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: 04/12/1919 in Gillespie, Illinois, USA

Filmography

Actor (39)

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

Actor

That's Entertainment! III 1994 (Movie)

Host (Actor)

Murder, She Wrote 1991 - 1992 (Tv Show)

Actor

Dallas 1977 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

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

Actor

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

Actor

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

Actor

Polar Bear! 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Narrator

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)

Actor

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)

(Actor)

Callaway Went Thataway 1951 (Movie)

Stretch Barnes / Smoky Callaway (Actor)

Lovely to Look At 1951 (Movie)

Tony Naylor (Actor)

Texas Carnival 1951 (Movie)

(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)

Actor

Pagan Love Song (Movie)

Hazard Endicott (Actor)

Show Boat (Movie)

Gaylord Revenal (Actor)

Three Guys Named Mike (Movie)

Mike Jamison (Actor)

Biography

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.

Relationships

Judy Keel

Wife

Helen Anderson

Wife
divorced

Leslie Keel

Daughter
mother Judy Keel

EDUCATION

awarded the George Walker scholarship for singing

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

Milestones

1994

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

1983

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

1978

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

1977

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

1968

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

1967

Last leading role, "Red Tomahawk"

1958

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

1955

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

1954

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

1952

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

1951

First film opposite Kathryn Grayson, "Show Boat"

1951

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

1950

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

1948

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

1947

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

1933

Moved to Southern California at age 16 (date approximate)

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"

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

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

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

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

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

Worked as a singing busboy in a Los Angeles cafe

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