The English born Hollywood actress Kay D’Arcy, a little shy of her 60th birthday, decided she could not live life as a has-been. She had been married for 28 years, had 5 grown children, had been a nurse and midwife for 48 years, and when her husband, as she says, “chose a new pahth” (yes her English accent adds the right flavor to the very statement), she was more than ready to start a new kind of life.
How new it turned out to be is a tribute to her resilience, self-assurance and imagination. She moved into an apartment with 7 assorted drama students from the age of 18 to 32, and there she lived on and off for 20 months. Brave? She is not conscious of that. What she was conscious of was being in the undignified position of having been left by her husband and no longer invited to friends’ dinner parties because although a spare man is always a social treat, a spare woman is not. So she jumped into acting, and after 5 months of small parts to get her equity and traveling to play better parts in The Importance of Being Earnest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, she was still waiting for the next job.
A woman of indefatigable determination and an understanding of both the splendor and misery life has to offer, she is now busy acting, including roles you might think not within the realm of possibility for this delicate, beautiful, disciplined woman. Yes, she can gnash her teeth and look ferocious, and she learned, with difficulty because it went against her nature and breeding, to hit someone. Kay is a realist not afraid to look any event in the eye and take charge of it.
Kay D’Arcy 60 years old, divorced, 4 grown children, what to do? Yes, become an actress. Listen to her telling of her most original life ,and have the joy of hearing a sample of her poetry, some of which is inspired by an aunt’s suicide and others by her love of children, her own included. And, just a little bonus here, she found letters from her mother written in the days when writing letters was the only choice for keeping in touch. Interesting story there, too.