Doris Kenyon

Doris Margaret Kenyon (September 5, 1897 September 1, 1979) was an American actress of motion pictures and television.

Doris Kenyon
Kenyon in 1926
Doris Margaret Kenyon

(1897-09-05)September 5, 1897
DiedSeptember 1, 1979(1979-09-01) (aged 81)
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale)
Years active1915-1962
Milton Sills
(m. 1926; his death 1930)

Arthur Hopkins
(m. 1933; annulled 1934)

Albert D. Lasker
(m. 1938; div. 1939)

Bronislaw Mlynarski
(m. 1947; his death 1971)

Early life

She grew up in Syracuse, New York, where her family had a home at 1805 Harrison Street. Her father, Dr. James B. Kenyon, was a Methodist Episcopal Church minister at University Church. Kenyon studied at Packer College Institute and later at Columbia University. She sang in the choirs of Grace Presbyterian and Bushwick Methodist Churches in Brooklyn, New York.

Her voice attracted the attention of Broadway theatrical scouts who enticed her to become a performer on the stage. In 1915, she first appeared as a chorus girl in the Victor Herbert operetta The Princess Pat.[2]

Film career

In 1915, she made her first film, The Rack, with World Film Company of Fort Lee, New Jersey. One of the most remembered films of her early career is Monsieur Beaucaire (1924). In this production, she starred opposite Rudolph Valentino.

Kenyon's first sound film was The Home Towners (1928). She also starred in Paramount Pictures' first talking film, Interference (1928).[2]

Kenyon was cast opposite actor George Arliss in two films: Alexander Hamilton (1931) and Voltaire (1933). She participated in Counsellor at Law (1933) with John Barrymore. In the autumn of 1935, Doris appeared with Ramon Novarro in the play, A Royal Miscarriage, in London, England.

Kenyon's film career ended with a cameo in The Man in the Iron Mask (1939).


Kenyon's performances as a singer grew out of an evening in New York when a manager of concert artists heard her sing at home for some friends. Afterward, he worked with her to arrange a tour. Singing eventually became an outlet for expressing her feelings after her first husband's death.[3] A soprano, she performed in Detroit as part of the Town Hall Series and in Phoenix as part of the All-Star Artists Series, among others.[4]

Kenyon's concerts featured more than vocal performances. Her "Lyrical Silhouettes" tour in 1933 included "characterizations presented in a half-dozen or more foreign languages and dialects."[5] A variety of costumes supplemented the music in the program's segments.[5]


Kenyon played Ann Cooper in the soap opera Crossroads on NBC in the 1940s.[6]


Kenyon continued her acting career in television in the 1950s. She was cast in episodes of The Secret Storm (1954), Schlitz Playhouse of Stars and 77 Sunset Strip.


Kenyon was married four times.

  • Her first husband was the actor Milton Sills. She wed Sills on October 12, 1926.[2] She was widowed in 1930. She had one son with Sills named Kenyon.
  • She married prosperous New York real estate broker, Arthur Hopkins, in 1933. The two divorced the following year, citing incompatibility.
  • In 1938 Doris married Albert D. Lasker, owner of Lord & Thomas, a prosperous advertising agency. They divorced in 1939.
  • Her final marriage was to musician Bronislaw Mlynarski in 1947.[2] He was the son of composer Emil Młynarski and the brother-in-law of Arthur Rubinstein.


Doris Kenyon died in 1979 at her home in Beverly Hills, California of cardiac arrest, four days before her 82nd birthday.

In 1922 a newborn girl, Doris Kappelhoff, was named after Kenyon. Kappelhoff grew up to be singer and actress Doris Day. Many years later, Day purchased a home in Beverly Hills that was "a few houses away from [her], on the very same street" from Kenyon's.[7]


