Kendall, Kay

ACTOR, COMEDIAN (ENGLAND)
BORN 21 May 1927, Withernsea, Yorkshire: 61 Hull Road - DIED 6 Sep 1959, London
REAL NAME McCarthy, Justine Kendall
GRAVE LOCATION London: St. John-at-Hampstead, Churchyard Extension, Church Row, Hampstead (H 4)

Kay Kendall was born Justine Kendall McCarthy as the daughter of the vaudeville artist Terry McCarthy. She studied ballet and performed in music halls with her sister Kim. In 1944 she made her movie debut in an unnamed part. In 1946 she was in "London Town" but that movie flopped. She returned to the theatre and only in 1953 she had her break in the movies in "Genevieve".

In 1955 she played next to Rex Harrison in "The Constant Husband". They started an affair an married in 1957. In 1958 she and her husband were in "The Reluctant Debutante". She was diagnosed with leukemia but possibly her doctor and her husband never told her. Her last part was in "Once More, With Feeling", released after her death in 1959.

In 2013 her grave at St. John-at-Hampstead was restored. In 2014 a plaque was unveiled at her birthplace in Wilthernsea, Yorkshire in the presence of her sister Kim.

Sources
• Culbertson, Judi & Tom Randall, Permanent Londoners, Robson Books, London, 1991

Images

The grave of Kay Kendall at the Churchyard extension of St. John-at-Hampstead, London.
Picture by Androom (30 May 2014)

 


Keppel, Alice

Published: 11 Oct 2014
Last update: 12 Oct 2014