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Linda Hayes's Geni Profile

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Rachel Fern Crosby (Mendenhall)

Birthplace: Sac City, Sac County, Iowa, United States
Death: December 19, 1995 (77)
Palm Desert, Riverside County, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Joseph Ralph Mendenhall and Frances Ella Mendenhall
Wife of Lou Crosby
Mother of Cathy Lee Crosby; Private and Linda Lou Crosby

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Linda Hayes

From IMDB:

Linda Hayes was born on October 11, 1918 in Sac City, Iowa, USA as Rachelle Mendenhall. She was an actress, known for Millionaires in Prison (1940), Conspiracy (1939) and I'm Still Alive (1940). She was married to Frank W. Walker, Lou Crosby and Dominic Germano. She died on December 19, 1995 in Palm Desert, California, USA.

From Des Moines Register:

Linda Hayes reached her goal of becoming a movie star. Then she put her career aside because her family came first.

Family "was the most important thing in life" to Hayes, says her daughter, actress Cathy Lee Crosby, best known for television's "That's Incredible" series.

"She loved family gatherings," Crosby says.

Crosby adds that her mother "always loved the arts."

Hayes was born Rachelle (pronounced Rachel) Mendenhall on a farm near Sac City. She was 10 when her father, Cox Mendenhall, saw his corn harvests diminishing and moved his family to Pasadena, Calif., where he became a well-known car dealer.

Crosby says that when the Mendenhalls relocated, they took with them Iowans' "old-fashioned values" and "steadfastness."

Rachelle acquired dramatic training at the Pasadena Playhouse and worked in stock theater.

Taking the name Germano from a brief first marriage, she entered a "Gateway to Hollywood" contest held by RKO Studios film producer Jesse Lasky, who was looking for new stars.

The 5-foot-5 actress, with gray eyes and chestnut hair, won a regional contest over 100 others, lost the final competition, then ended up with an RKO contract anyway — and a new name.

A Des Moines Register headline of June 4, 1939, said: "Sac City Girl Steps Toward Film Stardom."

Hayes was leading lady to Iowa-born Kent Taylor in "I'm Still Alive" and Joe Penner in "Millionaire Playboy," both in 1940, and appeared with George Sanders in "The Saint in Palm Springs" (1941).

She also appeared in a number of Roy Rogers movies and started wrapping up her 17-movie career in 1942 with three of the cowboy's films, "Ridin' Down the Canyon," "Romance on the Range" and "South of Santa Fe."

Hayes reset her priorities after her second marriage, to well-known radio announcer Lou Crosby of the "Lum and Abner" series, who later was the announcer for "The Lawrence Welk Show."

The marriage produced two other daughters, actress Lucinda Sue Crosby and Linda Lou Crosby.

Hayes was an accomplished athlete, skilled at tennis, bowling and trapshooting, and won a state skeet-shooting title.

She and her husband loved outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing.

Hayes instilled in her daughters a strong competitive spirit. Cathy Lee Crosby says Hayes returned to Iowa two or three years before her death in 1995 to attend a reunion of family members.

Hayes died of complications of pneumonia at Palm Desert, Calif.

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Linda Hayes's Timeline

October 11, 1918
Sac City, Sac County, Iowa, United States
December 2, 1944
Age 26
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, CA, United States
December 19, 1995
Age 77
Palm Desert, Riverside County, California, United States