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Setting the Stage

$1 million planned gift from late actress supports performing arts at UNLV

Mary Healy publicity photo from 1939

Mary Healy publicity photo, 1939

If Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world, then the late Mary Healy was entertainment royalty.

The longtime Las Vegas resident, who passed away in 2015, is perhaps best known for her long-spanning Broadway and Hollywood career, much of which was spent performing with her husband and fellow entertainer, Peter Lind Hayes. She did a little bit of everything, appearing in musicals like “Around the World in 80 Days,” films such as “Miracle on 34th Street” and “Star Dust,” and TV shows like the revue series “Inside U.S.A. with Chevrolet."

Another accomplishment to add to that impressive list: Healy created a million-dollar legacy at UNLV that will aid and inspire up-and-coming performers. In 2006, Healy drafted a gift plan that included an outright $500,000 gift to the College of Fine Arts for UNLV's Performing Arts Center and student development, and an additional $500,000 deferred gift through her estate.

"This is the largest gift made to the Performing Arts Center in the recent past, and we are extremely grateful," says Performing Arts Center co-director Lori James.

"The Center is a self-funded entity in the College of Fine Arts, and as such we have many areas that can benefit from this exceptional gift. We are excited to explore how to best use the funds, including updating our equipment and furniture, some of which is the original equipment from when our facility opened in 1976."

Mary Healy at gallery naming ceremony, 2007

Mary Healy at gallery naming ceremony, 2007

In recognition of Ms. Healy's generosity and her passion for music, dance, film, theatre, and art, the gallery inside the Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall was named the Peter Lind Hayes and Mary Healy Gallery.

Being a major donor isn't the only leading role Healy has played at UNLV. In 2006, she was inducted into the university's Nevada Entertainer/Artist Hall of Fame as a "much beloved member of the community and a grand patron of the arts." She was honored along with singer Wayne Newton, producer Fred Apcar, and other local figures.

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