|Was||Actor Singer Television actor Film actor|
|From||United States of America|
|Field||Film, TV, Stage & Radio Music|
|Birth||5 September 1897, Syracuse, USA|
|Death||1 September 1979, Beverly Hills, USA (aged 82 years)|
Doris Margaret Kenyon (September 5, 1897 – September 1, 1979) was an American actress of motion pictures and television.
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.
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).
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. 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.
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." A variety of costumes supplemented the music in the program's segments.
Kenyon played Ann Cooper in the soap opera Crossroads on NBC in the 1940s.
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. 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. 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 popular culture
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.