April 21, 1907|
New York City, New York
|Died||November 8, 1986
North Hollywood, California
|Occupation||Stage, film, television actress|
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (January 2010)|
Born as Hannah Beatrice Kuper, Kay performed as "Honey Kuper" and "Honey Day" for part of her career in vaudeville, radio, motion pictures, sound recordings, night clubs, and television. Her career began at the age of six as "Little Lord Fauntleroy" in stock theater. She went on to becoming a headliner at Billy Rose's famed Diamond Horseshoe Nightclub in New York. She was on The Mercury Theatre on the Air (directed by Orson Welles), and eventually hosted a radio show, The Beatrice Kay Show.
She appeared at top nightclubs including San Francisco's austere Fairmont Hotel Venetian Room, the Moulin Rouge in Paris, Hollywood's famed Ciro's in Los Angeles, and at the El Rancho Hotel in Las Vegas. She also recorded several phonograph albums, and appeared in a 1945 motion picture about the club where she had performed in her earlier years—Billy Rose's Diamond Horseshoe (the film starred Betty Grable and Dick Haymes).
She appeared with Cliff Robertson in 1961's Underworld U.S.A. and in 1969's A Time for Dying, with Victor Jory and Audie Murphy. In 1974, she had a bit part in the film Ginger in the Morning (which starred Susan Oliver, Sissy Spacek and Monte Markham).
Over her career, Kay starred in more than a half-dozen television shows, including:
- Make Room For Daddy (with Danny Thomas)
- Bonanza (with Lorne Greene and Michael Landon)
- The Rifleman (with Chuck Connors and Johnny Crawford)
- Ironside (with Raymond Burr)
- Hawaiian Eye
- The Alaskans
- Night Gallery
- The Alfred Hitchcock Hour
Kay toured on the road in 1972 with The Big Show Of 1936 (co-starring Ben Blue, Jackie Coogan, the Ink Spots, Virginia O'Brien, Cass Daley, Ray Bolger and the Weire Brothers), which played major concert venues including New York's Madison Square Garden.
She retired to operate a holiday resort dude ranch, but returned to show business following a devastating fire which destroyed her home. She headlined a month-long booking opening Milt Larsen's celebrated Mayfair Music Hall in Santa Monica, California, with Bernard Fox and Larry "Seymour" Vincent.
She died in 1986, aged 79, having been in poor health after suffering a series of strokes.