Doris Kenyon

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Doris Kenyon
Born Doris Margaret Kenyon
(1897-09-05)September 5, 1897
Syracuse, New York, United States
Died September 1, 1979(1979-09-01) (aged 81)
Beverly Hills, California, United States

Doris Margaret Kenyon (September 5, 1897 – September 1, 1979) was an American popular 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. She first appeared in the Victor Herbert operetta The Princess Pat.

Film career[edit]

Twilight (1919)

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.

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. These are 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 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 and 77 Sunset Strip.

Following her film career she launched a singing career which she had first pursued as a girl. She gave this up to live in semi-retirement in Beverly Hills, California.


Kenyon was married a number of times. Her first husband was the actor Milton Sills. She wed Sills 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 in 1979 at her Beverly Hills home, of cardiac arrest, four days before her 82nd birthday.

In popular culture[edit]

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.[1]



  1. ^ "Doris Day: My Own Story", by A.E. Hotchner. Bantam (1976)
  • "Doris Kenyon Sills Dies, Known On and Off Screen". Los Angeles Times. 1979-09-10. p. B18. 
  • "Doris Kenyon and Hopkins To Be Married". Syracuse Herald. April 15, 1933. p. 2. 
  • "Will Play In England". Syracuse Herald. June 27, 1935. p. 14. 

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