Merna Kennedy cinema card

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Hand-colored cinema card for actress Merna Kennedy with a short biography on the back. American actress Merna Kennedy was born Maude Kahler on 7 September 1908 in Kankakee, Illinois. At age 7, she began doing vaudeville performances with her brother. Kennedy was friends with actress Lita Grey, Charlie Chaplin’s 2nd wife. This friendship landed Kennedy her first leading lady role in Chaplin’s 1928 film The Circus. A couple of her other well-known films were Red-Haired Alibi (1932) and The Big Chance (1933). Kennedy retired from acting in 1934 when she married choreographer/director Busby Berkeley. Divorcing a year later, Kennedy went on to marry Forrest Brayton. The couple stayed together until Kennedy's unexpected death from a heart attack in 1944.
This card belongs to a set titled "Cinema Stars: A Series of 30 Hand Coloured Pictures" which features popular film actresses from the 1930s. Collectible cards like this were very popular during the 1920s and 1930s, and they were distributed by various brands in both tobacco and food products. In the 1920s, Cavanders Ltd. also released the following sets of cards: "Beauty Spots of Great Britain," "Foreign Birds," and "River Valleys."
Currently not on view
date made
depicted (sitter)
Kennedy, Merna
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
paint (overall material)
ink (overall material)
overall: 2 5/8 in x 1 7/16 in; 6.6675 cm x 3.65125 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Entertainment, Film
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Entertainment
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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