The Brief, Madcap Life of Kay Kendall

In her brief life, comedienne and actress Kay Kendall made her mark upon films and took on a memorable role in Genevieve (1953). She would go on to appear in films like The Constant Husband (1955) with soon-to-be husband Rex Harrison in addition to Les Girls (1957). Her role in Les Girls led her to winning the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

While Kendall showed great potential in her career, her life was tragically cut short due to leukemia. She passed away at age 32.

Eve Golden’s The Brief, Madcap Life of Kay Kendall captures Kendall’s spirit and as well as documenting her versatility as a performer. This updated version of the story contains a new foreword by Kendall’s sister, Kim Kendall Campbell, in addition to a new cover.

Golden paints a picture of Kendall’s life, illuminated with quotes from individuals who knew her well, taking readers through various moments in her personal life and career. The book also includes many pictures of Kendall throughout her life, capturing facets of her life both on and off-screen.

Golden’s book is a worthy tribute to a comedienne and performer gone too soon.


The Brief, Madcap Life of Kay Kendall is available for purchase through the University Press of Kentucky.

About Annette Bochenek

Dr. Annette Bochenek of Chicago, Illinois, is an avid scholar of Hollywood’s Golden Age. She manages the Hometowns to Hollywood blog, in which she writes about her trips exploring the legacies and hometowns of Golden Age stars. Annette also hosts the “Hometowns to Hollywood” film series throughout the Chicago area. She has been featured on Turner Classic Movies and is the president of TCM Backlot’s Chicago chapter. In addition to writing for TCM Backlot, she also writes for Classic Movie Hub, Silent Film Quarterly, Nostalgia Digest, and Chicago Art Deco Society Magazine.
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