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Howard Keel

Biography

Acting professional and baritone vocalist who also starred on Broadway in musicals such as for example Carousel and Oklahoma!, and performed Clayton Farlow around the strike series Dallas. He gained his living as an automobile mechanic and later on worked well for Douglas Plane in LA, California during Globe Battle II. He achieved a unique feat in 1945 when he performed the prospects in Carousel and Oklahoma on a single day. His additional Broadway credits consist of Saratoga no Strings. He wedded 3 x and experienced four children, among whom is creation designer Leslie Elegance Keel. He starred with Barbara Bel Geddes in it series Dallas.

Quick Facts


Full Name Howard Keel
Date Of Birth April 13, 1919
Died November 7, 2004, Palm Desert, California, United States
Place Of Birth Gillespie, IL
Height 1.9 m
Profession Stage Actor
Education Fallbrook Union High School
Nationality American
Spouse Judy Keel, Helen Anderson, Rosemary Cooper
Children Kaija Keel, Leslie Keel, Gunnar Keel, Kirstine Keel
Parents Grace Osterkamp Keel, Homer Keel
Movies Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Calamity Jane, Show Boat, Kiss Me Kate, Annie Get Your Gun, Kismet, The War Wagon, The Day of the Triffids, Jupiter's Darling, Pagan Love Song, Lovely to Look At, Texas Carnival, Rose Marie, Ride, Vaquero!, Red Tomahawk, Callaway Went Thataway, Arizona Bushwackers, The Small Voice, Three Guys Named Mike, Desperate Search, The Big Fisherman, Floods of Fear, Armored Command, Deep in My Heart, That's Entertainment! III, The Man from Button Willow, Waco, The Hoaxters, Fast Company, Hart To Hart: Home Is Where the Hart Is, Hollywood Musicals of the '50s, The Hideout
TV Shows Dallas, Let Freedom Ring
Star Sign Aries

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1He was a staunch conservative Republican.
2Best friend of Barbara Bel Geddes and Larry Hagman.
3Best known for his role as Clayton Farlow on Dallas (1978).
4Met Judy Keel on a blind date, who never even heard of him. Judy was 26, Howard was 51.
5Had grown up in a strict Christian environment.
6After his father's death, he and his mother moved to San Diego, California, in 1930.
7Was best/good friends with: Ann Miller, Esther Williams, Cyd Charisse, Jack Elam, Keenan Wynn and George Sidney.
8Began his career as a contract player at MGM in 1950.
9Remained good friends with Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy during and after Dallas (1978).
10Before he was a successful stage actor and singer, he used to work as a traveling representative.
11Survived by ten grandchildren and 1 great-granddaughter.
12Was cremated and his ashes scattered at various favorite places including Mere Golf Club, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, and in Tuscany, Italy.
13His hobbies included: singing, dancing, watching movies, listening to opera, fishing, golfing, spending time with his family.
14Before he was a successful actor, he also worked as a singing busboy.
15Producers approached Howard Keel for the role of "Jock Ewing" on Dallas (1978) after Jim Davis's death but, out of respect for Davis, Keel turned them down and remained in the role of "Clayton Farlow".
16Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 7, 2003-2005, pages 294-296. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007.
17Shares birthday with Ron Perlman.
18Was the original choice to play the lead in Singin' in the Rain (1952). The part went to Gene Kelly instead.
19Due to his huge size, many of his petite leading ladies had to stand on boxes to be in the same frame.
20In the 1950s, while he was at MGM, a mistake in the publicity department started the rumor that Howard's birth name was Harold Leek. The rumor soon became regarded as fact, though it annoyed Howard very much. His true birth name was Harry Clifford Keel.
21First wife, Rosemary Cooper, was an actress and second wife, Helen Anderson, was a dancer. Third wife & widow, Judy Keel, was a one-time flight attendant.
22Originally scheduled to portray Franklin D. Roosevelt in "Sunrise at Campobello," a case of pneumonia forced him to abandon the role before it got to Broadway. Ralph Bellamy replaced him and won numerous awards, including the Tony. Keel played the role eventually on tour.
23The producers of Kiss Me Kate (1953) signed Kathryn Grayson immediately for the femme lead but actually wanted Laurence Olivier in the Petruchio role with plans to dub his singing voice. Director George Sidney, however, was able to promote Keel enough for him to get the part.
24Has some Irish heritage. A lot of his distant family reside in Ireland.
25Grandfather of Mico Olmos and Bodie Olmos.
26Daughter with third wife, Judy Keel: Leslie Keel, was born September 1, 1974.
27His third wife was 25 years younger than him.
28Esther Williams gave his daughter, Kaija Keel, swimming lessons.
29Children with Helen: Kaija Keel (born January 14, 1950), Kirstine Keel (born June 21, 1952) and Gunnar Keel (born June 3, 1955).
30Portrayed Curly in the original London cast of "Oklahoma", Fred Graham in "Kiss Me Kate" (1953), and Hajj in "Kismet" (1955). Baritone Alfred Drake originated all three roles on Broadway.
31During the shooting of Annie Get Your Gun (1950), he broke his leg when his horse fell on him. He was laid up for six weeks.
32(1958-1959) President of Screen Actors Guild (SAG).
33Enjoyed golf
34Worked as a representative for the Douglas Aircraft Corporation in Southern California before embarking on his singing and acting career
35From 1971-1992 he was the father-in-law of actor Edward James Olmos through Olmos' marriage to Keel's daughter Kaija Keel.


Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
My Father's House2002Roy Mardis
Walker, Texas Ranger1995TV SeriesD. L. Dade
Hart to Hart: Home Is Where the Hart Is1994TV MovieCapt. Quentin "Jack" Jackson
Murder, She Wrote1991TV SeriesLarry Thorson
Good Sports1991TV SeriesSonny Gordon
Dallas1981-1991TV SeriesClayton Farlow
Great Performances1986TV Series
Live from Her Majesty's1984TV Series
The Love Boat1981-1983TV SeriesKyle Cummings / Duncan Harlow
Fantasy Island1982TV SeriesColonel
The Quest1976TV SeriesShanghai Pierce
Insight1969TV Series
Here's Lucy1969TV SeriesMr. Livington
Arizona Bushwhackers1968Lee Travis
The Red Skelton Hour1967TV SeriesPolice Sgt. McGoogle
The War Wagon1967Levi Walking Bear
Red Tomahawk1967Capt. Tom York
Waco1966Waco
Run for Your Life1965TV SeriesHardie Rankin
Kiss Me Kate1964TV MovieFred Graham
Death Valley Days1963TV SeriesDiamond Jim Brady
The Day of the Triffids1962Bill Masen
Tales of Wells Fargo1961TV SeriesJustin Brox
Armored Command1961Col. Devlin
The Big Fisherman1959Simon Peter
Floods of Fear1958Donovan
Roberta1958TV MovieJohn Kent
Zane Grey Theater1957TV SeriesWill Gorman
Kismet1955Hajj
Jupiter's Darling1955Hannibal
Deep in My Heart1954Howard Keel'
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers1954Adam Pontipee
Rose Marie1954Capt. Mike Malone
Kiss Me Kate1953Fred Graham 'Petruchio'
Calamity Jane1953Wild Bill Hickok
Ride, Vaquero!1953King Cameron
Fast Company1953Rick Grayton
Desperate Search1952Vince Heldon
Lovely to Look At1952Tony Naylor
Callaway Went Thataway1951Stretch Barnes / Smoky Callaway
Texas Carnival1951Slim Shelby
Across the Wide Missouri1951Narrator (voice, uncredited)
Show Boat1951Gaylord Ravenal
Three Guys Named Mike1951Mike Jamison
Pagan Love Song1950Hazard Endicott
Annie Get Your Gun1950Frank Butler
The Hideout1948Boke (as Harold Keel)

