Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Friday, 18 November 2016


Another favourite lady, I see a theme here .... Kay Kendall, a patron saint of The Projector, as per the posts on her, at label. 

LONDON TOWN is a perfectly dreadful British musical from 1946 - trying to copy the Americans who were doing this kind of thing so much better.  It stars a comedian Sid Field, who has not aged well at all and looks terribly dated now - give me Arthur Askey any time - with a very young Petula Clark as his daughter, and Kay - just 18 here - is the ingenue, a young showgirl. The film was a huge flop and practically sunk her starting career, the Forties fashions do not suit her at all, but one can see her emerging talent - she went back to being a showgirl, with her sister - but seven years later she got that role that defined her, the trumpet playing model in GENEVIEVE. (She had already done bits in DANCE HALL, IT STARTED IN PARADISE and more). 

GENEVIEVE was followed by favourites like THE CONSTANT HUSBAND, SIMON AND LAURA, QUENTIN DURWARD, then thankfully Cukor, Minnelli and Donen got her in her prime for their delicious treats, they knew how to showcase stylish ladies -
 she went to Hollywood for LES GIRLS (above, with Gene Kelly) taking pal Gladys Cooper's corgi June with her for company (right); THE RELUCTANT DEBUTANTE teamed her with new husband Rex Harrison (and Angela Lansbury and Sandra Dee, below) and is sheer bliss too, she looks sadly frail in ONCE MORE WITH FEELING, her last film, she died of leukemia in Sep 1959, aged 33. 
I have been to that nice churchyard in Hampstead, where her stylish headstone is just right. (See previous posts at label). As a stylish comedienne she was compared to Carole Lombard, and was a friend of Dirk Bogarde's, and a favourite of Monica Vitti - see post below. Lots on LES GIRLS at label.


  1. Hi Mike. I love Kay. I always feel sad that she had such a sad, and early end. She was a very good actress and I always look forward to seeing her show up in a film. Do you know of any good biographies out there about her? Maddy

  2. Hi Maddy, There is one, published some years ago in America, by her sister: "The Brief Madcap Life of Kay Kendall". There may be second hand copies around.
    We also need books on Lee Remick and Deborah Kerr.


  3. Hi Mike. Many thanks for the book recommendation. Will keep an eye out. Maddy