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Kay Kendall
Kay Kendall
(21 May 1927 – 6 September 1959) was an English actress and comedian.[2] She began her film career in the musical film London Town (1946). Although the film was a financial failure, Kendall continued to work regularly until her appearance in the comedy film Genevieve (1953) brought her widespread recognition.[3] Most prolific in British films, Kendall also achieved some popularity with American audiences, and won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for her role in the musical-comedy film Les Girls (1957).[4] She began a romantic relationship with actor Rex Harrison
Rex Harrison
after they appeared together in the comedy film The Constant Husband
The Constant Husband
(1955) and they were married in 1957. Harrison learned from Kendall's doctor that she had been diagnosed with myeloid leukaemia, a fact that was kept from Kendall, who believed she was suffering from an iron deficiency. The actor cared for Kendall until her death at the age of 32.[5]

Contents

1 Early life 2 Career

2.1 Critical assessment

3 Personal life 4 Death 5 Legacy 6 Complete filmography 7 See also 8 References 9 External links

Early life[edit] She was born Justine Kay Kendall
Kay Kendall
McCarthy,[6] at Stanley House, Hull Road, in Withernsea, a coastal resort in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. Kendall's father was Terrence "Terry" McCarthy (a.k.a. Terry Kendall), the vaudevillian son of music hall star Marie Kendall. Kay's mother was the former Gladys Drewery.[7] She had two elder siblings, Terrence Justin "Terry" Kendall McCarthy (born 1923) and Patricia Kim "Pat" Kendall McCarthy (a.k.a. Kim Kendall, born 1925).[8] By her father's second marriage to his professional dancing partner, Dora Spencer, she had a younger half-brother, Cavan Spencer Kendall McCarthy (a.k.a. Cavan Kendall) (1942-1999).[9] Young Justine attended various schools, including St Leonard's (Brighton), St Margaret's (near Oban, Scotland), and the Lydia Kyasht
Lydia Kyasht
Dancing Academy (London).[10] Career[edit] Her first major screen role was in the 1946 musical London
London
Town, notable for being one of the costliest flops in British film history.[11] She co-starred with Petula Clark
Petula Clark
again in the drama film Dance Hall (1950), and was featured in a quick succession of minor films before achieving fame in Genevieve (1953).[2] She followed this up with the even more popular first film in the Doctor series, the comedy Doctor in the House
Doctor in the House
(1954) with her friend Dirk Bogarde.[12][5] She was under contract to the Rank Organisation but unhappy with the parts offered, turning down Value for Money (1955), As Long as They're Happy
As Long as They're Happy
(1955) and Doctor at Sea (1955).[13] She did appear in the drama Simon and Laura (1955) with Peter Finch; the comedy Abdulla the Great (1955) with Sydney Chaplin and Gregory Ratoff; and the epic historical film The Adventures of Quentin Durward (1955), with Robert Taylor and Robert Morley.[2] In October and November 1957, she appeared in two episodes of the short-lived American television series The Polly Bergen Show.[14] and also starred as herself in Series 3 episode 17 of The Phil Silvers Show
The Phil Silvers Show
on 17 January 1958.[15] In 1958 Kendall won a Golden Globe Award for her performance as Lady Sybil Wren in Les Girls – probably one of the best-known films of her career – the story of three showgirls in postwar Paris (with Mitzi Gaynor
Mitzi Gaynor
and Taina Elg).[4] The following year she starred opposite Harrison in the comedy The Reluctant Debutante.[16] Kendall died in 1959, aged 32, soon after completing her last film, the comedy Once More, with Feeling!
Once More, with Feeling!
(1960), starring opposite Yul Brynner.[14] Critical assessment[edit] "As they say about crime victims, Kay Kendall
Kay Kendall
was in the wrong place at the wrong time", wrote Rhoda Koenig, a critic, in The Independent in 2006. "In her case, the crime was a waste of talent. One of the most delightful of British actresses [...] few of her films gave her a chance to shine. A natural screwball heroine, Kendall was born too late for the 1930s comedies in which she would have been the equal of the scatty but scintillating Carole Lombard
Carole Lombard
or Claudette Colbert, and too soon for the naughtiness and absurdity of the 1960s .... Kendall was beautiful and funny. She was a true comedienne, unafraid to compromise her ladylike appearance with pratfalls, pop eyes and comic drunk scenes. Kendall could get away with such antics without looking vulgar.”[5] Personal life[edit] Early in her career, Kendall had a lengthy romance with actor Sydney Chaplin, the second son of actor Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin
by his second wife, actress Lita Grey. She also had affairs with a Swedish prince and grocery heir James Sainsbury and reportedly had a romance with the future Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.[17][18] In 1955 she starred opposite Harrison in The Constant Husband, and an affair soon followed. Harrison was married to actress Lilli Palmer
Lilli Palmer
at the time. However, when he learned from Kendall's doctor that she had been diagnosed with myeloid leukaemia, he and Palmer agreed to divorce so that he could marry Kendall and provide for her care.[19] Kendall was never told of her illness and ended up believing she merely had an iron deficiency.[5] As for the divorce, Palmer said she was not upset because she had a lover too. Palmer and Harrison planned to remarry after Kendall's death, but Palmer ended up falling in love with her companion, actor Carlos Thompson, and married him instead.[20] Death[edit] Kendall was buried in the churchyard of St John-at- Hampstead
Hampstead
Church, Hampstead, London.[1] In September 2013 her final resting place was restored by the Music Hall Guild of Great Britain and America.[21]

