Joseph Hayes, Tony Award-Winning Playwright, Dead at 88

Obituaries   Joseph Hayes, Tony Award-Winning Playwright, Dead at 88 Joseph Hayes, a playwright, novelist and producer who won the 1955 Tony Award for Best Play, for his suspenseful melodrama The Desperate Hours, died Sept. 11 in St. Augustine, FL, according to The New York Times.

Directed by Robert Montgomery (who won a Tony for Best Direction), The Desperate Hours was based on Mr. Hayes' novel of the same name, and starred Karl Malden, Mary Orr, Paul Newman and George Grizzard, among others.

The property was also made into a film, directed by William Wyler, and starring Humphrey Bogart in a villainous role.

An Indiana native, Mr. Hayes, 88, died in a Florida nursing home of complications from Alzheimer’s disease, the Times reported.

Mr. Hayes' other Broadway plays include the mystery Calculated Risk (1962), which he also produced; and Leaf and Bough (1949). He also produced and directed the comedy The Happiest Millionaire (1956).

His most famous work, The Desperate Hours, concerned a suburban family taken hostage by escaped convicts. Fredric March played the homeowner patriarch in the film version. A Michael Cimino remake of the picture was made in 1990. Mr. Hayes also wrote plays and books with his wife, Marrijane, who died in 1991. They penned 1962's "Bon Voyage!," a picture for Disney. Fred MacMurray starred.

Survivors include sons Daniel Hayes, of Georgetown, FL, Gregory, of Atlanta, and Jason, of Juneau, Alaska; and five grandchildren.