Her mother was an only moderately successful actress who used the stage name Katharine Clinton. She died in 1968, aged 63, and her body was immediately cremated; her ashes were disposed of according to her will, "how the undertaker sees fit. This site was designed with the .com. Francis spent the remainder of the 1940s on the stage, appearing with some success in State of the Union and touring in various productions of plays, old and new, including Windy Hill, backed by former Warner Bros. colleague Ruth Chatterton.  She attended Catholic schools when it was affordable, becoming a student at the Institute of the Holy Angels at age five. Having no living immediate family members, Francis left more than $1 million to The Seeing Eye, an organization in New Jersey, which trains guide dogs for the blind. For instance, Kay claimed to have attended the Ossining School for Girls from the time she was ten to fifteen, but no records of her attendance for these dates could be found (PL). With the start of World War II, Francis joined the war effort doing volunteer work, including extensive war-zone touring, first chronicled in the book Four Jills in a Jeep, written by fellow volunteer Carole Landis. Prior to her decision to go to the stage, Kay had done some modeling for Harper’s Bazaar and other notable portrait artists. Kay Francis came of age in the Roaring Twenties and relished the era's hedonistic pursuits. Kay Francis (1905-1968) was an American stage and film actress. This site features an online encyclopedia, biography, chronology, detailed information about her career on film, stage, radio, and television, and much more. By the films release, Warner Bros. had again changed titles to King of the Underworld while demoting Francis to second billing.. Keeping Kay Francis’ legacy alive since January 1, 2010. After this, she moved to supporting parts in other films, playing fast-talking, professional women – holding her own against Rosalind Russell in The Feminine Touch, for example – and mothers opposite rising young stars such as Deanna Durbin. By November 1905 the family had relocated to Santa Barbara, California, and then to Los Angeles soon after. Career-slipping movie star Carole Raymond (Kay Francis) buys in as a real estate partner of Jeff Caldwell (Paul Cavanagh). Paramount offered her a starting contract of $300 per week for five weeks. Her onscreen romances with William Powell, Ian Hunter, and George Brent were watched by millions, and she reigned as the highest paid employee on the Warner Bros. lot for three years (PL). Filmaffinity, tu página personalizada de votación y recomendación de películas y series After Francis' career skyrocketed at Warner Bros., she was loaned back to Paramount for Ernst Lubitsch's Trouble in Paradise (1932). 100 talking about this. 1938. , Francis frequently played long-suffering heroines, in films such as I Found Stella Parish, Secrets of an Actress, and Comet Over Broadway, displaying to good advantage lavish wardrobes that, in some cases, were more memorable than the characters she played—a fact often emphasized by contemporary film reviewers. Well, I get up at a quarter to six in the morning if I'm going to wear an evening dress on camera. She made her Broadway debut as the Player Queen in a modern-dress version of Shakespeare's Hamlet in November 1925. | Later Years, Death & Legacy.  From the years 1930 to 1937, Francis appeared on the covers of 38 film magazines, the most for any adult performer and second only to Shirley Temple, who appeared on 138 covers during that period.  After her release from Warners, she was unable to secure another studio contract. Start Now After her divorce from Dwight, Kay went on a European jaunt that seems to rival her similar venture in Transgression (1931). Eventually, Francis herself became dissatisfied with these vehicles, and began openly to feud with Warners, even threatening a lawsuit against them for inferior scripts and treatment. Create your website today. Remain The 'Best Of Friends' -- Actress Here For A Brief Vacation From Studio", "THE SCREEN; The New Criterion Makes Its Bow to Broadway With 'Give Me Your Heart,' Starring Kay Francis", "Kay Francis at Kircassock House, USO Tour, December 1942", "The Chicago Tribune | Kay Francis' Life & Career", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Kay_Francis&oldid=992564942, Internet Broadway Database person ID same as Wikidata, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Tanya Borodoff / Spot White / Marjorie Lang, 1910 United States Federal Census, Fort Lee, Bergen County, New Jersey, Election District 11, This page was last edited on 5 December 2020, at 23:09. With nothing else to lose, Kay Francis set her sights on acting. The Independent Theatre Owners Association paid for an advertisement in The Hollywood Reporter in May 1938 that included Francis, along with Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Fred Astaire, Mae West, Katharine Hepburn, and others, on a list of stars dubbed "box office poison". , "Katherine Gibbs" redirects here. “It was while we were making Gentlemen of the Press that I had my first real taste in studio jargon,” Kay later elaborated. Her onscreen romances with William Powell, Ian Hunter, and George Brent were watched by millions, and she reigned as the highest paid employee on the Warner Bros. lot for three years (PL).  In March 1938 Louella Parsons reported on their intended marriage and that Francis would retire from films, but by October the two were traveling separately and Francis was still acting; by December Barnekow had returned to Germany.. Find the perfect Kay Francis stock photos and editorial news pictures from Getty Images. 1971 Canadian Novelist G: Samuel Kensinger Francis: b. By 1935, Francis was one of the highest-paid actors, earning a yearly salary of $115,000; compared to Bette Davis, who would one day occupy Francis' dressing room, who made $18,000. Originally titled Lady Doctor, the film was shelved then retitled Unlawful for reshoots to beef up Bogart's role. Kay Francis is the star of the day (April 9) on Turner Classic Movies, which is presenting 10 of her films.. One of the biggest Hollywood names of the decade, Kay Francis is only rarely mentioned today. Kay Francis emerged as the Epitome of Glamour during the peak of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Francis was born Katharine Edwina Gibbs on January 13, 1905, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (CR) The Complete Kay Francis Career Record, Lynn Kear & John Rossman, 2008, McFarland. 2 VIDEOS | 546 IMAGES Kay Francis is possibly the biggest of the 'forgotten stars' from Hollywood's Golden Era, yet, for a while in the 1930s, she ranked as one of the most popular actresses, tagged the 'Queen of Warner Brothers', by 1935 earning a yearly salary … I can't wait to be forgotten.". As Belinda in Give Me Your Heart (1936) with co-stars George Brent and Roland Young, her performance had "reticence and pathos" and garnered welcoming reviews from The New York Times. Reviews were mostly favorable. Realizing that they had a possible star on their hands, Paramount’s Astoria Studio in Queens decided to transfer Kay out to Hollywood. However, Kay Francis’ years as an actress weren’t without complications, often being dampened by private tragedies and an emptiness she never filled. It was through her association with Cutting that Kay met the man who would become her first husband, James Dwight Francis (BF). (A rumor still persists that Joe Gibbs rode a horse through the lobby of a hotel and up the stairs to his wife’s room to greet his newborn.) While there, she was courted by Bill Gaston, a former athlete at Harvard and member of the Boston Bar Association. Cridà l'atenció amb la seva elegància en una època en què les dones estatunidenques tractaven d'emular, en el bon gust, a les dames parisenques. In the spring of 1925, Francis went to Paris to get a divorce. Kay Francis Celebrity Profile - Check out the latest Kay Francis photo gallery, biography, pics, pictures, interviews, news, forums and blogs at Rotten Tomatoes! The play flopped and Francis, though flat broke at the time, was unwilling to ask friends for a loan and instead was "vowing to crawl out of this mess herself. When I came on the set one of the electricians shouted: ‘Take the silk off that broad.’ I jumped and looked around to tell the man what I thought of him. Costar Walter Huston took immediate interest in Kay’s combination of legitimate talent and personality. Katherine Edwina "Kay" Francis (née Gibbs, January 13, 1905 – August 26, 1968) was an American stage and film actress. Costarring Chester Morris, Sylvia Sydney, and Douglass Montgomery, among others, reviews for Kay were largely favorable. At the end of the war, Four Jills was given a four-star production by 20th Century Fox, but still needed distribution through Monogram, and the decade found Francis virtually unemployable in Hollywood. Mother was on the stage and we were never in one place very long. The Lindsay Morison Stock Company employed Katherine in 1909, and Kay accompanied her mother throughout theater tours, growing up in hotels and boarding houses (CR). When I die, I want to be cremated so that no sign of my existence is left on this earth.  