed that the pills contained an extreme amount of lead, and that Hayes was likely suffering from lead poisoning. She mounted a campaign to pressure the Food and Drug Administration into banning the supplement, but her condition deteriorated to the point of total incapacity. In 1976 she was diagnosed with leukemia, and began regular cancer treatment. Allison Hayes died February 26, 1977 at the UCSD Medical Center in La Jolla, California, just short of her 47th birthday. In a letter that arrived after her death, the FDA informed her of amendments being made to the laws governing the importation of nutritional supplements, largely as a result of her advocacy.


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Born:
Mar 6, 1930 In Charleston, West Virginia, U.S.A.
Movie/TV Credits:
39
First Appeared:
In the movie Francis Joins the WACS 1954-07-30
Latest Project:
Movie Ruby 1977-06-23
Known For
Poster of Counterplot
Poster of Lust to Kill
Poster of Wolf Dog
Poster of The Disembodied
Filmography
Movie Ruby The Fifty-Foot Woman (archive footage) 1977-06-23
Series The F.B.I. Unknown 1965-09-19
Series Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. Unknown 1964-09-25
Movie The Crawling Hand Donna 1963-09-04
Movie Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? Mrs. Grayson 1963-12-25
Series Ripcord Laura 1961-06-03
Series Acapulco Chloe 1961-02-27
Movie The Hypnotic Eye Justine 1960-02-27
Movie The High Powered Rifle Sharon Hill 1960-09-01
Series Surfside 6 Unknown 1960-10-06
Series Rawhide Unknown 1959-01-09
Movie Counterplot Connie Lane 1959-10-01
Series The Alaskans Unknown 1959-10-04
Series Shotgun Slade Franci Longo 1959-10-24
Movie Pier 5, Havana Monica Gray 1959-10-09
Movie Lust to Kill Sherry 1958-09-28
Movie Attack of the 50 Foot Woman Nancy Fowler Archer 1958-05-19
Movie Wolf Dog Ellen Hughes 1958-07-01
Movie Hong Kong Confidential Elena Martine 1958-10-01
Series 77 Sunset Strip Unknown 1958-10-10
Series Bat Masterson Unknown 1958-10-08
Movie The Undead Livia 1957-03-01
Movie Zombies of Mora Tau Mona Harrison 1957-03-01
Movie The Unearthly Grace Thomas 1957-06-28
Movie The Disembodied Tonda Metz 1957-08-25
Series Tombstone Territory Carole Thayer 1957-10-16
Series Richard Diamond, Private Detective Unknown 1957-07-01
Series Perry Mason Unknown 1957-09-21
Movie The Steel Jungle Mrs. Archer 1956-03-10
Movie Mohawk Greta Jones 1956-04-01
Series Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater Unknown 1956-10-05
Movie Gunslinger Erica Page 1956-06-01
Movie The Purple Mask Irene de Bournotte 1955-06-15
Series The Millionaire Unknown 1955-01-19
Movie Double Jeopardy Barbara Devery 1955-06-23
Movie Chicago Syndicate Joyce Kern, alias Sue Morton 1955-07-01
Movie Count Three and Pray Georgina Decrais 1955-10-01
Movie Francis Joins the WACS Lt. Dickson 1954-07-30
Movie Sign of the Pagan Ildico 1954-11-24