A Columbia University undergraduate who studied art and voice under Andreas Dippell, Doris Kenyon had to be persuaded by Dippell to stand in for an incapacitated performer in Victor Herbert's "Princess Pat." She did not wish to bother with anything less reputable than grand opera.
Kenyon was so winsome, beautiful, and graceful that the World Motion Picture's Company signed her to star in "The Genius." She proved to be as photogenic as she was attractive on stage, commencing an active film career with Pathe and other studios in the 1910s and '20s. Periodically she returned to the stage, in the 1919 hit "The Girl in the Limousine" and 1922's Owen Davis drama "Up the Ladder." But her talent shown best on the screen.
She was one of the stars who negotiated the transition from silent film to sound with least difficulty, and her greatest roles may have been during the 1930s in "Voltaire," "Counsellor-at-Law" and "Whom the Gods Destroy," though such claims are somewhat specious given the number of her silent films that have not survived. David S. Shields/ALS