Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Paul Kelly, Killer Actor

She Took Pity

Hollywood Sign
Hollywood Sign

Hollywood was not exactly awaiting his arrival.

He won just a single acting job in his first six months in Los Angeles — a supporting role in The New Klondike, a comedy about the Florida land rush.

Dorothy Mackaye, meanwhile, was living the lonely life of a road-company widow. Her husband was busy on the West Coast theatrical circuit, leaving Dorothy at home with Mimi for weeks at a time. It was during one of Raymond's trips that Dorothy Mackaye became reacquainted with her old friend Paul Kelly from their teen days on Broadway.

"I met Kelly when he was a kid actor in New York, before I knew my husband," she later said. "He was down and out when I met him again... and I took pity on him."

Dorothy Mackaye
Dorothy Mackaye

The Raymonds lived in a lovely home at 2261 Cheremoya Ave., in the Hollywood Hills. By curious coincidence, shortly after rekindling his decade-ago friendship with Dot Mackaye, Kelly rented a house at 2420 N. Gower St., just three blocks from her home.

Ray Raymond returned from the road at Christmastime in 1925 and was surprised to find Kelly sitting on his sofa. The two men were acquaintances from New York, where they had been members of the same thespian social club.

But Raymond suspected funny business, and he ordered Kelly out of his house — permanently. As Dorothy stood listening nervously, the two men had a peculiar exchange right out of a Broadway love farce.

"You think I'm in love with your wife, don't you?" Kelly demanded.

Raymond replied testily, "You're right. I do."

Kelly responded, "And you're right. I do."

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