Kendall's grave in October 2016

Legacy[edit] Her life is explored in the biographical book The Brief, Madcap Life Of Kay Kendall
Kay Kendall
(2002) by Eve Golden and Kim Elizabeth Kendall.[22] Withernsea
Withernsea
Lighthouse is situated a stone's throw from where Kendall once lived. No longer in use as a lighthouse, it has been turned into a museum and has many items associated with her life and times.[23] The Kay Kendall
Kay Kendall
Leukaemia
Leukaemia
Fund supports scientific research into leukaemia.[24] On 6 September 2014, a blue plaque commemorating Kay Kendall
Kay Kendall
was erected by the Music Hall Guild of Great Britain and America and unveiled at her former home in Withernsea
Withernsea
to mark the 55th anniversary of her death.[25] Complete filmography[edit]

Fiddlers Three (1943) (uncredited) Champagne Charlie (1944) (uncredited) Dreaming (1945) (uncredited) Waltz Time (1945) Caesar and Cleopatra (1945) (uncredited) London
London
Town (1946) Night and the City
Night and the City
(1950) (uncredited) Dance Hall (1950) Happy Go Lovely
Happy Go Lovely
(1951) (uncredited) Lady Godiva Rides Again
Lady Godiva Rides Again
(1951) Wings of Danger
Wings of Danger
(1952) Curtain Up
Curtain Up
(1952) It Started in Paradise
It Started in Paradise
(1952) Mantrap (1953) Street of Shadows (1953) Genevieve (1953) The Square Ring
The Square Ring
(1953) Meet Mr. Lucifer
Meet Mr. Lucifer
(1953) Fast and Loose (1954) Doctor in the House
Doctor in the House
(1954) Quentin Durward (1955) Abdulla the Great (1955) The Constant Husband
The Constant Husband
(1955) Simon and Laura (1955) The Adventures of Quentin Durward
The Adventures of Quentin Durward
(1955) Les Girls
Les Girls
(1957) The Reluctant Debutante (1958) as Sheila Broadbent Once More, with Feeling!
Once More, with Feeling!
(1960)

See also[edit]

Biography portal England portal Film portal

List of British actors and actresses

References[edit]

^ a b Golden, Eve; Kendall, Kim Elizabeth (2002). The Brief, Madcap Life of Kay Kendall. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 978-0-8131-2251-9.  ^ a b c "Kay Kendall". Bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 26 January 2018.  ^ "BFI Screenonline: Kendall, Kay (1927-1959) Biography". Screenonline.org.uk. Retrieved 26 January 2018.  ^ a b "Kay Kendall". Goldenglobes.com. Retrieved 26 January 2018.  ^ a b c d "Kay Kendall: Britain's lost bombshell". Independent.co.uk. 10 February 2006. Retrieved 26 January 2018.  ^ Eve Golden (6 December 2013). The Brief, Madcap Life of Kay Kendall. University Press of Kentucky. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-8131-4655-3.  ^ "Orange and Magenta » From the Lighthouse". Thomasleejones.com. Retrieved 26 January 2018.  ^ Golden, Eve (5 December 2013). "The Brief, Madcap Life of Kay Kendall". University Press of Kentucky
University Press of Kentucky
– via Google Books.  ^ Golden, Eve (5 December 2013). "The Brief, Madcap Life of Kay Kendall". University Press of Kentucky
University Press of Kentucky
– via Google Books.  ^ "Reader". Reader.paperc.com. Retrieved 26 January 2018.  ^ " Kay Kendall
Kay Kendall
- Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos - AllMovie". AllMovie. Retrieved 26 January 2018.  ^ "BFI Screenonline: Doctor in the House
Doctor in the House
(1954)". Screenonline.org.uk. Retrieved 26 January 2018.  ^ "Glamor star strikes for better roles". The Australian Women's Weekly. National Library of Australia. 12 January 1955. p. 28. Retrieved 19 May 2012.  ^ a b Kay Kendall
Kay Kendall
on IMDb ^ "Bilko Stars Kay Kendall
Kay Kendall
(1958)". Bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 26 January 2018.  ^ "The Reluctant Debutante (1958)". Bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 26 January 2018.  ^ "US". Independent.co.uk. Retrieved 26 January 2018.  ^ "Orange and Magenta » From the Lighthouse". Thomasleejones.com. Retrieved 26 January 2018.  ^ "He watched a lover die rather than call for help, he drove two women to suicide, meet Rex 'the rotter' Harrison". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 26 January 2018.  ^ Fleming, E.J. (2005). Carole Landis: A Tragic Life in Hollywood. Jefferson NC: McFarland. p. 259. ISBN 978-0786422005. Retrieved 5 May 2017.  ^ "Kay Kendall's Grave Restored". The Music Hall Guild of Great Britain and America. Retrieved 22 September 2013.  ^ Golden, Eve (6 December 2013). "The Brief, Madcap Life of Kay Kendall". University Press of Kentucky
University Press of Kentucky
– via Google Books.  ^ Baxter, Dale (May 2008). "To the Lighthouse". BBC. Retrieved 30 August 2014.  ^ " Kay Kendall
Kay Kendall
Leukaemia
Leukaemia
Fund". Kklf.org.uk. Retrieved 26 January 2018.  ^ " Blue plaque
Blue plaque
for Kay Kendall, Genevieve star who died tragically young". Hull Daily Mail. 6 September 2014. Archived from the original on 7 September 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2014. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kay Kendall.

