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Howard Keel ACTOR

Howard Keel was born on April 13th, 1919 in Gillespie, Illinois with the middle name Clifford to parents, Homer Keel and Grace Osterkamp Keel.  He did not have a very good upbringing, his mother was very strict and his father was an alcoholic.  At the age of eleven, his father passed away and his mother relocated him to California.
After graduating from Fallbrook High School he found a job as a mechanic and then during World War II, Keel worked at Douglas Aircraft and it was there that his other co-workers, noticed his talent for singing.  They encouraged him to get involved in entertainment.
He began doing some recitals and then was performing an understudy role for the Broadway production, "Carousel" when he was scouted by Oscar Hammerstein II.  Soon, Keel began performing in a number of other stage productions and even went to London for a while to perform.  It was at this time that he was also given a role in his first film in Britain in, "The Hideout" (1949).
It did not take long before Hollywood began to take notice of him and it was MGM that convinced him to return to the United States where he performed in the film musical version of, "Annie Get Your Gun" (1950) followed by roles in, "Show Boat" (1951) starring Kathryn Grayson, Ava Gardner, Joe E. Brown, Marge Champion, Gower Champion, William Warfield, Robert Sterling, Agnes Moorehead and Leif Erickson, "Across the Wide Missouri" (1951) starring Clark Gable, "Calamity Jane" (1953) starring Doris Day, Philip Carey, Dick Wesson and Chubby Johnson, "Kiss Me Kate" (1953) also starring Kathryn Grayson, Tommy Rall, Ann Miller, Keenan Wynn, Bobby Van and James Whitmore, "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" (1954) with Jane Powell, Julie Newmar and "Kismet" (1955).
As his career progressed he continued to focus on film work but also returned to his love of live performing using his musical talents.  Over his years in the industry, Keel was seen on Broadway in such productions as, "Saratoga", "No Strings" and "Ambassador".   
During the 60's he was seen on the big screen in such features as, "Armored Command" (1961), "Waco" (1966) and "The War Wagon" (1967) starring John Wayne and Kirk Douglas, Keenan Wynn, Robert Walker Jr., Joanna Barnes, Bruce Dern, Gene Evans and Sheb Wolley, "Red Tomahawk" (1967) and "Arizona Bushwackers" (1968). 
Along with film and stage work he also made a number of television appearances with his most well known role being on the soap series, "Dallas" (1978) along with other roles such as, "The Red Skelton Hour", "The Love Boat", "Zane Grey Theatre", "Death Valley Days", and "Murder, She Wrote".  He also served as President of the Screen Actors Guild from 1958 through 1959.
Keel never neglected his musical talent and even went on later to perform in a number of concerts and had a solo recording career.  His album, "With Love" was released in 1984 at the age of sixty four.  He then released his second album, "And I Love You" also in 1984 which was more successful and topped at number 6 six in the United Kingdom Album Charts.  He then released another album titled, "Reminiscing-The Howard Keel Collection" which was also successful topping off at number twenty on the United Kingdom Chart. 
He married three times throughout his lifetime, first to Rosemary Cooper in 1943 through 1948.  He then married Helen Anderson in 1949 and after having three children this marriage came to an end in 1970.  His final wife was Judy Keel, who was twenty five years younger than him.  They married in 1970 and had one child with and they remained together until he passed away from colon cancer on November 7th, 2004 in Palm Desert, California.  His remains were cremated and his ashes were scattered around some of his favorite spots.


2002   My Father's House 

1995   Walker, Texas Ranger 

1994   Hart to Hart: Home Is Where the Hart Is

1991   Murder, She Wrote 

1991   Good Sports 

1981-1991  Dallas

1986   Great Performances

1981-1983  The Love Boat 

1982   Fantasy Island 

1976   The Quest

1969   Insight 

1969   Here's Lucy 

1968   Arizona Bushwhackers 

1967   The Red Skelton Hour

1967   The War Wagon 

1967   Red Tomahawk 

1966   Waco 

1965   Run for Your Life 

1965   The Man from Button Willow 

1964   Kiss Me Kate

1963   Death Valley Days

1962   The Day of the Triffids 

1961   Tales of Wells Fargo

1961   Armored Command 

1959   The Big Fisherman

1958   Floods of Fear

1958   Roberta

1957   Zane Grey Theatre 

1955   Kismet 

1955   Jupiter's Darling 

1954   Deep in My Heart 

1954   Seven Brides for Seven Brothers 

1954   Rose Marie

1953   Kiss Me Kate 

1953   Calamity Jane 

1953   Ride, Vaquero!

1953   Fast Company

1952   Desperate Search

1952   Lovely to Look at

1951   Callaway Went Thataway 

1951   Texas Carnival 

1951   Across the Wide Missouri 

1951   Show Boat 

1951   Three Guys Named Mike 

1950   Pagan Love Song 

1950   Annie Get Your Gun 

1949   The Hideout 

Matinee Classics - Calamity Jane starring Doris Day, Howard Keel, Allyn McLerie, Philip Carey, Dick Wesson, Paul Harvey, Chubby Johnson and Gale Robbins
Matinee Classics - Pagan Love Song starring Esther Williams, Howard Keel, Minna Gombell, Charles Mauu and Rita Moreno

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