Silver Star Kyra Petrovskaya Wayne

By Susan Hindman

A New Life in the United States

The couple left for the United States a few months later. Life changed dramatically for her professionally and personally. In the U.S., she hoped to continue her theatrical career and went to several auditions without success, mainly because of her accent.

Meanwhile, her husband bought a farm in Pennsylvania, even though neither one of them knew anything about farming. “We had 5,000 chickens, 30 cattle, and just the two of us,” she said. “It was a hard, hard working life. He finally had to go back to work in government, because the farm did not do well. Fortunately, he could get a good position. But the farm fell on my shoulders completely. . . . I hated it. And there was no way for me to do what I was trained to do and liked to do. But my character is strong, so I just did it because it had to be done. My husband would be away at his job for days at a time and eventually he became involved with someone else. Now,” she said, “I could leave.”

Back then, it wasn’t easy to get a divorce. “One had to go to certain places to get it. I went to Las Vegas,” she said. “While I was still waiting there for my divorce, a friend of mine wrote a letter to the Groucho Marx show (You Bet Your Life) suggesting that I could be an interesting contestant. I was a foreigner, I lived an interesting life, and I photographed well.”

Kyra with Groucho MarxShe moved to Los Angeles, and while appearing as a contestant on Groucho’s show, she said, a New York publisher “saw me and got in touch with me with a proposal that I wrote a book about my life. I replied that I happened to have 14 chapters already written.” In 1959, her first book, an autobiography titled Kyra, was published. “It became a best seller, allowing me to live off the earnings for quite a while,” she said. “My appearance on the Groucho show led to many other invitations for television or concert appearances. I sang mostly Russian songs.”


Silver Star Kyra Petrovskaya Wayne continues...
Early Life in Russia 
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Remarriage, Cruise Ships, Writing, and More 

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