Kathleen Kirkham

Kathleen Kirkham (April 15, 1895 – November 7, 1961) was a silent film actress from Menominee, Michigan.

Kathleen Kirkham
Publicity photo of Kirkham from Who's Who on the Screen (1920)
Born(1895-04-15)April 15, 1895
DiedNovember 7, 1961(1961-11-07) (aged 66)
Spouse(s)Harry N. Woodruff

Film actress

Kirkham was blonde and considered one of the best-dressed actresses. In most of her films she appears in fifteen to eighteen changes of clothing. Kirkham became widely known after the release of The Eyes of the World (1915).[1] Based on a novel by Harold Bell Wright, it was one of the highly regarded films of 1915.[1] In the drama Kirkham plays the part of Mrs Taine, The Age.

In July 1920 Kirkham vacationed at Balboa Beach, California and read books and stories as a prelude to selecting material for motion pictures to be produced by her own film company. It was then being organized.[2]

Kirkham is in the cast of the screen version of The White Moth (1924). Written by Izola Forrester, the movie was produced by First National Pictures. Barbara La Marr and Ben Lyon are among the featured players in a melodrama that is set in both New York City and Paris, France.[3]

Kirkham returned to movies in 1925 following a two-year absence. Her first effort was in the role of Beatrice Selignac in Sackcloth and Scarlet (1925), a film produced by Henry King. She played the companion of Mary Brian in A Regular Fellow (1925), a Paramount Pictures comedy release.[4]


Kirkham began her stage career at the age of nine in Menominee. She was the leading lady, playwright, producer, and manager. When her family moved to Los Angeles she acted in plays in Burbank, California. At the time it was a center of theatrical life. She was featured in productions like The Virginian and The Squaw Man, with actor Dustin Farnum.[5]

The Kangaroos, a play produced by Frank Egan, debuted at the Little Theater (Helen Hayes Theatre) on July 20, 1921. Neely Edwards starred with Kirkham, who was cast as a tall woman who was in love with a shrimp aviator, played by Edwards.[6] Kirkham was in a one-act thriller, The Retake, which was staged at the California Theater in August 1921. The play entertained those who also came to see Betty Compson in the film For Those We Love (1921). Kirkham's co-stars were Phil Ryder and Arthur Clare.[7] In August 1925 Kirkham was in a production of Redemption at the Potboiler Art Theater in Los Angeles.[5]

In 1924 Kirkham sued the William Fox vaudeville company for failure to pay $750 it owed her as an employee. Another $350 was requested for a motion picture wardrobe which she had purchased. Fox countered Kirkham's action by asserting that the actress had asked for, and was granted, rescission from her contract, before performing the services specified by it. Kirkham was granted a full judgment against Fox, but the company asked for a rehearing in September 1924.[8]

Post Hollywood

In July 1934 Kirkham was working as a teller at Security-First National Bank in southern California.[9]

Kathleen Kirkham died in Santa Barbara, California in 1961.

Partial filmography


  1. Kathleen Kirkham Returns To Screen, Los Angeles Times, July 26, 1925, Page 29.
  2. Miss Kirkham at Balboa, Los Angeles Times, July 21, 1920, Page III4.
  3. Ambassador Offers Bill Of All Stars, Washington Post, July 13, 1924, Page AA2
  4. Studio and Stage, Los Angeles Times, July 3, 1925, Page A9.
  5. Began Her Stage Career At Nine, Los Angeles Times, August 2, 1925, Page D18.
  6. It's Mystery Farce Now, Los Angeles Times, June 19, 1921, Page III1.
  7. In Honor Of Joe Jackson, Los Angeles Times, August 24, 1921, Page III4.
  8. Motion For New Film Case Trial Is Heard, Los Angeles Times, September 30, 1924, Page A9.
  9. Blotters Dark To Foil Forging, Los Angeles Times, July 2, 1934, Page A8.
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