Melissa Hayden (born Mildred Herman, April 25, 1923, Toronto; died August 9, 2006, Winston-Salem, North Carolina) was a Canadian ballerina at the New York City Ballet. Hayden was born in Toronto as the second daughter of Jacob Herman and his wife Kate Weinberg, Jewish immigrants from Russia. The young Mildred was called Millie at home, a nickname she kept for the rest of her life. In the early 1940s, she moved to New York City to join the ballet corps at Radio City Music Hall. From 1945-47, she was a member of the American Ballet Theater; she joined the New York City Ballet shortly after its founding in 1948. She performed there many times with noted dancer Jacques d'Amboise. From 1955 until her retirement in 1973, Hayden was the prima ballerina of the New York City Ballet.
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