Jeffrey Hayden, TV Director and Husband of Eva Marie Saint, Dies at 90

Jeffrey Hayden  and  Eva Marie Saint -Getty-H 2016
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He helmed episodes of such series as 'The Andy Griffith Show,' 'Peyton Place, 'The Donna Reed Show and '77 Sunset Strip.'

Jeffrey Hayden, a director, producer and writer for television, film and the theater and the husband of Oscar-winning actress Eva Marie Saint, has died. He was 90.

Hayden died on Christmas Eve at his home in Los Angeles after a year of cancer treatment, publicist Jeff Sanderson announced.

He was surrounded by his family, including Saint, his wife of 65 years; they met on the subway in New York City and were married in October 1951.

Hayden helmed episodes of such series as The Andy Griffith Show, Leave It to Beaver, Lassie, BatmanDennis the Menace, Please Don't Eat the Daisies, The Donna Reed Show, 77 Sunset Strip, Name of the Game, Route 66, Mannix, Peyton Place, Quincy, The Bold Ones, Ironside, Alias Smith & Jones, Cagney & Lacey, In the Heat of the Night and Magnum, P.I.

He also was an executive producer and director on the NBC daytime series Santa Barbara and helmed several praised "afterschool" specials for ABC.

Hayden also directed the 1957 MGM crime drama The Vintage, starring Michele Morgan, Pier Angeli, John Kerr and Mel Ferrer.

For the stage, Hayden directed his wife in Summer and Smoke, Desire Under the Elms, Candida, The Fatal Weakness, Duet for One, Death of a Salesman and The Country Girl. And they performed together in Love Letters and in Willa Cather’s On the Divide in theaters across the country.

Born in New York on Oct. 15, 1926, Hayden began his career at NBC after graduating from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He joined ABC as an associate director two years later and directed the first color specials for NBC, Lady in the Dark, starring Ann Sothern, and The Chocolate Soldier, starring Eddie Albert and Rise Stevens.

Hayden directed his wife and Richard Kiley in the prestigious Omnibus series on CBS and helmed the variety series The Bert Parks Show and the quiz show The Big Payoff.

In 1954, Hayden was chosen by producer Fred Coe to join the staff of The Philco Television Playhouse, where he directed live television dramas with such stars as James Dean, Walter Matthau and Paul Newman. His work attracted the attention of several Hollywood studios, and Hayden moved with his family to Los Angeles.

He wrote, produced and directed the 1991 documentary Primary Colors: The Story of Corita for PBS.

At the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles, Hayden directed The Sunshine Boys, Fences, Desire Under the Elms and, most recently, Sunset Baby in 2015.

A member of the Actors Studio in New York, Hayden was influenced by director Lee Strasberg. He became an active member of Actors Studio West in Los Angeles and was an original member of the DGA's first Creative Rights Committee, collaborating on the creation of the Bill of Creative Rights.

Hayden was awarded honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees from Bowling Green State University and the University of South Carolina. He was a Distinguished Professor of Theatre Arts at the University of North Carolina and a guest lecturer at the USC Film School, the UCLA Drama Department and at Vanderbilt University.

Saint, 92, won her Oscar for best supporting actress for her work in her debut feature, On the Waterfront (1954), dazzled audiences in North by Northwest (1959) and starred in such other notable films as A Hatful of Rain (1957), Raintree Country (1957) and Grand Prix (1966).

Survivors also include their children Laurette and Darrell and grandchildren Eli, Tyler, Molly and Stella.

Hayden's family requested that donations in his name be made to UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Attn: Melissa Brody; 8-950 Factor Building, Box 951780, Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1780.