Doris Kenyon

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Doris Kenyon
Doris Kenyon picturep726a.jpg
Kenyon in 1926
Born(1897-09-05)September 5, 1897
DiedSeptember 1, 1979(1979-09-01) (aged 81)
Years active1915–1962
(m. 1926; died 1930)

(m. 1933; annulled 1934)

(m. 1938; div. 1939)

Bronislaw Mlynarski
(m. 1947; died 1971)
RelativesRaymond T. Kenyon (brother)

Doris Margaret Kenyon (September 5, 1897 – September 1, 1979) was an American actress of motion pictures and television.

Early life[edit]

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 brother was dentist and New York assemblyman Raymond T. Kenyon.[2]

Her voice attracted the attention of Broadway theatrical scouts who enticed her to become a performer on the stage. In 1915, she first appeared as a chorus girl in the Victor Herbert operetta The Princess Pat.[3]

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 and her husband, Milton Sills, starred in The Unguarded Hour for First National Pictures (1925). Laura Wood, a star swimmer and wife of Gaylord Wood, First National Pictures cinematographer, doubled for her swimming scenes because she couldn't swim.

Kenyon in 1920

Kenyon's first sound film was The Home Towners (1928). She also starred in Paramount Pictures' first talking film, Interference (1928).[3]

Kenyon was cast opposite actor George Arliss in two films: 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 Novarro in the play A Royal Miscarriage in London.

Kenyon's film career ended with a cameo in The Man in the Iron Mask (1939).


Kenyon's performances as a singer grew out of an evening in New York when a manager of concert artists heard her sing at home for some friends. Afterward, he worked with her to arrange a tour. Singing eventually became an outlet for expressing her feelings after her first husband's death.[4] A soprano, she performed in Detroit as part of the Town Hall Series and in Phoenix as part of the All-Star Artists Series, among others.[5]

Kenyon's concerts featured more than vocal performances. Her "Lyrical Silhouettes" tour in 1933 included "characterizations presented in a half-dozen or more foreign languages and dialects."[6] A variety of costumes supplemented the music in the program's segments.[6]


Kenyon played Ann Cooper in the soap opera Crossroads on NBC in the 1940s.[7]


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.


Kenyon was married four times.


Doris Kenyon died on September 1, 1979, at her home in Beverly Hills, California of cardiac arrest.[8]

In popular culture[edit]

In 1922, a newborn girl, Doris Kappelhoff, was named after Kenyon. Kappelhoff grew up to be singer and actress Doris Day. Many years later, Day purchased a home in Beverly Hills that was "a few houses away from [Kenyon's], on the very same street."[9]




  1. ^ Gooley, Lawrence P. (July 19, 2010). "Doris Kenyon: Ausable Forks Movie Star -". The Adirondack Almanack.
  2. ^ "Dr. Raymond T. Kenyon" (PDF). The New York Times. Vol. LXXIX, no. 26244. New York, N.Y. December 1, 1929. p. N9.
  3. ^ a b c d Slide, Anthony (2010). "Doris Kenyon". Silent Players: A Biographical and Autobiographical Study of 100 Silent Film Actors and Actresses. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 9780813127088. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  4. ^ Jones, Isabel Morse (January 10, 1932). "Actress Turns to Song for Completion of Self". The Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. p. Part III, p 15. Retrieved January 14, 2019 – via
  5. ^ "Doris Kenyon Recital Opens Artists Series For Phoenix". Arizona Republic. Arizona, Phoenix. November 15, 1936. p. 26. Retrieved January 14, 2019 – via
  6. ^ a b "Doris Kenyon to Be Heard in Recital Here". The Winnipeg Tribune. Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba. November 11, 1933. p. 15. Retrieved January 15, 2019 – via
  7. ^ "You Asked for Them" (PDF). Movie and Radio Guide. 9 (21): 11. March 2, 1940. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 19, 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  8. ^ "Obituary for Doris Kenyon Sills". The Los Angeles Times. September 10, 1979. p. 18. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  9. ^ Braun, Eric (2010). Doris Day. Orion Publishing Group. ISBN 9781409105695.
  • "Doris Kenyon Sills Dies, Known On and Off Screen". Los Angeles Times. September 10, 1979. 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.

External links[edit]