Kay Kent: An Impersonator’s Story

Steve Greensted at right

Steve Greensted, who worked on a 1987 advertisment for Holsten Pils which used footage from Some Like it Hot, remembers Kay Kent, the MM lookalike who acted as a body double for her idol.

“After the commercial went on air, Kay/Marilyn, John and I went to sales-force conferences around the country. At one of these, when we were taking a short break, Kay said to me, “I don’t know what I’m going to do next.” She had an unsettling way of switching her voice between East London and being Marilyn.

Me: What’s the problem?

Kay: (East London accent) Everywhere I go, I get treated as if I really am Marilyn. I arrived at JFK recently and was mobbed.

Me: Well, milk it while you can.

Kay, now speaking as if she was Marilyn: But no-one will ever want a Marilyn who outlives the real Marilyn’s age.

Me: Kay. Listen. You are a terrific person, very clever and a great actress. You’ll think of something.

She looked at me and then looked away at the table cloth.

I thought no more about it until I read the news of Kay’s death the next year at the age of just twenty-five.

Kay had tried to tell me that she could not live beyond Marilyn’s age. I listened to her aunt on the Radio 4′s news, full of anguish and grief. I felt the same.”

You can read Greensted’s blog in full here

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