Alexa Kenin, the ‘Pretty in Pink’ actress, who died at just 23

Alexa Kenin, the 'Pretty in Pink' actress, who died at just 23

Alexa Kenin, a young actress, died mysteriously at the age of 23 on September 10, 1985. She was nearing the end of her role as Jenna in the film “Pretty in Pink” when she was found dead in her New York City apartment. The cause of her death is unknown, but speculations include an asthma attack, a seizure, a drug overdose, the involvement of an ex-boyfriend, or complications from her Type 1 diabetes. The film “Pretty In Pink” paid tribute to her in its closing credits.

Who was Alexa Kenin?

Alexa Jordan Kenin was born in New York City. Her parents split up when she was young. Her mom, actress Maya Kenin, married actor John P. Ryan. Alexa began her acting career at the age of ten, starring in the television film “The House Without a Christmas Tree” alongside Jason Robards. She also appeared in several television films, including “Word of Honor” with Karl Malden and “A Piano for Mrs. Cimino” with Bette Davis. Additionally, she acted in five ABC “Afterschool Specials”: “The Amazing Cosmic Awareness of Duffy Moon.”

Alexa Kenin photo
Pictured: Alexa Kenin

At 15 years old, she performed for the first time on stage in New York’s Public Theater production of John Guare’s “Landscape of the Body”, acting alongside Shirley Knight and F. Murray Abraham. Soon after, she starred in the Phoenix Theater’s show “The Elusive Angel” by Jack Gilhooley, where she acted with Brad Davis.

She starred in several other movies including “Animal Behavior” with Armand Assante and Karen Allen (made in 1984 but not released until 1989), and “Pretty in Pink” with Molly Ringwald and Jon Cryer.

Sadly, on September 10, 1985, shortly after finishing filming for “Pretty in Pink,” she was discovered deceased in her New York apartment.

How Did Alexa Kenin Die?

On September 10, 1985, Alexa Kenin, aged 23, was found dead in her Manhattan apartment, New York shortly after completing filming for “Pretty in Pink.” The exact cause of her death has not been disclosed as reported by The New York Times. Although her death certificate mentioned asthma complications, it is believed that a overdose was the true cause.

Her death, which still puzzles many, has led to various speculations. Some suggest it could have been due to a seizure, a drug overdose, or even the possibility of an ex-boyfriend being involved. There’s also speculation that she might have been a Type 1 diabetic.

Someone on Narkive mentioned that they knew Alexa’s father, who confirmed that he had lost a child to drugs – Alexa. Alexa’s father had no other children, but her mother, who was divorced from him, had two younger daughters who were half-sisters. Alexa was remembered fondly as a wonderful individual.

Another Narkive user commented, “I’m not sure if my aunt or her neighbors know who Alexa is, but just speculating, maybe one of her co-stars hurt her, or maybe her parents punished her for using bad language in the movie, or perhaps a fan attacked her, or maybe she struggled with drugs, I don’t know, but if she had asthma, why smoke cigarettes? It’s confusing!”

Despite the speculations, Alexa’s cause of death remains mysterious. She is fondly remembered for her numerous roles and outstanding performances. She rests in peace at New Montefiore Cemetery in West Babylon, New York.