Who IS Kay Francis?
Kay Francis was born on January 13, 1905. She was raised by a single mother, Katherine Clinton, a largely unmemorable stage actress. Francis herself got into theater in the 1920s, moving to Hollywood at the end of the decade. After a few years of supporting roles at Paramount, she moved to Warner Bros. where she reigned as the studio’s Queen of the Lot (and highest-paid star) from 1932-1937, before being pushed out by management in favor of Bette Davis,
After a legal dispute with Warner Bros., she was demoted to B-pictures, insisted she wanted to be forgotten, and was unable to secure another studio contract after her legal battle with her previous employer. After finishing her movie career at the low-ranking Monogram Pictures, she banished her appearances to summer stock theater where her name still had power. When that came to an end in the mid 1950s she lived comfortably until her death from cancer on August 26, 1968.
After her death Kay Francis and her career were largely banished from all books and documentaries regarding Warner Bros. If she was mentioned at all, the information usually detailed her decline in popularity, refusing to focus on how successful she really was.
So this website was dedicated to her by me, Michael O’Hanlon, originally on January 1, 2010. I wanted to be able to provide the public with as much information about this woman as I possibly could. No one deserves to be forgotten.