Who Is That Woman?

One of Dad’s stories was about his older brother, Tony. Tony worked as a guide for Intourist, which was the official state travel agency founded by Joseph Stalin and staffed by the Soviet secret police. Suffice it to say that this was not a good place to work.

When the American actress, Helen Hayes, came to the Soviet Union, Tony was her tour guide. Dad said so.  In true Dad fashion, he wrote to Ms. Hayes for verification of this story and she did write back to him in 1985.

Helen Hayes Note to Dad

I found this photo in Dad’s album. Could the woman in the photo be Helen Hayes? This would be somewhere around 1938-1939. What are your thoughts?

Helen Hayes

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About kjw616

I am a genealogy detective. I have already written one book about my Irish family's journey from 19th century Ireland to the United States- a family history sprinkled with personal anecdotes. My second book was intended to be a similar story about my Russian ancestors. Instead, it turned into a tale of just my father's immediate family. It is the tale of what happens when 6 children from New Jersey are moved to the Soviet Union by their Russian-born parents during the Great Depression. It details who lives, who dies, and who is able to return to NJ during a time when leaving the USSR was not an easy endeavor, particularly during World War II and the Cold War. It is my hope that those interested in history during this time period will find this story fascinating as well as those fellow amateur family historians who will learn some of the tools such as ancestry.com, visits to the National Archives, and local libraries I used to uncover this story.
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One Response to Who Is That Woman?

  1. I think it might well be her – I googled Helen Hayes+1930s and had a look at the photos that came up. These were mostly either stills from movies or glossy studio portraits so hard to compare but the structure of those cheekbones is fabulous and that seemed to match. What a wonderful photo and handwritten note to have. Lucky you.

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