RUBY KEELER BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
Ruby Keeler was born on August 25th, 1910 in Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada with the birth name Ethel Hilda Keeler. She had five other siblings and at the age of three, her family relocated to New York City.
She first developed an interest in dancing while attending St. Catherine of Siena parochial school where once a week a dance instructor would come to campus and teach. Keeler soon dropped out of school in the sixth grade and began performing at various night clubs when she was only thirteen years old. She had to help her family out financially, as her father was very ill.
By the age of sixteen she had moved to New York and was a dancer on Broadway. She appeared in such productions as, "Bye Bye Bonnie", "Lucky", "The Sidewalks of New York" and "Whoopee!". After her first marriage at the age of eighteen, she relocated to Hollywood, where she began to work on musicals in the film industry with Warner Brothers Studio's.
Keeler became most well known for her role in the Warner brothers musical, "42nd Street" (1933) starring alongside Warner Baxter, Bebe Daniels, Guy Kibbee, George Brent, Una Merkel, Ginger Rogers, Dick Powell and Allen Jenkins. Other film roles that followed were in, "Dames" (1934) also starring Dick Powell, Joan Blondell, Guy Kibbee, ZaSu Pitts and Hugh Herbert, "Flirtation Walk" (1934) co-starring Dick Powell, Pat O'Brien, Henry O'Neill and Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams, "Go Into Your Dance" (1935) starring with Al Jolson, Glenda Farrell, Barton MacLane, Patsy Kelly, Helen Morgan and Akim Tamiroff and "Shipmates Forever" (1935) starring Dick Powell, Lewis Stone, Ross Alexander, Eddie Acuff and Dick Foran and her final early film role was in 1941 in, "Sweetheart of the Campus" featuring Ozzie Nelson and Harriet Hillard Nelson. She then had divorced from her first husband and left the industry not making a comeback until in 1955 where she appeared on such television series as, "The Jackie Gleason Show" (1954), "The Greatest Show on Earth" (1964) starring Jack Palance, Stu Erwin and Buck Taylor, "Vacation Playhouse" (1964) and her final television role in 1985 on, "Glitter".
"The Phynx" (1970) had Ruby in a cameo role in the comedy about a rock and roll band regarding their participation in foreign affairs which also starred Lou Antonio, Mike Kellin, Michael Ansara, George Tobias, Joan Blondell, Martha Raye, Rich Little, Susan Bernard, John Hart as The Lone Ranger and Jay Silverheels as his sidekick Tonto. In 1989 Ruby appeared in her final film role in "Beverly Hills Brats" co-starring with Peter Billingsley, Martin Sheen, Burt Young, Terry Moore, George Kirby and Whoopi Goldberg in a cameo role.
She also made a return to Broadway in 1971 appearing in a production of, "No No Nanette". Keeler was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Ruby Keeler married twice throughout her lifetime, first to Al Jolson in 1928 and they had one adopted child before the marriage came to an end in 1939. Her second husband was John Homer Lowe whom she wed in 1941 and they had four children together and remained married until he passed away in 1969. She did not re-marry and on February 28th, 1993, Keeler passed away in Rancho Mirage, California after suffering from cancer. Her remains are interred in the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Orange, California
1989 Beverly Hills Brats
1970 The Phynx
1964 Vacation Playhouse
1964 The Greatest Show on Earth
1954 The Jackie Gleason Show
1941 Sweetheart of the Campus
1938 Mother Carey's Chickens
1937 Ready, Willing and Able
1935 Shipmates Forever
1935 Go Into Your Dance
1934 Flirtation Walk
1933 Footlight Parade
1933 Gold Diggers of 1933
1933 42nd Street