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Kay Francis (1905-1968)

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Her first movie role was with the Marx brothers in 1929 in The Cocoanuts. She went on to become Queen of Warner Bros. in the early 1930s, playing long-suffering characters who triumphed over adversity in the end. She is almost forgotten today.

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  1. Mr. Kopp, Again you hit the theme or nail on the head and went right to the most important idea on your chosen subject. Kay Francis was an actress I disliked at first for she seemed so hard in her acting when the character needed a more sympathetic approach. Even her weeping seemed phony, then I watched a film that has since been remade twice after Kay Francis approach to the style of the script writer’s presentation of a woman marrying up in society, and then the fall.

    I know Kay Francis was gay, but her gradual proof of her ability to portray characters with more depth changed my thinking on her films. She really was a toughened actress to face Hollywood’s distress over the different film studios wanting to offer the American film going public – newly addressed women and roles as their lives changed through the two World Wars. (My grandmother and mother found this change hard coming when marrying and having children and husbands that just did not fit into the work offered in their home towns.) Did American women really believe in the sweet girl in the neighborhood or did some like my mother understand the distress marriage, work, and children brought tough life roles, to support the men when employment was not in their skilled areas. Or after divorce the women became the hard sexual siren the bars and businessmen looked for time to spend away from their wives. Kay Francis played this to a perfection slowly in film.
    Thanks for this option to look at her photo and acting biography. atk


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