Harold Clifford Keel (April 13, 1919 – November 7, 2004), known professionally as Howard Keel, was an American actor and singer, known for his rich bass-baritone singing voice. He starred in a number of MGM musicals in the 1950s and in the CBS television series Dallas from 1981–1991.
- Early life
Keel was born in Gillespie, Illinois, United States, to...
At age 20, Keel was overheard singing by his landlady, Mom...
He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on 8...
- Early life
From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Howard Clifford Keel (April 13, 1919 – November 7, 2004) was an American actor and singer. He was born in 1919. He starred in many movies, including Man of La Mancha and Kiss Me, Kate.
- Early Life
- Personal Life and Death
- External Links
Harry Clifford Keel was born in Gillespie, Illinois, to Navyman-turned-coalminer Homer Keel (1885-1930), and his wife, Grace Margaret (née Osterkamp) Keel (1887-1971). It was falsely stated—by the MGM publicity department of the 1950s—that Keel's birth name was Harold Leek. Harry had an elder brother, Frederick William Keel (1913-1982); the brothers spent their childhood in poverty. One of his teachers, Miss Rosa Burke, noticed one day that Harry had no lunch. From that day forward, Miss Burke would pack two lunches – one for herself and one for Harry. When he became famous and would perform near Gillespie, Burke always received tickets to attend his performances. After his father's death in 1930, Keel and his mother moved to California, where he graduated from Fallbrook High School at age 17. He worked various odd jobs until settling at Douglas Aircraft Companyas a traveling representative.
At age 20, Keel was overheard singing by his landlady, Mom Rider, and was encouraged to take vocal lessons. One of his music heroes was the great baritone Lawrence Tibbett. Keel later remarked that learning that his own voice was a basso cantante was one of the greatest disappointments of his life. Nevertheless, his first public performance occurred in the summer of 1941, when he played the role of Samuel the Prophet in Handel's oratorio Saul (singing a duet with bass-baritone George London).
He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on 8 February 1960. It is located at 6253 Hollywood Boulevard. A Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Starswas dedicated to him in 1996. He was a member of the Grand Order of Water Rats.
In 1943, Keel met and married actress Rosemary Cooper. They were divorced in 1948, during the London run. Keel met Helen Anderson, a member of the show's chorus, and they married in January 1949. Keel and Helen were separated in 1969 and divorced in 1970. Keel married airline stewardess Judy Magamoll in December 1970. Keel had four children: three with second wife, Helen Anderson: two daughters, Kaija Liane (born 1950) and Kirstine Elizabeth (born 1952), and a son, Gunnar Louis (born 1955); one by his third wife of 34 years, Judy: a daughter, Leslie Grace (born 1974); and ten grandchildren, including the actor Bodie Olmos. Keel died at his Palm Desert home on November 7, 2004, six weeks after a bout with colon cancer. He was cremated and his ashes scattered at three favorite places: Mere Golf Club, Cheshire, England; John Lennon Airport, Liverpool, England; and Tuscany, Italy.
Leiby, Bruce R. (2007). "Keel, (Clifford) Howard." The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives. Charles Scribner's Sons. Retrieved January 7, 2013, from HighBeam Research
- Early years
- Acting career
- Later career
Born Harry (or Harold) Clifford Keel in Gillespie, Illinois, in 1919 to Homer Charles Keel and Grace (Osterkamp) Keel, and the brother of Frederick William Keel, his childhood was unhappy, his father being a hard-drinking coal miner and his mother a stern, repressed Methodist homemaker. When Keel was 11 his father died, and the family moved to California. He later earned his living as a car mechanic, then found work during WWII at Douglas Aircraft in Los Angeles. His naturally untrained voice was discovered by the staff of his aircraft company and soon he was performing at various entertainments for the company's clients. He was inspired to sing professionally one day while attending a Hollywood Bowl concert, and quickly advanced through the musical ranks from singing waiter to music festival contest winner to guest recitalist.