Sylvia Sidney, although a teenager at the time, had the lead in Crime, but later said that Francis stole the show. After months of partying in Europe, Kay Francis returned to New York on September 26, with the dreary thought of her future ahead of her. Carole Lombard, who had been a supporting player in Francis' 1931 film Ladies' Man, insisted Francis be cast in her film In Name Only (1939). In fact, Katherine had first envisioned a musical career for Kay, and was slightly disappointed when her daughter took up stenography.  It became a popular 1944 film of the same name, with a cavalcade of stars and Martha Raye and Mitzi Mayfair joining Landis and Francis to fill out the complement of Jills. After a brief period on Broadway in the late 1920s, she moved to film and achieved her greatest success between 1930 and 1936, when she was the number one female star at the Warner Brothers … website builder. 37 talking about this. Her mother had been born in Nova Scotia, Canada, and was a moderately successful actress and singer under the stage name Katharine Clinton. The 1910 census lists 1905 as her birth year. Francis, signed to a featured players contract with Paramount Pictures, also made the move and created an immediate impression. But Katherine was not a neglectful mother. Kay Francis (Oklahoma City, 13 de gener de 1905 – Nova York, 26 d'agost de 1968) fou una actriu de cinema estatunidenca.. Havent començat en el teatre, molt aviat destacà en els escenaris de Broadway. She made her Broadway debut as the Player Queen in a modern-dress version of Shakespeare's Hamlet in November 1925.  She had affairs with Maurice Chevalier and Raven Freiherr von Barnekow. “Crime” was Kay’s first major success of her career. But in recent decades, Kay’s memory has begun to resurface, with new fans being drawn to the woman that their parents and/or grandparents were captivated with back when her movies could have been seen in the theater. , Francis's career flourished at Paramount in spite of a slight, but distinctive rhotacism (she pronounced the letter "r" as "w") that gave rise to the nickname "Wavishing Kay Fwancis". But it was not easy, as Kay later elaborated: My childhood was a constantly shifting scene. Oscars Best Picture Winners Best Picture Winners Golden Globes Emmys San Diego Comic-Con New York Comic-Con Sundance Film Festival Toronto Int'l Film … Leaving the business world only weeks after she had entered it, Kay found work as an assistant to Juliana Cutting, one of the most elite party planners for the crème de la crème in Manhattan. Sources: After getting intimate in late April, Kay aborted three of Dwight’s children before they were married on December 4, 1922. | Her Fall and Rise| Francis claimed she got the part by “lying a lot, to the right p… Francis was raised in this hardscrabble theatrical circuit, often traveling with her mother. A short union, they were separated in early 1925, and were divorced on March 26 of that year.  MacKenna's Hollywood career foundered, having spent more time in New York, with the couple's amicable separation in 1933, and they divorced in 1934. (PL) Kay Francis: A Passionate Life and Career, Kear & Rossman, 2006, McFarland. Katherine and Kay last saw Joe Gibbs in New York in 1908; thereafter he remarried and died on January 20, 1919 of pneumonia (PL). One of the "right" people was producer Stuart Walker, who hired Francis to join his Portmanteau Theatre Company, and she soon found herself commuting between Dayton, Ohio; Indianapolis; and Cincinnati.  He saw her potential, and, along with director Millard Webb recommended Kay’s casting in Paramount’s latest all-talking picture, Gentlemen of the Press. But working on a film set was a learning experience Kay would never forget.  Francis and Gaston saw each other only on occasion; he was in Boston and Francis had decided to follow her mother's footsteps and go on the stage in New York. Kay was surprisingly unenthusiastic about her film debut, suggesting that from the beginning she had opted for a movie career only because of the major increase in salary. That sentence sounds a little ga-ga, doesn't it?  