Margaret Hayes (born Florette Regina Ottenheimer; December 5, 1916 – January 26, 1977) was an American film, stage, and television actress.
Hayes was born in Baltimore, Maryland (some sources say Pottsville, Pennsylvania). Her father was Jack Lewis Ottenheimer, a “musician, theatrical man and joke book writer.” (Some sources say that he was a real estate broker.) While a student at Forest Park High School, she joined the Emerson Cook Stock Company to gain more acting experience.
She entered Johns Hopkins University to become a nurse, but stuck to her dramatic ambitions. At the school, she joined “The Barnstormers”, a theatrical organization, becoming the first female member of that group.
Using the name Dana Dale, Hayes found work as a model, “featured in the best cigarette, auto and fashion advertisements.
Her test for the role of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind was unsuccessful, but she received a movie contract anyway.
Publicists at her studio recommended Dana Edwards as a better name for movies, so she began using it. Eventually, she changed to Margaret Hayes for public purposes and Maggie Hayes to her friends.
Hayes’ initial contract was with Warner Bros.. Having little success there, she signed with Paramount Pictures.
Hayes was often billed as Maggie Hayes in her film credits. She is perhaps best known for her role as Lois Judby Hammond in the 1955 Glenn Ford film Blackboard Jungle.
In 1956, she guest-starred as Dora Hand in three episodes of The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp. She appeared in the episode “The San Saba Incident” (October 18, 1957) of Trackdown, playing a female convict, named Abby Lindon.
Hayes’s films included The Glass Key, Sullivan’s Travels and Good Day for a Hanging. In 1958, in the film Damn Citizen, Hayes played opposite Keith Andes in the role of a real person, Dorothy Maguire Grevemberg, the wife of the crusading Louisiana State Police superintendent Francis Grevemberg.
She made four guest appearances on CBS’s Perry Mason. In 1961, she portrayed the part of Mrs. North in the episode “Incident of the Night on the Town” on CBS”s Rawhide.
After marrying Herbert Bayard Swope in 1946, Hayes temporarily retired from acting and turned to journalism, eventually becoming assistant fashion editor for Life magazine.
In her later years, Hayes lived in Palm Beach, Florida, and was the host of a daily radio talk show on WPBR.
She had one child, a daughter Nan, born in 1937, from her brief first marriage. She subsequently married actor Leif Erickson on June 12, 1942, eloping with him to Minden, Nevada. They separated 28 days later, and Hayes received a divorce October 2, 1942.
She married a third time, to producer Herbert B. Swope, Jr., in 1947. The couple had a daughter, Tracy Brooks Swope, who is also an actress. She and Swope divorced in 1973.
Hayes died January 25, 1977, aged 60, in Mount Sinai Medical Center & Miami Heart Institute in Miami Beach, Florida from liver cancer and hepatitis.