Oscar Hammerstein II \\"discovered\\" Keel in 1946 during John Raitt's understudy auditions for the role of Billy Bigelow in Broadway's popular musical \\"Carousel.\\" He was cast on sight and the die was cast. Keel managed to understudy Alfred Drake as Curly in \\"Oklahoma!\\" as well, and in 1947 took over the rustic lead in the London production, earning great success. British audiences took to the charismatic singer and he remained there as a concertist while making a non-singing film debut in the British crime drama The Hideout (1948) (aka \\"Hideout\\"). MGM was looking for an answer to Warner Bros.' Gordon MacRae when they came upon Keel in England. They made a great pitch for him and he returned to the US, changing his stage moniker to Howard Keel. He became a star with his very first role, playing sharpshooter Frank Butler opposite brassy Betty Hutton's Annie Oakley in the film version of the Broadway musical Annie Get Your Gun (1950). From then on Keel was showcased in several of MGM's biggest extravaganzas, with Show Boat (1951), Calamity Jane (1953), Kiss Me Kate (1953) and (reportedly his favorite) Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) at the top of the list. Kismet (1955) opposite Ann Blyth would be his last, as the passion for movie musicals ran its course.
Keel managed to move into rugged (if routine) action fare, appearing in such 1960s films as Armored Command (1961), Waco (1966), Red Tomahawk (1967) and The War Wagon (1967), the last one starring John Wayne and featuring Keel as a wisecracking Indian, of all things. In the 1970s Keel kept his singing voice alive by returning full force to his musical roots. Some of his summer stock and touring productions, which included \\"Camelot,\\" \\"South Pacific\\", \\"Seven Brides for Seven Brothers\\", \\"Man of La Mancha\\", and \\"Show Boat\\", often reunited him with his former MGM leading ladies, including Kathryn Grayson and Jane Powell. He also worked up a Las Vegas nightclub act with Grayson in the 1970s. Keel became an unexpected TV household name when he replaced Jim Davis as the upstanding family patriarch of the nighttime soap drama Dallas (1978) after Davis' untimely death. As Clayton Farlow, Miss Ellie's second husband, he enjoyed a decade of steady work. In later years he continued to appear in concerts. As a result of this renewed fame on TV, Keel landed his first solo recording contract with \\"And I Love You So\\" in 1983. Married three times, he died in 2004 of colon cancer, survived immediately by his third wife, three daughters and one son.
Howard Keel, egentligen Harry Clifford Keel, född 13 april 1919 i Gillespie i Illinois, död 7 november 2004 i Palm Desert i Kalifornien, var en amerikansk skådespelare, sångare och musikalartist. Keel spelade huvudroller i ett antal MGM-musikaler under 1950-talet.
The film stars Kathryn Grayson, Ava Gardner, and Howard Keel, with Joe E. Brown, Marge Champion, Gower Champion, William Warfield, Robert Sterling, Agnes Moorehead and Leif Erickson. Unlike the 1936 film, none of the members of the original Broadway cast of the show appeared in this version.
- Early life
- Early career
- Acting career
- Later career
- Later years
Howard Keel, born Harold Clifford Keel (April 13, 1919 November 7, 2004) was an American actor who starred in many of the classic film musicals of the 1950s.
Born in Gillespie, Illinois, to Navyman-turned-coalminer Homer Keel and his wife, Grace Osterkamp Keel, young Harry spent his childhood in poverty. After his father's death in 1930, he and his mother moved to California, where he graduated from Fallbrook High School at the age of 17 and took various odd-jobs until finally settling at Douglas Aircraft Company, where he became a traveling representative.
At the age of twenty, he was overheard singing by his landlady, Mom Rider, and was encouraged to take vocal lessons. One of his musical heroes was the great baritone Lawrence Tibbett and Howard would later say that finding out that his own voice was a basso cantante was one of the greatest disappointments of his life. Nevertheless, his first public performance came in the summer of 1941 when he played the role of Samuel the Prophet in Handel's oratorio Saul and David (singing a duet with bass-baritone George London). Just a couple years after this, in 1943, Harold met and married his first wife, actress Rosemary Cooper. In 1945 Harold briefly understudied for John Raitt in the Broadway hit Carousel, before being assigned to Oklahoma! by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. It was during this time, he accomplished a feat that has never been duplicated. He performed the leads in both shows on the same day.
