Phyllis Kennedy (June 16, 1914 – December 29, 1998) was an American film actress.
in Coney Island (1943)
|Died||December 29, 1998 84) (aged|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
She was born in Detroit, Michigan on June 16, 1914. Following her high school graduation in 1932, she got employment as a clothes model in a local department store. During her modeling period, one of her friends recommended that she try her hand at acting. She began her acting career on the New York stage in a small role in a 1935 production of Jane Eyre. Soon, she decided to try her hand in the film industry. Around 1935, she broke her back while dancing in a show in Denver and was told she would never dance again. Two years later, she was able to dance again.
Kennedy was noticed by Ginger Rogers when she performed as a chorus girl in Shall We Dance? She did some comedy dances for Rogers offstage, which impressed the other actress. This relationship led to her being cast as a maid in Stage Door with Rogers and Katharine Hepburn. She was eventually signed onto RKO Radio. She then began getting parts in films playing dimwitted servants; most notably in such films as Vivacious Lady (1938), Mother Carey's Chickens (1938), Love Affair (1939), East Side of Heaven (1939), and Anne of Windy Poplars (1940).
Well into the 1940s Kennedy made over twenty film appearances although a lot of her film roles were uncredited. In later years she made appearances on shows like the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, The Missourians, and The Lone Ranger. She also appeared as an uncredited Cockney in the film My Fair Lady (1964). Her last screen appearance was in Finian's Rainbow in 1968 in an uncredited role.
Later years and personal life
During her time in Hollywood, although she never elevated to real star status, Kennedy became friends with a great many reputable actors. They included: Lucille Ball, Katharine Hepburn, William Powell, James Stewart, Sylvia Sidney, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, James Cagney, Rosalind Russell, and Loretta Young.
After her 1968 retirement, she continued to live comfortably in Los Angeles, CA for the remainder of her life. In her later years she took up painting, collected commemorative spoons, and she had a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Dorian; she had a love for animals and when she was able she would make contributions to the Doris Day Animal League; Day was one of Kennedy's Hollywood friends. She had a deep love for letter writing and she would frequently write letters to her Hollywood friends. Being able to "adjust to the times" she traded in her typewriter and learned how to use a computer which she would later own and type her letters from there with the help of a maid who would show her how to adjust the margins for her Christmas letters.
- Stage Door (1937) - Maid
- Vivacious Lady (1938)
- Mother Carey's Chickens (1938) - Annabelle
- Love Affair (1939)
- East Side of Heaven (1939)
- Laugh Your Blues Away (1942) - Patricia Conklin
- Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) - (uncredited)
- An American Romance (1944) - Receptionist
- The Heavenly Body (1944) - Maid
- Faithful in My Fashion (1946) - Secretary
- Chicago Deadline (1949) - Maid
- A Dangerous Profession (1949) - Maid
- "Phyllis Kennedy". IMDb. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
- "'Stage Door' House Maid Gets Break". The Tampa Tribune. 1937-12-05. p. 43. Retrieved 2017-10-24 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Windfall". Oakland Tribune. 1937-11-28. p. 44. Retrieved 2017-10-24 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Phyllis Kennedy, a chorus girl in". Chicago Tribune. 1937-06-11. p. 27. Retrieved 2017-10-24 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Chorine Phyllis Kennedy". Oakland Tribune. 1937-07-11. p. 56. Retrieved 2017-10-24 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Ginger Rogers has become the idol of Phyllis". The Sydney Morning Herald. 1937-08-24. p. 28. Retrieved 2017-10-24 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Phyllis Kennedy Signed for 'Vivacious Lady'". The Baltimore Sun. 1937-12-05. p. 51. Retrieved 2017-10-24 – via Newspapers.com.
- Morning News, January 10, 1948, Who Was Who in America (Vol. 2)
- Motion Picture and Television Magazine, November 1952, page 34, Ideal Publishers
- "Phyllis Kennedy". Findagrave.com. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
- "Little Chorus Dancer Blooms as Comedienne". Hartford Courant. 1937-06-13. p. 19. Retrieved 2017-10-24 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Fay Bainter in 'Mother Carey's Chickens'". The Los Angeles Times. 1938-04-25. p. 11. Retrieved 2017-10-24 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Hippodrome". The Mercury. 1938-09-12. p. 6. Retrieved 2017-10-24 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Movieland Jottings and Castings". The Los Angeles Times. 1938-11-05. p. 25. Retrieved 2017-10-24 – via Newspapers.com.
- "The Movie Lots Beg to Report". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 1939-03-07. p. 17. Retrieved 2017-10-24 – via Newspapers.com.
- Tinee, Mae (1942-11-23). "It Seems Almost Certain Mae Didn't Like This Picture". Chicago Tribune. p. 20. Retrieved 2017-10-24 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Add to Cohan Film". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 1941-12-30. p. 6. Retrieved 2017-10-24 – via Newspapers.com.
- AFI 1999, p. 68.
- "House Maids Galore!". The Miami News. 1943-05-25. p. 4. Retrieved 2017-10-24 – via Newspapers.com.
- AFI 1999, p. 711.
- AFI 1999, p. 414-415.
- AFI 1999, p. 544.
- AFI (1999). Hanson, Patricia King; Dunkleberger, Amy (eds.). The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States Feature Films, 1941-1950. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0520215214.