He was romantically involved with English playwright Noel Coward, as recorded in Coward's diaries.
In 1938 he became the first of many actors to portray the character of Simon Templar, the Saint.
One son, Dana, with third wife, June Hanson. Dana died in January 2007.
While a Captain in the Marine Corps (of the photographic section) he and his unit filmed the Battle of Tarawa. It was the first time in the history of amphibious warfare that photographers had landed to take a beachhead with the initial assault waves. The battle was one of the bloodiest in Marine history - - three days of fighting cost the Marines nearly 3,000 casualties. Over 4,500 Japanese were killed. The carnage Capt. Hayward saw would lead to depression and a complete physical collapse.