Mary Healy (entertainer)

Mary Healy (April 14, 1918 – February 3, 2015) was an American actress, singer, and variety entertainer. She performed often with her husband, Peter Lind Hayes, for over 50 years, in a succession of films, television and radio shows and on the stage. Healy appeared in four Broadway shows between 1942 and 1958, and her film appearances include Second Fiddle, Star Dust and Theodore Geisel's musical fantasy, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. In 2006 she was inducted into the Nevada Entertainment/Artist Hall of Fame at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Mary Healy
Healy in the Orson WellesCole Porter extravanganza Around the World (1946)
Born(1918-04-14)April 14, 1918
DiedFebruary 3, 2015(2015-02-03) (aged 96)
OccupationStage, film, television actress
Years active1937–1982
Peter Lind Hayes
(m. 1940; d. 1998)
ChildrenCathy Lind Hayes
Peter Michael Hayes


Healy in a 1939 publicity photo
Healy and Rudy Vallee in Second Fiddle (1939)
Healy and husband Peter Lind Hayes hosting The Tonight Show in 1962
Hayes and Healy with nightclub owner Sherman Billingsley, promoting the 1950 debut of the CBS-TV talk show, The Stork Club

Mary Healy was born on April 14, 1918, in New Orleans.[1] Crowned Miss New Orleans in 1935, Healy performed as a singer in the New Orleans area.[2] She made her first screen appearance in the 1938 musical comedy Josette.[3][4] In 1939 she had major film roles in Second Fiddle[5] and Star Dust, in which she sang the title song.[3]

That year she also met entertainer Peter Lind Hayes who, along with his mother, vaudevillian Grace Hayes, was performing in North Hollywood. Healy and Hayes were married from 1940 until his death in 1998. With few exceptions, she and her husband worked together exclusively.[3]

Healy made her stage debut in Count Me In (1942), opposite Charles Butterworth and Jean Arthur.[3][6] She starred as Mrs. Aouda in Orson Welles's 1946 Broadway production of Around the World in 80 Days, a role that she later reprised for The Mercury Summer Theatre of the Air radio adaptation of the musical play.[7]

Healy was a member of the regular cast of Hayes's CBS-TV series, Inside U.S.A. with Chevrolet (1949–50), a revue-style series that producer Arthur Schwartz based on his successful Broadway show, Inside U.S.A.[8]:359–360 Healy and Hayes were the first to sing the commercial jingle, "See the USA in Your Chevrolet", which later became a signature song for Dinah Shore.[9]

Among the couple's other joint ventures on television were The Stork Club (1950), a CBS interview program;[8]:718 NBC's The Peter Lind Hayes Show (1950–51), a live situation comedy in which they played themselves on a set matching their actual New Rochelle home;[8]:594 the second season of the CBS variety show, Star of the Family (1951–1952);[8]:594 and the NBC sitcom Peter Loves Mary (1960–61), in which they played a show business couple with two children who are adjusting to suburban life.[8]:594[10] Healy and Hayes were among the substitute hosts of The Tonight Show in 1962, between Jack Paar's departure and Johnny Carson's arrival,[8]:771 and they were regular substitute hosts on Arthur Godfrey's TV programs.[11] They were frequent guest panelists and once were the mystery guests on the long-running quiz show What's My Line?[1] The couple were also celebrity contestants on the TV game show Password.

Healy and Hayes appeared in the cult fantasy film The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. (1953) and the Broadway comedy Who Was That Lady I Saw You With? (1958), written by Norman Krasna.[12]

During the 1960s, they starred in a breakfast conversation show on New York radio station 710 WOR. WOR set up equipment in their house in suburban New Rochelle, New York so that they could broadcast on weekday mornings from their home.[1][13]

Over the years Healy and Hayes headlined on 14 occasions at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas.[3] The couple published a memoir, Twenty-Five Minutes from Broadway, in 1961.[1] Healy self-published a second book, Moments to Remember with Peter and Mary — Our Life in Show Business from Vaudeville to Video, in 2004.[14] In 2006 she was inducted into the Nevada Entertainment/Artist Hall of Fame at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.[15]

Personal lifeEdit

Healy and Hayes were the parents of two adopted children – a son, Peter Michael Hayes,[16] and a daughter, actress Cathy Lind Hayes.[17] Healy died of natural causes February 3, 2015, in the California city of Calabasas, ten weeks before her 97th birthday.[3]

Select filmographyEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1938 Josette Uncredited Film debut[3]
1938 Thanks for Everything Uncredited [18]
1939 Second Fiddle Jean Varick [18]
1939 20,000 Men a Year Joan Marshall [18]
1939 Elsa Maxwell's Hotel for Women Vocalist [18]
1940 Star Dust Mary Andrews [18]
1940 He Married His Wife Doris [18]
1941 Hard Guy Julie Kavanaugh [18]
1941 Ride, Kelly, Ride Entertainer [18]
1941 Zis Boom Bah Mary Healy With Peter Lind Hayes and his mother Grace Hayes[18]
1942 Strictly in the Groove Sally Monroe [18]
1942 The Yanks are Coming Rita Edwards [18]
1953 The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. Heloise Collins With Peter Lind Hayes; co-written by Theodore Geisel[18]


  1. ^ a b c d McFadden, Robert D. (February 4, 2015). "Mary Healy, Actress and Singer, Dies at 96". The New York Times. Retrieved February 5, 2015.
  2. ^ Lentz III, Harris (March 2015). "Obituaries". Classic Images (477): 57.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Stage and Screen Actress Mary Healy Dies at 96". February 4, 2015. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  4. ^ "Mary Healy". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved February 5, 2015.
  5. ^ "Second Fiddle". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved February 5, 2015.
  6. ^ "Count Me In". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 2015-02-05.
  7. ^ "Around the World in Eighty Days, 1946 Mercury Summer Theatre". Internet Archive. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (1988). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946–Present (4th ed.). New York: Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-345-35610-1.
  9. ^ "The Dinah Shore Show Radio Log". The Digital Deli. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  10. ^ "Peter Loves Mary". Retrieved February 5, 2015.
  11. ^ no byline (January 1, 1954). "Radio-TV Notes". The New York Times. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  12. ^ Staff, IBDb. "Who Was That Lady I Saw You With?". Retrieved February 5, 2015.
  13. ^ "Peter Lind Hayes". Archived from the original on January 25, 2013. Retrieved February 5, 2015.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  14. ^ "LAT". Retrieved February 7, 2015.
  15. ^ "UNLV". Retrieved February 7, 2015.
  16. ^ "Overview for Peter Lind Hayes". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved February 5, 2015.
  17. ^ "Cathy Lind Hayes". Retrieved February 5, 2015.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Mary Healy". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved 2015-02-07.

External linksEdit