Doris Kenyon


Doris Kenyon

Doris Kenyon was a popular film and television actress born September 5, 1897 in Syracuse, New York. 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. She first appeared on Broadway in the Victor Herbert operetta “The Princess Pat” (1915). 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 which she starred opposite Rudolph Valentino.  She was with Paramount Pictures for the studio’s first dramatic, all-talking movie, “Intereference”, in 1928. Kenyon was cast opposite actor George Arliss in two films, “Alexander Hamilton” (1931) and “Voltaire” (1933). She was in “Counsellor at Law” (1933) with John Barrymore. In the autumn of 1935 Doris appeared with Ramon Navarro in the play, “A Royal Miscarriage”, in London, England. After sixty movies, Kenyon’s picture career ended with a cameo in “The Man in the Iron Mask” (1939). Kenyon continued her acting career in television in the 1950s. She was cast in episodes of “The Secret Storm” (1954), “Schlitz Playhouse of Stars”, “All Our Yesterdays” (1958), and “77 Sunset Strip”. After her acting career she lived in semi-retirement in Beverly Hills, California.

Doris Kenyon and Milton Sills in the silent movie "The Valley Of The Giants" (1927)

Kenyon was married a number of times. Her first husband was the actor Milton Sills. He wed Kenyon in 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 Bronislaw Mlynarski. He was the son of composer Emil Młynarski and the brother-in-law of Arthur Rubenstein. Doris Kenyon died September 1, 1979 at her Beverly Hills home, of cardiac arrest, four days before her 82nd birthday.

Doris Kenyon

In 1924 a newborn girl, Doris Kappelhoff, was named after Kenyon. Kappelhoff grew up to be singer and actress Doris Day. Many years later, Day would purchase a home in Beverly Hills that was “a few houses away from [her], on the very same street” from Kenyon’s.


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