  • The Rack (1915) as Effie McKenzie
  • The Pawn of Fate (1916) as Marcine Dufrene
  • The Feast of Life (1916) as Celida
  • The Man Who Stood Still (1916) as Marie Krauss
  • The Ocean Waif (1916, Short) as Millie Jessop (Extant)
  • The Traveling Salesman (1916) as Beth Elliot
  • The Man Who Forgot (1917) as Edith Mallon
  • A Girl's Folly (1917) as Mary Baker (Extant)
  • The Empress (1917) as Nedra
  • Jimmy Dale Alias the Grey Seal (1917, Short) (Lost) (uncredited)
  • On Trial (1917) (uncredited)
  • The Great White Trail (1917) as Prudence Carrington
  • Strictly Business (1917, Short)
  • The Hidden Hand (1917, Serial) as Doris Whitney (Lost)
  • The Street of Seven Stars (1918) as Harmony Wells
  • The Inn of the Blue Moon (1918) as Justine Druce / Dorothy Druce
  • Wild Honey (1918, William L. Sherry / Film Clearing House) as Wild Honey / Mrs. Holbrook
  • Twilight (1919, William L. Sherry / Film Clearing House) as Twilight
  • The Bandbox (1919, W.W. Hodkinson / Pathe Exchange) as Eleanor Searle
  • The Harvest Moon (1920, W.W. Hodkinson / Pathe Exchange) as Dora Fullerton
  • The Conquest of Canaan (1921) (Extant) as Ariel Taber
  • Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford (1921) as Fannie Jasper
  • Shadows of the Sea (1922, Selznick Pictures) as Dorothy Jordan
  • The Ruling Passion (1922, United Artists) as Angie Alden
  • Sure Fire Flint (1922, Mastodon Films) as June De Lanni
  • You Are Guilty (1923, Mastodon Films) as Alice Farrell
  • The Last Moment (1923, Goldwyn Pictures) as Alice Winthrop
  • Bright Lights of Broadway (1923, Principal Distributing) as Irene Marley
  • Restless Wives (1924, CC Burr) as Amy Van Clayton
  • The Love Bandit (1924, Vitagraph) as Polly Benson
  • The New School Teacher (1924) as Diana Pope
  • Lend Me Your Husband (1924, CC Burr) as Aline Stackton
  • Monsieur Beaucaire (1924) as Lady Mary (Extant)
  • Born Rich (1924, First National) as Frances Melrose
  • Idle Tongues (1924, Ince / First National) as Katherine Minot
  • If I Marry Again (1925, First National) as Jocelyn Margot
  • A Thief in Paradise (1925, First National) as Helen Saville (Lost)
  • I Want My Man (1925, First National) as Vida (Trailer only; Library of Congress)
  • The Half-Way Girl (1925, First National) as Poppy La Rue (Lost)
  • The Unguarded Hour (1925, First National) as Virginia Gilbert (Lost)
  • Men of Steel (1926, First National) as Mary Berwick (Lost)
  • Mismates (1926, First National) as Judy Winslow (Lost)
  • Ladies at Play (1926, First National) as Ann Harper (Lost)
  • The Blonde Saint (1926) as Ghirlaine Bellamy (Lost)
  • The Valley of the Giants (1927) as Shirley Pennington (Extant; UCLA Film & TV)
  • Burning Daylight (1928, First National) as Virgie (Extant; Library of Congress)
  • The Hawk's Nest (1928) as Madelon Arden (Lost)


  1. Gooley, Lawrence P. (July 19, 2010). "Doris Kenyon: Ausable Forks Movie Star -". The Adirondack Almanack.
  2. Slide, Anthony (2010). "Doris Kenyon". Silent Players: A Biographical and Autobiographical Study of 100 Silent Film Actors and Actresses. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 9780813127088. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  3. Jones, Isabel Morse (January 10, 1932). "Actress Turns to Song for Completion of Self". The Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. p. Part III, p 15. Retrieved January 14, 2019 via
  4. "Doris Kenyon Recital Opens Artists Series For Phoenix". Arizona Republic. Arizona, Phoenix. November 15, 1936. p. 26. Retrieved January 14, 2019 via
  5. "Doris Kenyon to Be Heard in Recital Here". The Winnipeg Tribune. Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba. November 11, 1933. p. 15. Retrieved January 15, 2019 via
  6. "You Asked for Them" (PDF). Movie and Radio Guide. 9 (21): 11. March 2, 1940. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 19, 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  7. Braun, Eric (2010). Doris Day. Orion Publishing Group. ISBN 9781409105695.
  • "Doris Kenyon Sills Dies, Known On and Off Screen". Los Angeles Times. September 10, 1979. p. B18.
  • "Doris Kenyon and Hopkins To Be Married". Syracuse Herald. April 15, 1933. p. 2.
  • "Will Play In England". Syracuse Herald. June 27, 1935. p. 14.
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