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Sugarcube Critic2014TV Series performer - 1 episode
AMV Hell2004Short performer: "Anything You Can Do"
Annie Get Your Gun Intro with Susan Lucci2000Video documentary short performer: "Col. Buffalo Bill", "There's No Business Like Show Business"
Speechless1994performer: "Anything You Can Do"
That's Entertainment! III1994Documentary performer: "Anything You Can Do" 1946 - uncredited
MGM: When the Lion Roars1992TV Mini-Series documentary performer - 1 episode
The 58th Annual Academy Awards1986TV Special performer: "Once a Star, Always a Star"
That's Entertainment, Part II1976Documentary performer: "Lonesome Polecat" 1954, "There's No Business Like Show Business" 1946 - uncredited
That's Entertainment!1974performer: "Make Believe" 1927 - uncredited
The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour1972TV Series performer - 1 episode
The Man from Button Willow1965performer: "The Man From Button Willow"
Arthur Freed's Hollywood Melody1962TV Movie performer: "The Broadway Melody" - uncredited
The Bell Telephone Hour1961TV Series performer - 1 episode
The 31st Annual Academy Awards1959TV Special performer: "A Very Precious Love"
1955 Motion Picture Theatre Celebration1955Short documentary performer: "I Never Trust a Woman"
MGM Parade1955TV Series performer - 2 episodes
Kismet1955"Rahadlakum", uncredited / performer: "Rhymes Have I", "Sands Of Time", "The Olive Tree", "Fate", "And This Is My Beloved", "Gesticulate" - uncredited
Jupiter's Darling1955performer: "Never Trust A Woman"
Deep in My Heart1954performer: "Your Land and My Land"
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers1954performer: "Bless Yore Beautiful Hide", "When You're in Love", "Sobbin' Women" - uncredited
Rose Marie1954performer: "The Right Place For A Girl", "Mounties", "Rose Marie"
Kiss Me Kate1953performer: "So in Love", "Wunderbar", "We Open in Venice", "I've Come to Wive It Wealthily in Padua", "Were Thine That Special Face", "Where Is the Life That Late I Led?", "Kiss Me Kate reprise" - uncredited
Calamity Jane1953performer: "I Can Do Without You", "Higher than a Hawk", "The Black Hills of Dakota"
Lovely to Look At1952performer: "Lovely To Look At", "You're Devastating", "Lafayette" - uncredited
Callaway Went Thataway1951performer: "Where the Tumbleweed Is Blue"
Texas Carnival1951performer: "Whoa, Emma!", "Young Folks Should Get Married", "Deep in the Heart of Texas" uncredited
Show Boat1951performer: "Where's the Mate For Me?" 1927, "Make Believe" 1927, "You Are Love" 1927, "Why Do I Love You?" 1927, "Make Believe" 1927 second reprise - uncredited
Pagan Love Song1950"The House of Singing Bamboo", uncredited / performer: "Pagan Love Song", "The House of Singing Bamboo", "Singing in the Sun", "Etiquette", "Why Is Love So Crazy?", "The Sea of the Moon" - uncredited
Annie Get Your Gun1950performer: "ANYTHING YOU CAN DO", "THEY SAY IT'S WONDERFUL", "MY DEFENSES ARE DOWN", "THE GIRL THAT I MARRY"

