About Rex Harrison, cont'd.

During the filming of "The Constant Husband" in 1955, Rex and his co-star, Kay Kendall, fell in love. "I tried, really tried, to forget Kay," Rex would later say. "But it was as though she had cast a spell on me."  Kay was 26 to his 46, with a lively mischievous wit that charmed everyone who met her. Rex separated from Lilli and began spending all his time with Kay.


Rex and Kay Kendall in "The Constant Husband" 1955

with Kay Kendall, 1958

But in 1957, Kay's doctor informed Rex that Kay had leukemia and had at the most, two years to live. "The shock was unbelieveable," Rex wrote later, "especially as he told me that there was nothing, medically, they could do.  It was clear to me, as soon as my numbness wore off, what I, as a non-doctor, had to do.  I had to keep the information from Kay at all costs.  I had to protect her and look out for her without seeming obviously to do so, and in order to do this properly, I needed to marry her."

After obtaining a divorce from Lilli, Rex and Kay were married in June of 1957.  Kay was told her fatigue was being caused by anaemia and the treatments she received were supposedly for that, not cancer. Kay continued to work in both plays and movies over the next two years. She died in September 1959, at the age of 32.

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