Howard Keel

Actor, Singer, Singing busboy
His operatic singing voice and matinee idol looks won him an offer in 1944 to headline Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway hit "Oklahoma!" but Howard Keel stuck with his day job at the Douglas Aircraft Corporation ... Read more »
Born: 04/13/1919 in Gillespie, Illinois, USA


Actor (40)

Walker, Texas Ranger 1991 - 1992, 1994 - 1995 (Tv Show)


That's Entertainment! III 1994 (Movie)

Host (Actor)

Murder, She Wrote 1991 - 1992 (Tv Show)


Dallas 1977 - 1991 (TV Show)


The 48th Annual Golden Globe Awards 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)


The 1990 Miss Universe Pageant 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)


The 58th Annual Academy Awards Presentation 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)


Polar Bear! 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)


Arizona Bushwhackers 1968 (Movie)

Lee Travis (Actor)

Red Tomahawk 1966 (Movie)

Capt Tom York (Actor)

The War Wagon 1966 (Movie)

Levi Walking Bear (Actor)

Waco 1965 (Movie)

Waco (Actor)

The Day of the Triffids 1963 (Movie)

Bill Masen (Actor)

Armored Command 1961 (Movie)

Colonel Devlin (Actor)

Roberta 1958 - 1959 (TV Show)


Floods of Fear 1958 (Movie)

Donavan (Actor)

The Big Fisherman 1958 (Movie)

Simon Peter (Actor)

Desperate Search 1956 (Movie)

Vince Heldon (Actor)

Jupiter's Darling 1955 (Movie)

Hannibal (Actor)

Kismet 1955 (Movie)

Poet (Actor)

Deep in My Heart 1954 (Movie)

Guest Star (Actor)

Rose Marie 1954 (Movie)

Mike Malone (Actor)

Seven Brides For Seven Brothers 1954 (Movie)

Adam Pontipee (Actor)

Calamity Jane 1953 (Movie)

Wild Bill Hickok (Actor)

I Love Melvin 1953 (Movie)

Guest Star (Actor)

Kiss Me Kate 1953 (Movie)

Fred Grahame/Petruchio (Actor)

Ride, Vaquero 1953 (Movie)


Callaway Went Thataway 1951 (Movie)

Stretch Barnes / Smoky Callaway (Actor)

Lovely to Look At 1951 (Movie)

Tony Naylor (Actor)

Texas Carnival 1951 (Movie)


The Small Voice 1948 (Movie)

Boke (Actor)

Across the Wide Missouri (Movie)

Chip Mitchell as an Adult (as Narrator) (Voice)

Annie Get Your Gun (Movie)

Frank Butler (Actor)

Irving Berlin's America (TV Show)


Pagan Love Song (Movie)

Hazard Endicott (Actor)

Show Boat (Movie)

Gaylord Revenal (Actor)

Three Guys Named Mike (Movie)

Mike Jamison (Actor)


His operatic singing voice and matinee idol looks won him an offer in 1944 to headline Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway hit "Oklahoma!" but Howard Keel stuck with his day job at the Douglas Aircraft Corporation, setting aside ambition to aid the Allied effort through the end of World War II. It was on London's West End that Keel caught the eye of British film producers, for whom he made his big screen debut in 1948. Stateside, Keel accepted an MGM contract and lead roles in such Technicolor musicals as "Annie Get Your Gun" (1950), "Show Boat" (1951), and "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" (1954), while proving himself a credible man of action in the British "Floods of Fear" (1958) and "Day of the Triffids" (1962), in which he saved the Earth from an invasion of asparaginous extraterrestrials. Though he rode tall beside John Wayne and Kirk Douglas in Burt Kennedy's "The War Wagon" (1967), film offers thinned out with the demise of the studio system. Supplementing his income with nightclub and summer stock appearances, Keel was on the verge of retiring when the producers of the popular primetime soap opera "Dallas" (NBC, 1978-1991) tapped him to play steel-spined oil baron Clayton Farlow through the end of the series' 13-year run. Capping his career in his seventies by returning to his roots as a singer, Keel released four albums of songs before his death in 2004 robbed the arts of a one-of-a-kind popular entertainer with classical appeal.


Judy Keel


Helen Anderson


Leslie Keel

mother Judy Keel


awarded the George Walker scholarship for singing

attended high school in Falbrook, California; lettered in several sports



Was one of the hosts of the feature compilation documentary, "That's Entertainment III", revisiting the MGM musical from the coming of sound through the late 1950s


Recorded first solo album, "And I Love You So"


Reprised screen role of eldest brother Adam in a touring stage version of "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers", opposite original screen co-star Jane Powell


Teamed with Jane Powell on record-breaking national theater tour of "South Pacific"


Last feature film appearance for over 20 years, "Arizona Bushwhackers"


Last leading role, "Red Tomahawk"


Went to Britain to play the leading role in the action drama, "Floods of Fear"


Last musical starring roles, and last musicals for MGM, "Jupiter's Darling" and "Kismet"


Made best-remembered film, "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers"


First leading role in a non-musical, "Desperate Search"


First film opposite Kathryn Grayson, "Show Boat"


Provided the offscreen narration for the Western saga, "Across the Wide Missouri", starring Clark Gable


Signed by MGM; became instant star as the male lead of "Annie Get Your Gun"


Made feature film debut in a non-singing supporting role in the British crime drama, "The Small Voice"


Recreated the role of Curly when he opened the London stage production of "Oklahoma"


Moved to Southern California at age 16 (date approximate)

Chosen by Oscar Hammerstein II to perform on Broadway in "Carousel"; succeeded John Raitt in the leading role of Billy Bigelow; also took over the leading role of Curly in "Oklahoma"

Worked for Douglas Aircraft as a manufacturing representative travelling among various company plants; work included singing; won a first prize award at the Mississippi Valley while on the road; also won an award at the Chicago Music Festival

Began singing career with the American Music Theatre in Pasadena, California

Starred on the London stage in the musical "Ambassador"; later brought the role to Broadway (date approximate)

Joined the cast of the CBS primetime serial drama, "Dallas", which had premiered in 1978; played Clayton Farlow

Worked as a singing busboy in a Los Angeles cafe

Toured the nightclub circuit, sometimes teaming up with his co-star from three MGM musicals of the 1950s, Kathryn Grayson

Toured in stage productions of musicals and comedies including "Camelot", "Man of La Mancha", "Paint Your Wagon", "I Do! I Do!", "Plaza Suite", "Gigi", "Show Boat", "Kismet", "The Most Happy Fella" and "The Fantasticks"