Born Katherine Gibbs, Kay Francis was a sophisticated brunette star with a lisp, deep voice, and stylish wardrobe. The daughter of actress Katherine Clinton, she began acting onstage in 1925 after schooling and a couple of jobs; she went on to summer stock and Broadway then in 1929 signed a Hollywood contract. Francis began accepting virtually every role offered her, going for quantity rather than quality in her screen work. Soon she became one of Hollywood's most glamorous and highly-paid stars of the '30s, usually playing stylish, serious-faced heroines in romantic melodramas and occasional comedies. Near the end of the '30s, her position at Warners was gradually taken over by Bette Davis, and in the '40s she appeared mostly in "B"-movies. After co-producing and starring in three films in 1945-46, she spent four years touring with stock companies and then retired from show business. One of her four husbands was actor Kenneth MacKenna.