Western Actress Fay McKenzie Dies @ 101

Fay McKenzie, an actress with several unique claims to fame, died April 16 at 101, THR reports.

First and foremost, McKenzie had been one of the last 10 actors to have ever appeared in a Silent Era silent film. There are now just nine.

McKenzie's appearances in silent films began in 1918, when she appeared in Station Content, cradled by Gloria Swanson (1899-1983). She appeared in a total of seven silent films, including Distilled Love (1920), a short with Oliver Hardy (1892-1957).

She frequently co-starred with Gene Autry (1907-1998) (Image via Republic)

According to an April 18 Facebook post, McKenzie had just been shown Distilled Love, in which she is seen with her mother, and "was delighted."

Later in her career, McKenzie had a small part in Gunga Din (1939), but became known for westerns, appearing in such films as Down Mexico Way (1941), Sierra Sue (1941) and Cowboy Serenade (1942).

The Party girl (Image via video still)

She appeared on Broadway, studied acting with Lee Strasberg (1901-1982) and popped up in a string of films by Blake Edwards (1922-2010), her longtime neighbor. Most memorably, McKenzie was a whacky participant in his The Party (1968).

Her final film appearance was a cameo shot in 2018 for the forthcoming Kill a Better Mousetrap, which would seemingly make her the first person with a 100-year film-acting career.

McKenzie was married to actor Steve Cochran (1917-1965), but they divorced. She was later married to screenwriter Tom Waldman (1922-1985) until his death. She is survived by her two children and two grandchildren.

1 Response

  1. I didn’t know you left this world. thanks for everything. May your soul rest in peace Amen Mrs Fay McKenzie 1918-2019.

Leave a comment