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>>

  • Ice Bucket Challenge made to Tioga Detectives

    Ice Bucket Challenge made to Tioga Detectives

    Friday, August 15 2014 5:38 PM EDT2014-08-15 21:38:12 GMT
    TIOGA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - In November of 2003, the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office lost one of its most devoted and hard working Detectives we have ever had. More >>
    TIOGA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - In November of 2003, the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office lost one of its most devoted and hard working Detectives we have ever had. More >>
  • Invest 96-L (8/20)

    Tropical Development Expected in the Western Atlantic Ocean

    Tropical Development Expected in the Western Atlantic Ocean

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 10:09 PM EDT2014-08-21 02:09:15 GMT
    Wednesday, August 208:45pmIn the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, there is One area that we are watching for possible development during the next 48 hours.Invest 96-L (Tropical Wave)An elongated area of low pressure is associated with a Tropical Wave and continues to produce moderate (and scattered, strong) thunderstorm activity. This disturbance is located about 500 miles East of the Windward Islands and Lesser Antilles. There is some development that is organizing with this system. T...More >>
    Wednesday, August 208:45pmIn the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, there is One area that we are watching for possible development during the next 48 hours.Invest 96-L (Tropical Wave)An elongated area of low pressure is associated with a Tropical Wave and continues to produce moderate (and scattered, strong) thunderstorm activity. This disturbance is located about 500 miles East of the Windward Islands and Lesser Antilles. There is some development that is organizing with this system. T...More >>
  • New details emerge about man searching for child for sex

    New details emerge about man searching for child for sex

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 5:51 PM EDT2014-08-20 21:51:54 GMT
    LEESVILLE, La. (KALB News Channel 5) -- We're learning more about the Leesville man arrested by State Police on Monday for attempting to purchase a child for sexual purposes.More >>
    LEESVILLE, La. (KALB News Channel 5) -- We're learning more about the Leesville man arrested by State Police on Monday for attempting to purchase a child for sexual purposes.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.