Alabama remembers its "physician to the stars"

Oct 2, 2013

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Dr. Rexford Kennamer, a "physician to the stars" whose clients included some of Hollywood's biggest names, has died in Alabama where he had lived in recent years, his relatives said Tuesday night. He was 93. Kennamer died at the Montgomery house he shared with his nephew, Richard Kennamer, on Sept. 28. Richard Kennamer said the physician had lived with him for the past five years after suffering stroke that left him unable to speak. "He had just been in declining health, but when he got here he still could communicate by writing very legible notes," Kennamer said. Kennamer's relatives said he worked previously in a private practice in Beverly Hills, Calif. after receiving degrees from the University of Alabama and the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. Kennamer's clients included Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson - who co-starred alongside Doris Day in "Pillow Talk" and died in 1985. The physician's family is planning a private service at a cemetery in his hometown of Guntersville, Ala., Richard Kennamer said. Rexford Kennamer was born July 4, 1920, and attended Lanier High School. He was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, an honorary medical society, and had worked in California between 1954 and 2008, his relatives said. The physician is survived by five nieces and five nephews. In lieu of flowers, Kennamer's relatives are asking well-wishers to make donations to their favorite charity, or the Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based Western Cardiac Foundation, which Kennamer founded in 1962. The foundation has supported cardiac and biomedical research in Los Angeles and has supported the Montgomery Internal Medicine Residency Program since 2004.