Kay Kendall
Kay Kendall
battle with leukaemia Kay Kendall
Kay Kendall
at Find a Grave Kay Kendall
Kay Kendall
on IMDb Kay Kendall
Kay Kendall
at the British Film Institute's Screenonline Withernsea
Withernsea
Lighthouse Museum

v t e

Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical

Judy Holliday
Judy Holliday
(1950) June Allyson
June Allyson
(1951) Susan Hayward
Susan Hayward
(1952) Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
(1953) Judy Garland
Judy Garland
(1954) Jean Simmons
Jean Simmons
(1955) Deborah Kerr
Deborah Kerr
(1956) Kay Kendall
Kay Kendall
/ Taina Elg
Taina Elg
(1957) Rosalind Russell
Rosalind Russell
(1958) Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe
(1959) Shirley MacLaine
Shirley MacLaine
(1960) Rosalind Russell
Rosalind Russell
(1961) Rosalind Russell
Rosalind Russell
(1962) Shirley MacLaine
Shirley MacLaine
(1963) Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews
(1964) Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews
(1965) Lynn Redgrave
Lynn Redgrave
(1966) Anne Bancroft
Anne Bancroft
(1967) Barbra Streisand
Barbra Streisand
(1968) Patty Duke
Patty Duke
(1969) Carrie Snodgress (1970) Twiggy
Twiggy
(1971) Liza Minnelli
Liza Minnelli
(1972) Glenda Jackson
Glenda Jackson
(1973) Raquel Welch
Raquel Welch
(1974) Ann-Margret
Ann-Margret
(1975) Barbra Streisand
Barbra Streisand
(1976) Diane Keaton
Diane Keaton
/ Marsha Mason
Marsha Mason
(1977) Ellen Burstyn
Ellen Burstyn
/ Maggie Smith
Maggie Smith
(1978) Bette Midler
Bette Midler
(1979) Sissy Spacek
Sissy Spacek
(1980) Bernadette Peters
Bernadette Peters
(1981) Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews
(1982) Julie Walters
Julie Walters
(1983) Kathleen Turner
Kathleen Turner
(1984) Kathleen Turner
Kathleen Turner
(1985) Sissy Spacek
Sissy Spacek
(1986) Cher
Cher
(1987) Melanie Griffith
Melanie Griffith
(1988) Jessica Tandy
Jessica Tandy
(1989) Julia Roberts
Julia Roberts
(1990) Bette Midler
Bette Midler
(1991) Miranda Richardson
Miranda Richardson
(1992) Angela Bassett
Angela Bassett
(1993) Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis
(1994) Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman
(1995) Madonna (1996) Helen Hunt
Helen Hunt
(1997) Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow
(1998) Janet McTeer
Janet McTeer
(1999) Renée Zellweger
Renée Zellweger
(2000) Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman
(2001) Renée Zellweger
Renée Zellweger
(2002) Diane Keaton
Diane Keaton
(2003) Annette Bening
Annette Bening
(2004) Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon
(2005) Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
(2006) Marion Cotillard
Marion Cotillard
(2007) Sally Hawkins
Sally Hawkins
(2008) Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
(2009) Annette Bening
Annette Bening
(2010) Michelle Williams (2011) Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence
(2012) Amy Adams
Amy Adams
(2013) Amy Adams
Amy Adams
(2014) Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence
(2015) Emma Stone
Emma Stone
(2016) Saoirse Ronan
Saoirse Ronan
(2017)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 17412442 LCCN: n97861637 ISNI: 0000 0000 3761 5296 GND: 124170935 SUDOC: 101545681 BNF: cb13940252r (data) BN

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