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Frankie Laine: An American Dreamer2006Video documentaryHimself
Biography2004TV Series documentaryHimself
Cole Porter in Hollywood: Too Darn Hot2003Video documentary shortHimself - 'Petruchio / Fred' ("Kiss Me Kate")
Hollywood Greats2002TV Series documentaryHimself
This Is Your Life1985-1998TV Series documentaryHimself
Sobbin' Women: The Making of 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers'1997TV Short documentaryHimself - Host
Inside the Dream Factory1995TV Movie documentaryHimself
That's Entertainment III: Behind the Screen1994Video documentaryHimself
That's Entertainment! III1994DocumentaryHimself - Co-Host / Narrator
Golden Globes 50th Anniversary Celebration1994TV MovieHimself
Guest Night1992TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The 48th Annual Golden Globe Awards1991TV SpecialHimself - Presenter
The 34th Annual Thalians Ball1989TV MovieHimself
Aspel & Company1988TV SeriesHimself - Guest
This Is Your Life1987TV SpecialHimself - Honoree
The 13th Annual People's Choice Awards1987TV SpecialHimself - Accepting Award for Favourite Television Night Time Dramatic Series
Bob Hope's Tropical Comedy Special from Tahiti1987TV MovieHimself
The 58th Annual Academy Awards1986TV SpecialHimself - Performer
All-Star Party for 'Dutch' Reagan1985TV SpecialHimself
Doris Day's Best Friends1985TV SeriesHimself - Guest
An Evening with Howard Keel1985TV MovieHimself
The 42nd Annual Golden Globe Awards1985TV SpecialHimself - Presenter
Entertainment Express1983-1984TV SeriesHimself
All-Star Party for Frank Sinatra1983TV MovieHimself
James Bond: The First 21 Years1983TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Val Doonican Music Show1983TV SeriesHimself
Tattletales1982-1983TV SeriesHimself
The Royal Variety Performance 19821982TV MovieHimself
Night of 100 Stars1982TV SpecialHimself
Song by Song1980TV SeriesHimself - Music Performer
Dinah!1976TV SeriesHimself - Guest
At Long Last Cole1975TV MovieHimself
The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club1975TV SeriesHimself
ABC Late Night1974TV SeriesHimself
The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour1972TV SeriesHimself
Stars on Sunday1972TV SeriesHimself
The Val Doonican Show1971TV SeriesHimself
Cinema1971TV Series documentaryHimself
Ronnie Corbett in Bed1971TV MovieHimself
The Joey Bishop Show1967TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The Bell Telephone Hour1959-1965TV SeriesHimself - Singer / Himself - Host
The Mike Douglas Show1964-1965TV SeriesHimself - Co-Host / Himself - Guest
The Match Game1964TV SeriesHimself - Team Captain
Talent Scouts1963TV SeriesHimself
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson1963TV SeriesHimself - Guest / Himself
The Voice of Firestone1962TV SeriesHimself
The 34th Annual Academy Awards1962TV SpecialHimself - Accepting Best Cinematography Award, Black and White for Eugen Schüfftan
Arthur Freed's Hollywood Melody1962TV MovieHimself
Juke Box Jury1961TV SeriesHimself - Panellist
Here's Hollywood1961TV SeriesHimself
Celebrity Golf1961TV SeriesHimself
Val Parnell's Sunday Night at the London Palladium1956-1960TV SeriesHimself
Spectacular1960TV SeriesHimself-host
The 31st Annual Academy Awards1959TV SpecialHimself - Performer
The Big Record1958TV SeriesHimself
Bing Crosby and His Friends1958TV SpecialHimself
The Polly Bergen Show1957TV SeriesHimself - Guest
General Motors 50th Anniversary Show1957TV MovieHimself
The Dinah Shore Chevy Show1957TV SeriesHimself - Guest
MGM Parade1955TV SeriesHimself
The Ed Sullivan Show1954TV SeriesHimself
The Hoaxters1952Short documentaryNarrator (voice)

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Out of My Dreams: Oscar Hammerstein II2012TV Movie documentaryGaylord Ravenal
De schuld van VTM2009TV SeriesHimself
Legends2007TV Series documentaryHimself
The Best of the Royal Variety2006TV SeriesHimself
The 57th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards2005TV SpecialHimself - In Memoriam
The 77th Annual Academy Awards2005TV SpecialMemorial Tribute
11th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards2005TV SpecialHimself - Memorial Tribute
Dallas Reunion: Return to Southfork2004TV Movie documentaryClayton Farlow (uncredited)
SoapTalk2003TV SeriesClayton Farlow
Great Performances2003TV SeriesHimself
Annie Get Your Gun Intro with Susan Lucci2000Video documentary shortFrank Butler
Red Skelton: A Comedy Scrapbook1981Video documentarySlim Shelby-Texas Carnival
That's Entertainment, Part II1976DocumentaryFrank Butler
That's Entertainment!1974Gaylord Ravenal / Hazard Endicott
MGM Parade1955TV SeriesHimself
The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Story1951Documentary
Some of the Best: Twenty-Five Years of Motion Picture Leadership1949Documentary shortHimself (uncredited)

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
2001King Vidor Memorial AwardSan Luis Obispo International Film Festival
2000Lifetime Achievement AwardFt. Lauderdale International Film FestivalFor musical cinema achievements.
1960Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameMotion PictureOn 8 February 1960. At 6253 Hollywood Blvd.

Nominated awards

Nominated awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1988Soap Opera Digest AwardSoap Opera Digest AwardsOutstanding Actor in a Supporting Role: Prime TimeDallas (1978)
1951Gold MedalPicturegoer AwardsBest ActorAnnie Get Your Gun (1950)


Looks like we don't have salary information. Sorry!


