b. 14 August 1894, Brockville, Ontario, Canada, d. 20 April 1956, Albany, New York, USA. Active on Broadway from the late 10s and into the mid-40s, Kearns appeared in the musicals Miss Daisy (1914), Come Along (1919), Tickle Me (1920) and Tangerine (1921). In the latter he replaced Billy Rhodes as Lee Loring. Among the songs, by Carlo Sanders and Howard Johnson, which he sang were ‘It’s Great To Be Married’, ‘Love Is A Business’, ‘There’s A Sunbeam For Every Drop Of Rain’ and ‘We’ll Never Grow Old’. Kearns was in Lady Butterfly (1923), playing Billy Browning and singing the Werner Janssen and Clifford Grey songs ‘Girls I’ve Never Met’, ‘Waltz Time’, ‘Good Evening - Good Night’ and ‘Sway With Me’. Also in 1923 he was in Little Jessie James, which had songs by Harry Archer and Harlan Thompson and also featured John Boles and Miriam Hopkins. In 1925 Kearns was in Mercenary Mary and Tip-Toes, co-starring in the latter with Queenie Smith while a small role was played by Jeanette MacDonald. The show’s book was by Guy Bolton and Fred Thompson with music and lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin.
After Broadway Kearns travelled to London to appear in the West End production in which he co-starred with Dorothy Dickson. Kearns was also in Betsy (1926), a Florenz Ziegfeld production that ran for only 39 performances despite having songs by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart and book by Irving Caesar and David Freedman. As Archie, Kearns sang the duets ‘Sing’ and ‘In Our Parlor On The Third Floor Back’ and was featured on ‘Birds On High’. In the late 20s Kearns was in Funny Face (1927), which ran for 250 performances at the Alvin Theatre. In the show, which had songs by the Gershwin bothers, Kearns played Peter Thurston, supporting dancing stars Fred Astaire and Adele Astaire. He was in Here’s Howe and Hello Daddy (both 1928), and Girl Crazy (1930), the latter another Gershwin show in which Kearns played the role of Danny Churchill. Also in the cast were Willie Howard, Ethel Merman and Ginger Rogers. Kearns had roles in non-musical plays including A Divine Moment (1934), The American Way (1939), and The Odds On Mrs Oakley (1944).