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American Film Actress and Model, Kay Aldridge
Considered to be one of the most photographed woman of the 1930’s, Katherine “Kay” Aldridge was an American film actress and model known for her wide-eyed enthusiasm and whole-hearted energy . Kay Aldridge was born in Tallahassee, Florida on July 9th, 1917 and grew up and attended school in northern Virginia. Unlike most other starlets of her time, Kay’s entrance into the world of showbiz was a different path.
It was somewhat lucky how Kay became a Hollywood starlet. While working as a secretary in Baltimore, a photo of Kay was sent by her cousin to the John Powers modeling agency in New York. To Kay’s surprise, the Powers agency quickly reached out to her and offered a modeling contract. Over the next few years, she became one of the most-photographed women in America. Kay appeared on the covers of Life, Ladies’ Home Journal, Redbook and Look magazines and also in many advertisements.
Kay’s Hollywood career began when she was given a screen test for the role of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind. Although the role went to Vivian Leigh, Twentieth-Century Fox still signed her to a contract. Over the next two years she appeared in small roles in a variety of films before leaving Twentieth-Century Fox to become a chorus member in the Warner Brothers comedies Navy Blues and You’re in the Army Now. In 1942, she finally broke out of background roles, landing the lead in one of Republic Pictures’ serials Perils of Nyoka as well as a major role in Down Argentine Way alongside Betty Grable.
Kay retired from acting in 1945 and lived happily until the age of 77 in Rockport, ME where she passed away due to heart related issues. Below is the original photo as well as the full size colorization.