Actor Al Pacino led mourners yesterday at
funeral services for James Hayden, who died of a heroin overdose last week
following a performance in a Broadway play in which he portrayed a junkie.
Hayden's sister, Frances, broke down a she read the epistle to the Mass for
the Dead before nearly 300 mourners in St. Sebastian Catholic Church on 57th
St. Woodside, Queens.
Pacino and actor J.J. Johnston sat together in the church. The two
co-starred with Hayden, 29. in "American Buffalo", at the Booth Theater.
Hayden played a drug addict in the production, a part which won him critical
The Rev. James Michael, who grew up with Hayden in Bay Ridge Brooklyn,
officiated at the Mass. Referring to Hayden as a his friend, Michael said.
"Our hearts have been ripped out and it hurts like hell... but Jimmy has only
gone through a transition. He is with God."
Michael said he knew of his friend's drug problem. "It developed about two
or three years ago," he said. Over the last year, the priest had been
counseling Hayden weekly.
Hayden, who was considered a rising star, was found dead in his West Side
apartment. He collapsed during a long distance phone cal he received from
his estranged wife, Barbara.
Mrs. Hayden phoned a doctor in Manhattan who called police. A hypodermic
needle, glassine bags and other drug paraphernalia were found on a kitchen
table, police said.