In 1947 Oklahoma! became the first American musical, post-war, to travel to London, England, and Harold went with it. Opening night , 30th April, at the Drury Lane Theatre, the capacity audience (which included the Queen) demanded fourteen encores. Harold Keel was hailed as the next great star and was the toast of the West End.
During the London run, the marriage of Harold and Rosemary ended in divorce, and Harold fell in love with a young member of the show's chorus, dancer Helen Anderson. They married in January 1949 and, a year later, Harold - now called Howard - became a father for the first time to daughter Kaija. But 1970 proved to be fortuitous for Howard after all. He was set up on a blind date with airline stewardess Judy Magamoll who was twenty-five years his junior and had never even heard of him. They were married in December 1970 and his drinking problem soon ceased.
While living in London, Keel made his film debut as Howard Keel at the British Lion studio in Elstree, in The Small Voice (1948), released in the US as Hideout, playing an escaped convict, holding up a playwright and his wife in their English country cottage.
Additional Broadway credits include Saratoga, No Strings, and Ambasador. He appeared at The Muny in St. Louis, MO as General Waverly in White Christmas (2000), Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady (1996); Emile de Becque in South Pacific (1992), and Adam in Seven Brides For Seven Brothers (1978). From London's West End, Howard ended up at MGM making his film musical debut as Frank Butler in Annie Get Your Gun.
Howard's MGM career was to be a frustrating business. MGM never seemed to know quite what to do with him and, outside of plum roles in the films Show Boat, Kiss Me, Kate and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, he was forced into a stream of worthless musicals and B-films. On loan-out at Warner Bros., he played Wild Bill Hickok in Calamity Jane, a highly popular, Oscar-winning musical filmed in 1953, starring Doris Day in one of her most famous screen roles. This was Warner's answer to Annie Get Your Gun, and the film that produced the smash hit number, \\"Secret Love\\".
By 1980 he had had enough of struggling to find work and he moved his family to Oklahoma, intending to join an oil company. They had barely settled there when Howard was called back to California to appear with Jane Powell on an episode of The Love Boat. While he was there, he was told that the producers of the smash hit television series Dallas wanted to talk to him. After several cameo appearances, Howard joined the show permanently as the dignified, if hot tempered, oil baron Clayton Farlow and his career reached heights it had never seen before. With his renewed fame, Howard began his first solo recording career at age sixty-four, as well as a wildly successful concert career in the UK. He released an album in 1984 called \\"With Love\\", that sold poorly, thus indicating that though the American public were happy to see him as a supporting actor on hit TV show, they were not prepared for a full resumption of his previous stardom.
Even after Dallas he continued to sing, and kept his voice in remarkable shape. In 1994, he and Judy moved to Palm Desert, CA. The Keels were always active in charity events, helping their community and were well loved amongst the residents. In particular, Howard and Judy attended the annual Howard Keel Golf Classic at Mere Golf Club in Cheshire, England, which raised money for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). He attended for many years, up until the year of his death.
Howard died at his home in Palm Desert on November 7, 2004, six weeks after being diagnosed with colon cancer. He is survived by Judy, his wife of thirty-four years, his four children, ten grandchildren and a great-granddaughter. He was cremated and his ashes scattered at various favorite places including Mere Golf Club, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, and in Tuscany, Italy.
Howard Keel was an American singer and actor who starred in several MGM musicals and the TV drama series ‘Dallas’. Known for his rich bass-baritone voice, he was inspired to sing professionally while attending a concert and wasted no time in pursuing his passion.
Howard Keel was the Errol Flynn and Clark Gable of "golden age" movie musicals back in the 1950s. With a barrel-chested swagger and cocky, confident air, the 6'4" brawny baritone Keel had MGM's loveliest songbirds swooning helplessly for over a decade in what were some of the finest musical films ever produced.
After several supporting roles, she was a lead performer in such films as Thousands Cheer (1943), Anchors Aweigh (1945) with Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly, and Show Boat (1951) and Kiss Me Kate (1953), both with Howard Keel. When film musical production declined, she worked in theatre, appearing in Camelot (1962–1964).
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