Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Paul Kelly, Killer Actor

Tony Award

Paul Kelly, Older
Paul Kelly, Older

Paul Kelly managed to move on without Mackaye.

On Jan. 24, 1941, he married Zona Mardelle, a bit-part actress (under the name Claire Owen) whom he met on the set of the film Flight Command a few months after Mackaye died.

His busy career became even more hectic. Kelly appeared nonstop in films — often as a cop, soldier or gangster — from 1932, when he made his Talkie debut in Walter Winchell's Broadway Thru a Keyhole, to the mid-1950s. He also made periodic returns to Broadway, reaching a career zenith when he won a Tony Award in 1947 for his portrayal of Gen. K.C. Dennis, a conscientious military man, in the war drama "Command Decision."

Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery in Glenwood
Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery in Glenwood

The New York Times "Mr. Kelly carried out to perfection the role of the tortured but apparently serene commander who went through with what he thought the right decision, despite all criticism."

Kelly's credits included more than 400 film roles and scores of stage performances. He was rarely a leading man but often had featured supporting roles. His films included such titles as San Antonio, Wyoming, Dead Man's Eyes, Allotment Wives, Deadline for Murder, The Accusing Finger, Mr. and Mrs. North, Call Out the Marines, Flying Tigers, and his last two, Curfew Breakers and Bailout at 43,000.

Oakwood Memorial Park
Oakwood Memorial Park

Like his first wife and her first husband, Kelly did not enjoy a long life. He died of a heart attack, at age 57, on Nov. 6, 1956, after returning home to his Beverly Hills mansion, 1448 Club View Drive, from voting in the presidential election. He voted for the loser, Adlai Stevenson.

Hollywood is a small town in the hereafter, with a handful of celebrity cemeteries catering to the movie business sophisticates. But the principals in the Mackaye-Raymond-Kelly love intrigue all managed to find eternal rest far removed from one another.

Ray Raymond was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery in Glenwood.

Dorothy Mackaye, the next to go, was laid to rest at Oakwood Memorial Park, 20 miles west in the San Fernando Valley city of Chatsworth.

And Kelly was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, more than 20 miles from the other two legs of the triangle.

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