Her parents, Katharine Clinton Francis, an actress, and Joseph Sprague Gibbs were married in 1903; however, Katharine Gibbs took their daughter and left an alcoholic Joseph by the time Francis was four.  After a brief period on Broadway in the late 1920s, she moved to film and achieved her greatest success between 1930 and 1936, when she was the number one female star and highest-paid actress at Warner Bros. , Francis appeared in only one other Broadway production, a play titled Elmer the Great in 1928. “Shakespeare’s Hamlet (In Modern Dress)” opened on November 9, 1925 at the Booth Theater in New York. See more ideas about Kay francis, Kay, Old hollywood. While there, she was courted by a former Harvard athlete and member of the Boston Bar Association, Bill Gaston. And compassionate.  She recovered in an oxygen tent at the local hospital; soon retiring from acting and then, public life. It was after Joe Gibbs relocated his family to Salt Lake City, Utah that Katherine Clinton made the decision to leave her irresponsible husband (PL).  She often "borrowed" wardrobe for nights out in New York as one of the "fashionistas" that was reported on by the papers of the day.  Although he made an offer of support, Francis refused and instead gained employment on the stage. 100 talking about this. At first she refused, but changed her mind and packed her bags for the West Coast. Able to project both a sense of lavish sophistication as well as an impish side, she flourished in the permissibility and for a short time became one of the most famous and highest paid actresses in the world.Born in Oklahoma City in 1905, Kay traveled around the world with her actress mother. Her career as an actress was launched at the same time, and before her death in 1968, she had appeared on many theater stages, in more than 60 films, on radio, in USO tours, as a … Select from premium Kay Francis of the highest quality. , In 1932, Francis' career at Paramount changed gears when Warner Bros. promised her star status at a better salary of $4,000 a week, and Paramount sued Warner's over the loss. Her mother was Katherine Clinton, a former stage actress who was 28 years old when she gave birth to her daughter. Francis claimed she got the part by "lying a lot, to the right people". , In October 1937, Francis met aviation businessman Raven Freiherr von Barnekow at a party of Countess Dorothy Dentice di Frasso's in Beverly Hills. But never mind, that's my life ... As long as they pay me my salary, they can give me a broom and I'll sweep the stage. 1963 Mexican Musician G: Marielle Franco: 1979-2018 Brazilian Politician, human rights activist B: Barney Frank: b. Declining health, aggravated by an accident in Columbus, Ohio during a tour of State of the Union in 1948 when she was badly burned by a radiator, hastened her retirement from show business. She played wisecracking secretaries, saucy French floozies, walk-ons, bit parts, and heavies. 1940 American Politician G: Connor Franta Costarring Chester Morris, Sylvia Sydney, and Douglass Montgomery, among others, reviews for Kay were largely favorable. Her diaries paint a picture of a woman whose personal life was often in disarray; they are preserved, along with her film-related material, in an academic collection at Wesleyan University which are available to scholars and researchers. On December 16, 1931, Francis and her co-stars opened the newly constructed art deco Paramount Theatre in Oakland, California, with a gala preview screening of The False Madonna. But her mother and friends seriously doubted her ability to make a successful actress of herself. Thought of as a quitter and sellout for decades, Kay’s memory went into a major eclipse after her death, with only knowledgeable film buffs knowing of her work. Katharine Edwina Gibbs was born in Oklahoma City on Friday, January 13, 1905.  She regularly socialized with homosexual men, one of whom, Anderson Lawler, was reportedly paid $10,000 by Warner Bros. to accompany her to Europe in 1934, to keep her out of mischief. At the height of her popularity, she dismissed her career and insisted she wanted to be forgotten. Photoplay even credited Kay with giving “one of the most astonishing first performances in the history of motion pictures” (CR). “I was wearing a pink silk chiffon dress and thought I looked pretty nice. All site content is composed and monitored for non-profit purposes only. The two met on January 3, 1922 and began dating soon after (PL). 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