Kenneth was born on 8.12.98, and was therefore, believe it or not, 29 when this photo was taken.
Kenneth reportedly gave Astor a new Packard as a wedding gift. They soon moved to a home on Lookout Mountain in Laurel Canyon. Less than two years later he was dead.
Initially a writer, editor and supervisor at Fox Films Corporation, Kenneth began directing films for Fox in ’29 — a year or so after his marriage. On 1.2.30, the 31-year-old was traumatically killed while directing aerial scenes for Such Men Are Dangerous. He and nine others were instantly destroyed following a mid-air plane crash over the Pacific Ocean. The planes that smashed into each other were identical Stinson SM-1F Detroiters. Sun glare was listed as probable cause.
And speaking of the colorful Hawks clan…
The elegant “Slim” Keith (1917-1990) was in fact quite slim in her 1930s and ’40x heyday; somewhat less so from the mid ’50s onward. Slim was the inspiration for the classic Hawksian woman — sly, bluntly spoken, takes no guff. This shot was apparently snapped in the early ’40s, a year or two into her eight-year marriage to Howard Hawks (’41 to ’49), although they were actually toast when Slim had her big affair with Leland Hayward. She declared the marriage over while Hawks was shooting Red River in ’46.
Slim’s infidelity was a response to all sorts of martial provocations from Hawks, primarily his aloofness and relentless hound-dogging.
Yesterday I read portions of the late Slim Keith’s 1990 autobiography “Slim,” or more precisely the chapters that cover her marriage to legendary director Howard Hawks.
According to Slim HWH was a generous provider but not much of a husband. He was emotionally brusque. Aloof to a fault. He was mainly focused on his career, carousing, motorcycles, hunting, horses, gambling and always the company of his hotshot Hollywood friends.
The Grey Fox was distant and rote in matters of intimacy (wham-bam). He apparently liked the “idea” of Slim more than who she actually was. HWH mainly valued her as the ultimate “Hawks woman” archetype — a frank manner, social elegance, sophistication, brains and arm-candy glamour.
He completely ignored their daughter Kitty when she came along, and never nurtured any kind of relationship as she grew up.
HWH was a total hound, Slim claims. By ‘45 she had told Ernest Hemingway or Leland Hayward (or both) that she couldn’t stand him.