Helen Hayes was the second person after Richard Rodgers to complete the EGOT, winning all four top showbiz awards.
Fittingly, the “First Lady of the American Theater” won the first of her two Tony Awards for Best Actress at the inaugural ceremony of these kudos in 1947. She picked up the prize for her performance in Anita Loos’ “Happy Birthday” tying with Ingrid Bergman (“Joan of Lorraine”).
For the first two years of these awards — which were a tribute to Antoinette Perry, the founder of the American Theater Wing who died in 1946 — winners were given a scroll with the men also getting a money clip and cigarette lighter and the women a compact.
And that is what Nate D. Sanders Auction house has on the block Tuesday — a Tiffany sterling silver compact with the initials “HH” engraved on it while inside is the inscription: “THE AMERICAN THEATRE WING / Presents / Your ‘Tony’ / An / Antoinette Perry Award / 1946-47.”
Hayes won another Tony in 1958 for “Time Remembered” as well as an honorary one in 1980 — both those are the traditional medallion that spins. Neither of those is for sale.
Hayes took home the first of her two Oscars (Best Actress, “The Sin of Madelon Claudet”) in 1932, an Emmy in 1953 for a role in an installment of “Schlitz Playhouse of Stars” and a Grammy in 1976 for Best Spoken Word Recording (“Great American Documents”).
She won a second Oscar in 1970 for her supporting performance in “Airport.” While her estate is precluded from selling that one, it could part with the first Oscar as it predates the 1950 rule that gives the academy the right of first refusal.
Indeed, also up for auction Tuesday is the Oscar won by Hayes’ husband, Charles MacArthur, for his 1936 screenplay to “Scoundrel.”