Grace Hayes, who had aspirations of film stardom but ended up a prominent nightclub hostess in the 1940s and 1950s, died Wednesday at a convalescent home in Las Vegas. She was 93.
Forty years ago, Mrs. Hayes, mother of Peter Lind Hayes, operated the Las Vegas Strip's Red Rooster. Earlier she had operated the Grace Hayes Lodge in the San Fernando Valley.
In their heyday, the clubs catered to customers ranging from billionaire Howard Hughes to gangster Bugsy Siegel.
Miss Hayes lived in a ranch-style bungalow on the rear of the Las Vegas property, which now is being torn down to make way for a resort.
Miss Hayes married at age 17, sang in San Francisco nightclubs, appeared as a singing comedienne in vaudeville and gravitated to Hollywood in the 1930s. She made a handful of films, including "Rainbow Over Broadway," "Always Leave Them Laughing" and "Caged." She was seen as Mickey Rooney's mother in "Babes in Arms" in 1939.
The previous year, by selling some jewelry and borrowing the rest of the $8,000 needed, she opened the Grace Hayes Lodge.