Allison Hayes was a Pisces, but she was no cold fish. She was born Mary Jane Hayes on March 3, 1930 in Charleston, West Virginia. At the age of 19 she represented Washington DC in the Miss America pageant. The visibility the contest provided felt good and the celebrity it created prompted her appearance in several DC area television shows. A couple years later the lovely young redhead packed up her bags and headed west to seek fame and stardom in Hollywood. As fate and determination would have it, her wishes would at least partially come true.

By 1954 the young starlet had changed her name to Allison Hayes and promptly signed a contract with Universal Pictures. Her time with the studio didn’t last terribly long, but it definitely opened the door and the roles started coming. Her fantastic shape and redheaded gorgeousness got her lots of celluloid window dressing credits. Some of her early film appearances include ‘Chicago Syndicate’ (1955), ‘Sign of the Pagan’ (1954), ‘So This Is Paris’ (1954), ‘Francis Joins the WACS’ – with Mamie Van Doren and Zazu Pitts (!) (1954), ‘The Purple Mask’ (1955), ‘The Prodigal’ with Lana Turner (1955), ‘Count Three and Pray’ (1955), ‘Double Jeopardy’ (1955), and ‘Mohawk’ (1956), etc.

Later in 1956 Allison would take her first journey into the world of low budget horror. At Sunset Studios she played a shapely and gorgeous witch named Livia in Roger Corman’s ‘The Undead’. Despite it’s hokey premise today you’ve got to love any film that features a Witches’ Sabbath and co stars Richard Devon as Satan. It also starred Richard Garland, Dorothy Neumann, Pamela Duncan, Dick Miller, and Billy Barty (as Livia’s familiar!). Allison followed this bit of witchcraft/bitchcraft with another bad girl of black magic performance. In ‘The Disembodied’ (1957) she starred as Tonda, the no-good floozy at the center of this tale of voodoo and supernatural adultery. Naughty Tonda – How naughty you ask…well, she wears skimpy costumes and dances to drums! Anyway, Tonda casts a vile spell on her much older husband and has her mascara-ed sights set on another man – Paul Burke (Yup, as in ‘The Valley of the Dolls’).   As you may guess by that premise Allison gets her own karmic comeuppance, meeting a tragic end in the movie by being (ahem) impaled. Next up our low-budget low-cut B&W vixen was cast in the role of Mona in ‘Zombies of Mora Tau’ (1957). The deliciously clad Allison once more plays a wife with eyes for another man and if you’ve ever seen a movie, any movie, you can probably guess what will happen to a very bad girl on a zombie island! You guessed it! Horror of horrors -- zombified in a negligee!!! With this credit tucked deep in her ample cleavage Allison promptly leapt into ‘The Unearthly’ (1957) for Republic Pictures. Due for a change of pace, Allison plays (gasp!) a good girl – a good girl named Grace no less – in this fright fest! This mad scientist treat (he experiments with glands and has freaks locked in his basement) stars John Carradine as the mad scientist (naturally) and Tor Johnson as his looney assistant Lobo. Rounding out the campy cast were Myron Healey, and Sally Todd.

Just when it seemed she could never outdo herself Allison went and did just that!

Allison’s next role was to become her most famous. Most moviegoers will remember (or at least recognize) Allison Hayes as the gigantic Nancy Archer in the campy feminist epic ‘Attack of the 50 ft. Woman’ (1958). Sure it’s about a woman grown to mammoth proportions after exposure to a UFO. However, even more interesting is that this is one of the first films where the woman puts her foot down (literally) over the issue of spousal abuse. It’s hard not to thrill/chuckle as Allison stomps about town in a bathing suit (and a delicious rage) looking for that no good husband of hers (William Hudson) who is making time with the town tramp former Playboy playmate Yvette Vickers (as Honey Parker). My favorite moment is probably when she crushes the nightclub. Now that’s entertainment!

Where can you go after a role like that? Sadly, the only way is down. Allison only made two more horror movies. First off was ‘The Hypnotic Eye’ in 1960 with Merry Anders, Jacques Bergerac, and Marcia Henderson. In the movie Allison steals the show (granted, it’s petty theft!) as Justine (assistant to the evil hypnotist Bergerac) by ripping off her FACE and spouting the line “You like my face? Then you may have it.” How is that for sassy! Allison’s final horror venture came in 1963 with her mostly boring role as Donna – a lab assistant - in the mostly boring horror-snorer ‘The Crawling Hand’ with Kent Taylor and Peter Breck. In this flick the severed hand of an astronaut killed when a spaceship returns to earth goes on a killing spree. Yikes! The real injustice in this movie is that Allison is relegated to a nothing role, even worse she is clad boring bosom covering clothes. What were they thinking?

Two years later Allison made her final film appearance with a small role in the Elvis Presley movie ‘Tickle Me’ (1965) as a concert patron who drunkenly lunges and grabs for Elvis while he is performing. Very sad.

She not only did movies, but some TV as well. Some of this charismatic actresses’ television credits include roles on ‘Gomer Pyle USMC’, ‘Bat Masterson’, ‘The Untouchables’, and ‘Rawhide’ to name a few. Allison also took great pride in guest starring numerous times on the original ‘Perry Mason’ series. She was a close friend of Raymond Burr.

Allison died in 1977, just a few days shy of her 47th birthday. She had been taking a doctor prescribed calcium supplement for years not knowing that it contained extremely high levels of lead. As a result of the dangerously elevated lead content she eventually developed leukemia. Allison battled the deadly disease for a long and painful 13 years – using only alternative methods of treatment. The illness forced movieland’s favorite giantess into early retirement and kept her house bound much of the time. Allison Hayes is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City.