American actress Merna Kennedy, born Maude Kahler in Kankakee, IL, began appearing on stage at age nine. Charles Chaplin later discovered her, and had Kennedy play his leading lady in The Circus. Her film career continued through 1934 when she married choreographer/director Busby Berkeley and retired. The marriage broke up a year later. Kennedy died in 1944 of a heart attack. She was only 35-years-old.