Kay Leslie


Now, after some beautiful women, we get a truly cute one. Just looking at Kay Leslie, one has to break a smile. Like  ray of light, Kay brings a light, pure and happy feelings with her pretty face and winsome figure.


Kay Leslie was born as Melba Lucille De Closs on December 28, 1916, to Raymond De Closs, an automobile salesman, and his wife, Catherine Nolan De Closs, in Fresno, California. She had an older sister, Helen, and two younger brothers, Raymond and Irvine.

Kay attended Washington Junior High School. The family moved around, first to Chowville, and then to Salinas. Kay’s firs job was a supervisor at a telephone company in Salinas, where she worked until she decided to enter a Fox West Coast Theater Personality Contest – after wining, she went to Hollywood with her mother to try her hand at movies. She was renamed Kay Leslie and started her career for Universal Studios.


Kay LeslieKay actually had a very colorful filmography when you look at it. Her uncredited stint in 1940 and 1941 range from B movies with low tier stars to A class movies with huge stars even today. Really, just look at it: she was in Spring Parade with Deanna Durbin who was insanely popular then, Seven Sinners  with two legends, Marlene DIetrich and John Wayne, One Night in the Tropics and Buck Privates , both Abbott and Costello romps. On the other hand, she was also in The Invisible Woman, an ridiculous science fiction move with Virginia Bruce, and Where Did You Get That Girl?  an unknown Leon Errol musical/comedy. True, having uncredited roles meant nobody even saw her, but the list is very diverse. very impressive, and much better than most girls who were often stuck in repetitive circle (only comedies, only dramas and so on.) For a springboard to better things, this was as good as it gets!

Kay’s last two roles were credited. She had a meaty role in The Texas Marshal. a B western, and a smaller but still notable role in A class My Life with Caroline starring Ronald Colman. Just when one things things are looking up for Kay Leslie, she disappears from Hollywood and never has a credited performance again.


I am sorry to say that there is nothing notable to write here. Kay was in the papers with some frequency in 1940 and 1941, but never for any romantic reasons, mostly for the publicity stunts and photos. For publicity photos, she was paired with Anne Nagel, another starlet who went to achieve a more notable career.

Kay married Edward Howard Cooke III in 1942 or 1943, and they had four children: Catherine Earle Cooke (born on February 6, 1944), Adrienne Blackneil Cooke (born on June 9, 1946), Richard Donaldson Cooke (born on April 3, 1948) and Elisabeth Karen Cooke (born on March 2, 1951).

In her later years, Kay married again, and her name was Melba Allison. There was a Melba Allison, Mrs. Virgil Allison, who was active in amateur theatrics in the Ohio area, and this could possibly be our Kay.

Kay Leslie died on November 11, 1991 at the age of 74 in Los Angeles, California.


2 responses

  1. Kay Leslie ( Melba DeCloss ) did marry, but her name was Melba Cooke, not Allison. That was many, many years later. She married Edward How’d Cooke the 3rd and had 4 children. Catherine, Addriean, Richard and Elisabeth. In the later years she remarried. Thats when her mane changed to Allison.

    • Hi Elisabeth! Was Kay by any chance your mom? Anyway, thank you so much for the information, I couldn’t find anything, this will help me a lot! If you have anything to add, please do!

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