Xenia ♦ Yellowstone Lake Hotel ♦ Loretta Young ♦ Roland Young ♦ Youth Has Its Fling ♦ Darryl F. Zanuck ♦ Adolph Zukor
Xenia. A character in 1937’s Confession which is played by Veda Ann Borg. In the film, during the flashback sequences, the character is envious of Kay’s character’s flirtation with the one played by Basil Rathbone. Though she has no spoken dialogue in the film, director Joe May cuts to the character to show her angrily staring down Kay’s several times. When Kay leaves to meet Basil Rathbone to tell him to leave her alone after he raped her, the last time Xenia is shown is sitting outside Rathbone’s apartment sipping coffee.
Trivia: Borg later had a part in Wife Wanted (1946), which turned out to be Kay’s last film. In the film she has quite a bit of talking as the villainous woman who runs the “friendship club.”
Yellowstone Lake Hotel. In 1907, Joe Gibbs, Kay’s father, briefly managed the hotel when he was between jobs. It’s not sure whether or not Kay and her mother were still living with him at the time, though it’s known she did last see him around the 1907/1908 time frame. The hotel was built in 1890 in the National Park.
Young, Loretta. When Variety listed the 10 most popular actresses in Hollywood in 1937, Young’s name was second on the list. Kay’s was sixth. Young was at Warner Bros. in the early 1930s when Kay was beginning her contract with them, though the two were never considered for the same roles.
Young, Roland. (November 11, 1887 – June 5, 1953) English character actor who worked with Kay in 1932’s Street of Women and 1936’s Give Me Your Heart. Perhaps he’s best known for his work in the Topper films.
An advertisement for the production, shown at left (click for a larger view), appeared in the Motion Picture Herald in 1929.
The cast included Jean Hersholt, Fay Wray, and Phillips Holmes.
[Webmaster’s note: I’m not sure how far exactly production went underway before the project was abandoned.]
Zanuck, Darryl F. Began employment with Warner Bros. around 1924, eventually rising in position to head of production in 1931. It was then when Zanuck helped lure Kay, William Powell, and Ruth Chatterton away from Paramount Studios to Warners. When Chatterton and Powell’s films didn’t become the big hits Warner Bros. expected, the two were basically shown the door while Kay was groomed for major stardom (Powell’s move to MGM of course achieved this for him, too).
Considering he was Kay’s boss for her first couple of years at Warner Bros. (until he left to manage Twentieth Century-Fox around 1934), Zanuck had an enormous role in producing her first films for the studio, which are still evident in his notes to her directors.
On April 11, 1932, Zanuck wrote the following note to William Dieterle, who was directing Jewel Robbery at the time: “We want to watch out and be very careful in our scenes between Powell and Kay Francis that they are not too overly-polite and not played too ultra-sophisticated. We want to keep them sincere and human and very real at every moment and not have the feel that they are just putting on a performance for each other’s benefit.”
After Zanuck became manager at Twentieth Century-Fox, he was in charge of the production of Charley’s Aunt (1941), which was one of the most financially successful films Kay ever appeared in. Zanuck also had other roles he wanted Kay to appear in (BF).
Zukor, Adolph. Founder of Paramount Pictures, Kay’s boss when she was a contract player for the studio in 1929-1931.