Georgia Carroll Kyser, a fashion model in the 1930s and ‘40s who became an actress and a singer with her husband Kay Kyser’s big band, died Friday in Chapel Hill, N.C. She was 91.
The cause was not revealed.
Born Nov. 18, 1919, in Blooming Grove, Texas, Georgia Carroll began singing, dancing and acting as a child. She became a part-time fashion model at the Neiman Marcus department store in Dallas and at 16 posed for “The Spirit of the Centennial” statue at the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition at the state fair grounds in Dallas.
A year later, she signed with the John Robert Powers modeling agency in New York and soon posed for the cover of Redbook. She was featured on the covers of Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Ladies’ Home Journal and other magazines and was photographed by Edward Steichen and Horst P. Horst.
She moved to Hollywood in 1941 and signed a contract with Warner Bros.
Two years later she became a vocalist for Kay Kyser, the bandleader for a weekly radio show dubbed the “The Kollege of Musical Knowledge.” She appeared in 14 films, including “Around the World” and “Carolina Blues” with Kay Kyser.
In 1944, during a break from USO shows entertaining troops, the couple married in Las Vegas.
Within a few years Georgia left show business to raise a family, and Kay gave up his weekly TV television program. They moved from Beverly Hills to Chapel Hill, where Kay became a Christian Science practitioner and Georgia became a homemaker.
She also became interested in historic preservation and advocating for the arts. She earned a bachelor’s degree in studio art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1970. A few years later she co-founded the Chapel Hill Preservation Society.
In 1982 her husband became president of the Christian Science Church worldwide. He died in 1985. Survivors include two daughters and five grandchildren.