Francis, Kay (1899–1968)

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Francis, Kay (1899–1968)

American actress. Born Katherine Edwina Gibbs in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Jan 13, 1899; died in New York City, Aug 26, 1968; dau. of Katherine Clinton (vaudeville star); 4 marriages, all ending in divorce, including 3rd husband, actor Kenneth MacKenna (1931–33).

One of the most glamorous and highly paid film stars of 1930s, made film debut as a vamp in Gentlemen of the Press (1929), followed by a supporting part in the 1st Marx Brothers film The Coconuts (1929); despite a slight speech impediment, typically portrayed stylish, worldly women in romantic melodramas and an occasional comedy; best-known films include Raffles (1930), Trouble in Paradise (1932), Cynara (1932), The White Angel (1936), The Feminine Touch (1941) and Four Jills in a Jeep (1944).

See also Women in World History.