#Quote
1It was a fine cast and lots of fun to make, but they did the damn thing on the cheap. The backdrops had holes in them and it was shot on the worst film stock. - On Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)
2I had a terrible, rotten childhood. My father made away with himself when I was 11. I had no guidance, my mom was six feet tall, bucktoothed and very tough. I was mean and rebellious and had a terrible temper. I got a job as an auto mechanic, and I would have stayed in that narrow kind of life if I hadn't discovered art. Music changed me completely.
3[on Kathryn Grayson] She's a beautiful woman. A good friend. Fun to be around.
4God has been kind. I haven't got any great talent but everyone has a certain amount and it's what you do with it that counts. I was blessed with a voice and I used it.
5[about retirement] I'm just having too much fun. As long as I can sing well, I'll keep at it. The minute I feel that the voice is getting down, the minute I feel that I can't cut the mustard, I'll quit.
6Success can be harder to take than failure in a lot of ways. It brings with it a responsibility. You have to learn that all the highs don't last forever. For every high, there's a corresponding low. It's why young kids often go to pieces. When they get so popular they can't go out of their hotel rooms, that's when they turn to drugs. Success can be very dangerous, very heady.
7[about his job on Dallas (1978)] When I was offered the role of Farlow, I was thrilled. It meant I could be home every night with my family.
8You get your ups and downs but you just don't fall apart. You take another shot at it.
9[about his work on Dallas (1978)][ I started out a long time ago, and now the younger generation knows who I am. My daughter is a part of that younger generation, and I owe it to her not to act like an old man.
10When I found out that I could carry a tune, well, I came to realize that I had a gift, that it was a kind of a blessing. And I think if you're given something special, you ought to try and give that something back. If you don't, it's a sin. No question.
11I'm not a religious man. As a matter of fact, I think religion is one of the biggest evils in this world. Think of the world's wars, almost all of them have started because of religion. I have my own attitude to this life. Hell, you can't look up at the sky and not think there's some superhuman force at work. But I don't know what it is.
12The only way to enjoy golf is to be a masochist. Go out and beat yourself to death.
13You should never envy anyone. One day you might be in that person's position and it might not be so nice.
14If I had my ups and downs, that's tough. If everything in life always went smoothly, it would be a bloody bore. You know, people say, "Wait and go to heaven". Well, if heaven's like they claim it is, I don't want to go. I'd get bored. Besides, I think heaven's right here, in your mind. You make your own heaven and hell, I think. All this nonsense about heaven: "Be good so you can go up there." I say be good because you should be good, because you don't want to hurt people.
15Once somebody said to me, "How can you stand to work in a tent?" Well, people are people wherever you go, and a performance is a performance. It's your job and it's not fair to let an audience down. I will not relax the standards of what I feel should be done.
16Any time you get in an area that takes a great deal of skill, you'll find that the tendrils are much more sensitive. People talk about actors being temperamental, but that sort of thing is everywhere.
17[about his choice to go ahead with open heart surgery in January, 1986, despite the risk of losing his job on Dallas (1978)] There is always another part. But there is only one life!
18[about his heart surgery] One person who has really been an inspiration for me in this is my good friend Barbara Bel Geddes, who underwent coronary bypass surgery herself about three years ago. I've learned some things from Barbara. One thing I learned is that you don't accomplish anything by sitting around the house after something like this - except to get yourself good and bored. I was one of those that encouraged her to come back to the show, and I've never seen Barbara looking happier or more healthy looking than since she returned to Dallas (1978). Seeing her return has been a real inspiration. It shows how you can come back from heart surgery.
19[about filming dinner scenes on Dallas (1978)] The continuity girl goes crazy. The poor dear, my gosh! Because you take a bite, you gotta remember when you took the bite, what words, that sort of thing. If you sit down with Patrick Duffy, who plays Bobby, and [Larry Hagman] at a meal like that, it's like sitting down with two of the worst brats in the neighborhood! They pull more shtick at that table. They send the scripts up. It is pandemonium! It's a minor miracle that anything gets done.

#Trademark
1Deep baritone voice
2Performing a medley of songs from Oklahoma! in concert and TV appearances
3During his UK concert tours in the 1980s and 90s, had a habit of checking his watch (wrist or pocket) during his performances to ensure he was on schedule.

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