A tribute to Kay Francis (Birth name: Edwina Gibbs)
Born in 1905, Oklahoma City Oklahoma, this star-in-the-making was raised by a single mother who was a stage actress. Growing up in hotels and boarding houses, the two were in constant financial trouble. Although unconventional, being raised in the theatre world prepared her for what was to come next. Her Broadway debut came in 1925 and throughout the mid-1930s, Kay Francis became a big Hollywood star earning top dollars. Her name became synonymous with glamour and fashion. Despite her success, she was very cynical, bordering nihilistic. This fashion icon thought the studio spent way too much focus on her wardrobe rather than script. She is quoted as saying, “My life? Well, I get up at a quarter to six in the morning if I'm going to wear an evening dress on camera. That sentence sounds a little ga-ga, doesn't it? But never mind, that's my life...As long as they pay me my salary, they can give me a broom and I'll sweep the stage. I don't give a damn. I want the money...When I die, I want to be cremated so that no sign of my existence is left on this earth. I can't wait to be forgotten." Well, she is mostly forgotten now. Having quit at the pinnacle of her career, Francis was considered a sell-out. But there is something very compelling about a woman willing to let go of what she perceived to be a shallow life and express her thoughts honestly, as unsavory as they may have seemed to some. With recent revelations about what goes on behind the scenes in the entertainment industry, perhaps she had her reasons. Her fortune was given to charity upon her passing, perhaps helping her find meaning to her life.