Phyllis Kennedy (June 16, 1914 - December 29, 1998) was an American film actress.
in Stage Door (1937)
June 16, 1914|
Detroit, Michigan U.S,.
|Died||December 29, 1998
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.
In 1937 she made her screen debut in an uncredited part in the film On Again-Off Again. Her next role was as the dimwitted maid Hattie in Stage Door starring Katharine Hepburn, Adolphe Menjou, Ginger Rogers, Eve Arden, and Lucille Ball. 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.
On December 29, 1998 Kennedy died at her home from natural causes.