Fay McKenzie (Eunice Fay McKenzie)
Photos with Fay McKenzie
BiographyHollywood, California, USA
Fay McKenzie was born into a show business family where she was the youngest of three sisters and made her screen debut at only ten weeks old in Station Content (1918) in which she was carried in the arms of Gloria Swanson. Her parents, Bob and Eva were already veteran performers and apparently wanted their daughter to get an early start in films. By the time she was six, Fay was considered an old hand, having played diverse parts in her father's stock company. Among her early films was the 1924 Photoplay Medal Winner, The Dramatic Life of Abraham Lincoln. Read more... of Hollywood, she was born on February 19,1918 and got most of her schooling on movie sets including the famous Little Red Schoolhouse at MGM. Her classmates included Betty Grable, Ann Rutherford and June Storey. As a teenager in the early 1930's Fay appeared in a number of low budget westerns with the likes of Wally Wales and Buddy Roosevelt as well as the all-start MGM musical Student Tour. In 1937 she starred in the propaganda film about the dangers of marijuana entitled Assassin of Youth. Her first Broadway venture was at age 17 and in 1940 she appeared as Miss Hollywood in Meet the People, a popular review of that season starring Jack Gilford and Jack Albertson. But Fay is probably best remembered for her work with Gene Autry at Republic Studios, where she was the feminine interest in Down Mexico Way (1941), Sierra Sue (1941), Home in Wyomin' (1942), Heart of the Rio Grande (1942) and Cowboy Serenade (1942). Finally getting the leading lady roles she deserved, the raven-haired beauty was an immediate hit with audiences. In 1942 Republic co-starred her with Don 'Red' Barry in the war-time flag waver, Remember Pearl Harbor! Throughout WWII she appeared in dozens of USO shows with various show biz legends including Frank Sinatra, Phil Silvers and Desi Arnaz and could be heard on radio as the singing lady on The Groucho Marx Show. Featured film roles continued to come her way with Universal's The Singing Sheriff (1944), Warner Bros' Night and Day (1946) and Murder in the Music Hall (1946), back at her home studio of Republic. In 1946 she took a break from performing and married the dark, husky actor Steve Cochran, but their union was short lived and they divorced two years later. Beginning in the 1950's she was seen to favorable advantage on a number of TV shows including The Millionaire (1959), Mr. Lucky (1960) and Bonanza (1961). She also appeared in a number of films for close friend and director Blake Edwards, including Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), The Party (1968) and S.O.B. (1981).She was especially proud of The Party with Peter Sellars and agreed to play the cameo role of Alice Clutterbuck (the hostess of the party)because the script was co-written by her husband, Tom Waldman. She and Waldman married in 1949 and had two children Tom Jr. and Madora. Waldman passed away in 1985. Her older sister Ella "Lolly" McKenzie was also an actress and was married to comedian Bill Gilbert. Her other sister Ida Mae McKenzie started in silent films as well and went on to become a prominent producer of popular game shows including the original Hollywood Squares. Today Fay is a Christian Science practitioner all over the country.