Martha Hyer, Oscar-nominated actress, dies at 89 - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Martha Hyer, Oscar-nominated actress, dies at 89

Posted: Updated:

(CBS News) - Martha Hyer, an Oscar-nominated actress who starred alongside the likes of Frank Sinatra and Humphrey Bogart, and later gained notoriety for her extravagant lifestyle, has died. 

Hyer passed away May 31 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Raymond Lucero of Rivera Funeral Home told The Associated Press. She was 89.

Born in Fort Worth, Texas, the easygoing actress began her movie career with a small role in the 1946 movie "The Locket," but she got her big break in the 1954 comedy "Sabrina," starring Bogart and Audrey Hepburn. In that movie, she played the fiancée of a character played by William Holden. Hyer would later write in her memoir that Bogart was helpful in scenes with her.

She reportedly once turned down a date request from a young Sen. John F. Kennedy and began acquiring more high-profile roles during the 1950s.

In 1951, Hyer married director C. Ray Stahl, who directed "The Scarlet Spear," which starred Hyer. The marriage ended in divorce three years later.

She was nominated for an Academy Award as best supporting actress for her role in the 1958 "Some Came Running," starring Sinatra, Dean Martin and Shirley MacLaine. The movie was based on a James Jones novel and brought her critical acclaim for her role as a schoolteacher being wooed by writer and war veteran, played by Sinatra. Hyer lost the Oscar to Wendy Hiller for her role in "Separate Tables."

Hyer would later say that loss devastated her.

After the Oscar nod, Hyer would star in a number of American and foreign films that garnered little attention. But she gain notice for her expensive taste thanks to a 1959 Life magazine photo feature highlighting her Pissarro painting and showing her getting a massage dressed only in a towel. By the 1980s, Hyer found herself millions of dollars in debt to loan sharks.

In 1966, she married film producer Hal Wallis, who took her to New Mexico for the first time during the filming of "Red Sky at Morning." Hyer remained married to him until his death in 1986 and moved to Santa Fe shortly after.

"This country casts a spell, and it never lets go," she would later write about New Mexico.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reported that in her later years Hyer became reclusive, preferring to paint and hike.

Memorial services for Hyer were private, Lucero said.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • New meaning to "Labor Day" at the Zoo

    New meaning to "Labor Day" at the Zoo

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:50 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:50:30 GMT
    ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) -- Staff at the Alexandria Zoo are hard at work on Labor Day.The zoo is always open on the holiday. But, a couple of the exhibits need some extra care.That's because they're celebrating a different kind of "Labor Day" - the birth of several new baby animals.More >>
    ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) -- Staff at the Alexandria Zoo are hard at work on Labor Day.The zoo is always open on the holiday. But, a couple of the exhibits need some extra care.That's because they're celebrating a different kind of "Labor Day" - the birth of several new baby animals.More >>
  • U.S. carries out airstrikes against Isis in Northern Iraq

    U.S. carries out airstrikes against Isis in Northern Iraq

    Sunday, August 31 2014 10:14 PM EDT2014-09-01 02:14:05 GMT
    WASHINGTON D.C. (AP) - The U.S. military says it has carried out two more airstrikes against Islamic State fighters in northern Iraq.More >>
    WASHINGTON D.C. (AP) - The U.S. military says it has carried out two more airstrikes against Islamic State fighters in northern Iraq.
    More >>
  • Invest 99-L (Tropical Blog 9-1)

    Developing Tropical Wave over the Southern Gulf of Mexico

    Developing Tropical Wave over the Southern Gulf of Mexico

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:53 AM EDT2014-09-01 14:53:56 GMT
    Monday, September 19:47amIn the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, there is One area that we are watching for possible development during the next 48 hours.Invest 99-L (Tropical Wave)A Tropical disturbance over the Yucatan Peninsula Eastern Bay of Campeche is producinga lot of shower thunderstorm and is associated with a Tropical Wave. This system continues to show limited development as it moves over the warm water of the Southern GoM. Environmental conditions are favorable for develo...More >>
    Monday, September 19:47amIn the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, there is One area that we are watching for possible development during the next 48 hours.Invest 99-L (Tropical Wave)A Tropical disturbance over the Yucatan Peninsula Eastern Bay of Campeche is producinga lot of shower thunderstorm and is associated with a Tropical Wave. This system continues to show limited development as it moves over the warm water of the Southern GoM. Environmental conditions are favorable for develo...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KALB. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.