“PRETTY PENNY” – FORMER NYACK HOME OF HELEN HAYES AND CHARLES MACARTHUR – WILL BE RECOGNIZED AS ROCKLAND COUNTY’S FIRST LITERARY LANDMARK™
Celebratory Events Planned for October
Nyack – “Pretty Penny” has been designated as Rockland County’s first Literary Landmark™, honoring the late Helen Hayes and Charles MacArthur, owners of “Pretty Penny” from 1932-1993. It is the first such landmark recognizing two honorees at one location. Literary Landmarks™ is a program of United for Libraries, a Division of the American Library Association. The Literary Landmarks™ Register, The Empire State Center for the Book, and the Pretty Penny Literary Landmark Committee will celebrate Hayes and MacArthur and the new designation with three events.
The first event will be on Friday, October 7 at 8 p.m. at the Nyack Center, when Rivertown Film Society will present Helen Hayes on Film: When the First Lady of Broadway Conquered Hollywood. This evening of film clips and discussion, sponsored by Wright Bros. Realty, will be presented by the film historian John DiLeo. DiLeo charts Hayes’s natural affinity for film acting and her progression from young leading lady to senior character actress. Aided by film clips spanning more than four decades, this is a cinematic celebration of the singular artistry and enduring legacy of Helen Hayes. As a bonus, the program will include clips from film versions of two stage classics—The Front Page and Twentieth Century—cowritten by Charles MacArthur and the couple’s friend and neighbor Ben Hecht. Tickets will be available at www.RivertownFilm.org.
The second event will be on Saturday, October 8 at 3 p.m. at “Pretty Penny,” when Joyce Bulifant, (former daughter-in-law of Hayes and MacArthur and television star) and the families of Helen Hayes and Charles MacArthur will host “Memories of Pretty Penny”, followed by the official dedication of the Literary Landmark™ Plaque. A champagne reception will follow. Space is limited at this outdoor event. Pre-paid reservations can be made at www.RocklandHistory.org.
The third and final event will be on Saturday, October 8 at 8 p.m. at the First Reformed Church, Nyack, when ArtsRock will present “Remembering Helen Hayes with Love!” a live and in-person show by Joyce Bulifant, with Bryon Sommers on piano. Bulifant will make a rare stage appearance with her one-person show filled with music, images, and personal stories about her mother-in-law, Nyack’s own Helen Hayes. The show will be followed by a Q&A with Joyce Bulifant, hosted by Richard Skipper. Tickets are available at www.ArtsRock.org.
Writer and actress Helen Hayes (1900-1993) and her husband Charles MacArthur (1895-1956) settled into their gracious home in 1932 and named it Pretty Penny. Hayes, known as the First Lady of the American Theatre, lived at Pretty Penny for over six decades writing several best-selling books including “On Reflection,” “Loving Life,” and her autobiography “My Life in Three Acts.” She was the first woman to be honored with an Emmy, Grammy Oscar, and Tony Award (EGOT). Two Broadway theaters have been named in her honor. In addition to her stellar career in the arts, the NYS Rehabilitation and Research Hospital in Haverstraw, NY, was renamed in honor of Helen Hayes in 1974. Ms. Hayes was appointed to the hospital’s Board of Visitors in 1944 by Governor Thomas E. Dewey and served for 49 years until her death.