Jane Ardmore

Jane Kesner Ardmore (1912 — August 17, 2000), also known as Jane Kesner Morris, was a writer in Hollywood, best known for biographies of actors, and for three novels.

Early life and education

Jane Kesner was one of two daughters born to David Leon Kesner and his wife, the former Florence Behrend, in Chicago, Illinois. Jane remembered writing her first popular story at age 10, when her teacher liked her composition so much that she sent copies to every classroom at Jane's school.[1] Kesner attended the University of Chicago, where she was managing editor of the campus newspaper. She graduated from the University of Chicago in 1932.[2] While at Chicago, she was the assigned "big sister" of feminist theologian Janet Kalven, who recalled that Kesner later became "a close friend."[3]


Ardmore worked as a reporter in Hollywood, specializing in celebrity profiles for magazines and newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, Good Housekeeping, and the Saturday Evening Post.[4][5] Book-length biographies by Ardmore include Take My Life (1957, about and with Eddie Cantor),[6] The Dress Doctor (1959, about and with Edith Head), The Self Enchanted (1959, about Mae Murray),[7] and Portrait of Joan (1962, about and with Joan Crawford).[8]

Ardmore also wrote fiction; her novels were Women Inc. (1946),[9] Julie (1952),[10] and To Love is to Listen (1967).[11][12]

In 1968 Ardmore was honored by the Theta Sigma Phi professional organization for women in communications, as "National Headliner of 1968."[13][14]

Personal life

Jane Kesner was married and widowed twice. Her first husband, publicist Ted Morris, died in 1951 after several years of illness. She married her second husband, editor Albert Ardmore, in 1951; the couple had a daughter, Ellen. Jane Kesner Ardmore was widowed from her second marriage in 1993, and died in 2000, at the age of 88, from complications following hip surgery.[15]

An extensive collection of Jane Ardmore's papers is archived at the Margaret Herrick Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[16]


  1. Anne Norman, "Wrote First Story at 10: Door to Success Swings Open for Jane Ardmore" Los Angeles Times (May 17, 1957): A1.
  2. "Class Notes: Deaths" University of Chicago Magazine (December 2001).
  3. Janet Kalven, Women Breaking Boundaries: A Grail Journey, 1940-1995 (SUNY Press 1999): 5. ISBN 9780791443323
  4. Anthony Slide, Inside the Hollywood Fan Magazine: A History of Star Makers, Fabricators, and Gossip Mongers (University Press of Mississippi 2010): 190. ISBN 9781604734140
  5. Mary Neth, "Feminine Progress Charted by Stars" Independent (November 8, 1961): 17. via Newspapers.com
  6. Eddie Cantor with Jane Kesner Morris Ardmore, Take My Life (Doubleday 1957).
  7. D. B., "Sordid Glamor Reflected in Film Star's Life" Delta Democrat-Times (November 15, 1959): 6. via Newspapers.com
  8. Richard L. Coe, "Joan Views La Crawford" Washington Post (July 7, 1962): D16.
  9. Jane Kesner Morris, Women, Inc. (H. Holt and Company 1946).
  10. Jane Kesner Morris, Julie (1952).
  11. "Author to Speak on New Novel" Los Angeles Times (January 31, 1968): OC10.
  12. Ruth C. Ikerman, "Old Folks Home...Where the Action Is" Los Angeles Times (September 24, 1967): N38.
  13. "Theta Sigma Will Honor Jane Ardmore" Los Angeles Times (August 8, 1968): G2B.
  14. Association for Women in Communications, Headliner Award Recipients.
  15. Myrna Oliver, "Jane Kesner Ardmore; Novelist, Biographer" Los Angeles Times (August 22, 2000).
  16. Jane Ardmore Papers, Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture arts and Sciences.
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