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Kay Kendall Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (12)  | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (5)

Born in Withernsea, Yorkshire, England, UK
Died in London, England, UK  (myeloid leukemia)
Birth NameJustine Kay Kendall-McCarthy
Nickname Katie
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Kay Kendall was born on May 21, 1926 in Withernsea, Yorkshire, England as Justine Kay Kendall-McCarthy. She was an actress, known for Les Girls (1957), The Reluctant Debutante (1958) and Simon and Laura (1955). She was married to Rex Harrison. She died on September 6, 1959 in London, England.

Spouse (1)

Rex Harrison (22 June 1957 - 6 September 1959) ( her death)

Trivia (12)

Half-sister of Cavan Kendall.
Met and fell in love with Rex Harrison, who was married at the time, after they appeared together in Marriage a la Mode (1955). Rex learned of Kay's leukemia from her doctor a couple of years later. He divorced Lilli Palmer and married Kay in 1957, agreeing with the doctor never to tell her the reason for her failing health. They lived the good life up until the end.
Cousin of Jack Cardiff
Sister of Terry Kendall Jr. and Kim Campbell.
Jill St. John has said that Kendall was her idol.
She was educated in Wales, Scotland and London. She studied ballet for six years in London, joining a chorus line while in still her early teens. She then toured English music halls in a double act with her sister Kim.
Her grandmother, Marie Kendall, was an Edwardian music hall star. Her father, Terry Kendall, was a music hall song-and-dance man.
Is one of 20 actresses who did not receive an Oscar nomination for their Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical Golden Globe-winning performance; hers being for Les Girls (1957) (tied with Taina Elg). The others, in chronological order, are: June Allyson for Too Young to Kiss (1951), Ethel Merman for Call Me Madam (1953), Jean Simmons for Guys and Dolls (1955), Taina Elg for Les Girls (1957), Marilyn Monroe for Some Like It Hot (1959), Rosalind Russell for A Majority of One (1961) and Gypsy (1962), Patty Duke for Me, Natalie (1969), Twiggy for The Boy Friend (1971), Raquel Welch for The Three Musketeers (1973), Barbra Streisand for A Star Is Born (1976), Bernadette Peters for Pennies from Heaven (1981), Kathleen Turner for Romancing the Stone (1984) and Prizzi's Honor (1985), Miranda Richardson for Enchanted April (1991), Jamie Lee Curtis for True Lies (1994), Nicole Kidman for To Die For (1995), Madonna for Evita (1996), Renée Zellweger for Nurse Betty (2000), Sally Hawkins for Happy-Go-Lucky (2008), and Amy Adams for Big Eyes (2014).
Her husband Rex Harrison maintained that while he was singing "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" in My Fair Lady (1964) he was thinking of her to access his innermost emotion. This is particularly evident in one scene where he sits and looks almost tearful and lost.
Related to Danny O'Dea.
She was born at Stanley House, Hull Road, Withernsea near the lighthouse, which after being decomissioned was bough by her brother in law, Dr Rollo Campbell and turned into a museum with one room devoted to Kay.
Niece of Pat Kendall.

Personal Quotes (1)

We British are so square we have to smuggle our tits past Customs.

See also

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