William Haines ♦ Edith Head ♦ Katharine Hepburn ♦ Hollywood Canteen ♦ Bob Hope ♦ Miriam Hopkins ♦ Hedda Hopper ♦ Arthur Hornblow ♦ House of Westmore ♦ The House on 56th Street ♦ Leslie Howard ♦ Jobyna Howland ♦ Ian Hunter ♦ George Hurrell
Ruth Hussey ♦ Walter Huston
Haines, William. MGM contract star who was one of Kay’s closest Hollywood friends. Haines, a gay leading man, was in a long term relationship with boyfriend Jimmie Shields. In June 1936 there was a gay sex scandal about Shields, and Haines, Shields, and Andy Lawler were attacked as a result. Kay received a phone call about the incident from Perc Westmore on June 4.
Head, Edith. Costume designer at Paramount who Kay probably had a one-night stand with on January 22, 1932. On the following day, she wrote in her diary, “Swell time, but got very drunk. T.B. (probably Tallulah Bankhead) called me a lesbian. E.H. (probably Head) and I were very next to getting queer! Damn fool!”
Hepburn, Katharine. According to Darwin Porter, Kay was one of the lesbians Hepburn, who Porter also argued was a lesbian, socialized with. See the Books Page for further “information”.
In a more realistic connection to Kay Francis, Katharine Hepburn was one of the names (which also included Kay’s) on the notorious 1938 “Box Office Poison” list.
Hollywood Canteen. Kay was one of the many stars who volunteered here during WWII. Kay didn’t make it into the 1944 Warner Bros. film of the same name, but she was the star of that year’s Four Jills in a Jeep at Twentieth Century-Fox instead.
Hope, Bob. Legendary comedian who remembered Kay’s WWII efforts fondly. “What a looker! A great star! A great dame! They called her ‘ravishing Kay Francis.’ Nowadays, people forget what a trouper Kay was. She did a lot for the USO and gave her time to many patriotic causes. She was a real class act” (PL).
Hopkins, Miriam. (October 18, 1902 – October 9, 1972) Blonde actress most remembered for her thick Southern accent. She appeared with Kay in 1931’s 24 Hours and 1932’s Trouble in Paradise. Kay was a bit “miffed” when Hopkins’ name was billed above hers on the latter. Kay and Hopkins were social friends, and were announced as the original stars of The Sisters (1938), which went to Bette Davis. When Miriam was too ill to do Comet Over Broadway, Kay was slated for the role. Hopkins also starred in The Lady with Red Hair, a biopic about Kay’s friend Mrs. Leslie Carter. Kay was an original choice for that part, too.
Hornblow, Arthur. Myrna Loy’s husband at the time he and Kay had an affair. Despite Myrna Loy writing very fondly of Kay in her book, she seems to not have known about Kay’s relationship with him. This might have been because Loy described Hornblow as cruel and controlling, and possibly because the only reason the affair is known about today is because of Kay’s diary entries about it.
House on 56th Street, The. Warner Bros., 1933. Directed by Robert Florey. Stars Kay, Ricardo Cortez, Gene Raymond, and Margaret Lindsay. The film was a major success for Kay, and a project turned down by Ruth Chatterton.
Howard, Leslie. (April 3, 1893 – June 1, 1943) Kay’s costar in 1934’s British Agent. The two had a brief affair during filming.
Howland, Jobyna. (March 31, 1880 — June 7, 1936) Played the owner of the brothel where Kay seduced Walter Huston in The Virtuous Sin (1930). Howland, over 6 feet tall, was one of the few women who towered over Kay Francis on the screen.
Howland’s career was most prominent on the stage. Her other film work included A Lady’s Morals (1930; which starred Kay’s friend Grace Moore) and The Story of Temple Drake (1933, which starred Kay’s pal & costar Miriam Hopkins).
Hunter, Ian. (June 13, 1900 – September 22, 1975) Tied with William Powell as Kay’s most frequent leading man (7 total!). Their films include 1935’s I Found Stella Parish, 1936’s White Angel, 1937’s Stolen Holiday, Another Dawn & Confession, 1938’s Secrets of an Actress & Comet Over Broadway. In the original end of Another Dawn, Flynn was supposed to die so Hunter could get Kay at the end of the film. The audience didn’t like that so it was switched so Hunter died and Flynn got Kay.
No word on his opinions of Kay, or hers of him, but she probably had more chemistry with Hunter than any other leading man.
Hurrell, George. Photographer who worked most famously with the MGM stars in the 1930s. Hurrell’s photos of Kay Francis for Passion Flower (1930)—in which she wore gowns by Adrian—were better than the actual film itself, and gave moviegoers a preview of the serious glamour Kay could portray in the proper setting.
Hurrell did move to Warner Bros. in the late 30s & early 40s but Kay was on her way out. Their best collaboration, however, remains the stills for Passion Flower.
More notable stars photographed by Hurrell include Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford & Jean Harlow. There was also his disastrous shoot with Garbo.
For more information on Hurrell, I strongly suggest Hurrell’s Hollywood Portraits by Mark A. Vieira.
Hussey, Ruth. Kay replaced Hussey in the stage run of State of the Union to much merriment and publicity.
Huston, Walter. Appeared with Kay in 4 films, including her screen debut in 1929’s Gentlemen of the Press. They were close friends, and appeared in 1930’s Virtuous Sin, 1933’s Storm At Daybreak, and 1942’s Always in My Heart. The last one was made at Warner Bros. where Huston had just signed a contract. He requested Kay for his leading lady, and they had to hire her at her asking price. This was the only time she would work at the studio again since leaving there on terrible terms in September 1938.