Ian Keith

Ian Keith

Show Count: 1
Series Count: 1
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Born: February 27, 1899
Old Time Radio, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S
Died: March 26, 1960, New York City, U.S
A veteran American character actor of the legitimate theater, and appeared in a variety of colorful roles in silent features of the 1920s. His stage training made him a natural choice for the new "talking pictures"; he played John Wilkes Booth in D. W. Griffith's first talkie, Abraham Lincoln.

Born Keith Ross in Boston, Massachusetts, he had a major role in director Raoul Walsh's 1930 western The Big Trail. In 1932, Cecil B. DeMille cast him in The Sign of the Cross. This established him as a dependable supporting player, and he went on to play dozens of roles—including Octavian (Augustus) in Cleopatra—in major and minor screen fare for the next three decades.

Ian Keith's tall frame (6' 2"), dark, handsome features (usually clean-shaven), and his resonant voice served him well. He became one of DeMille's favorites, appearing in many of the producer's epic films. He handled costume roles and modern-day professional types with equal aplomb. In the 1940s he became even busier, working primarily in "B" features and westerns and alternating between playing good guys (a chief of detectives in The Payoff, a friendly hypnotist in Mr. Hex, a blowhard politician in She Gets Her Man) and bad guys (a murder suspect in The Chinese Cat, a crooked lawyer in Bowery Champs, a swindler in Singing on the Trail). He appeared in a supporting role to Tyrone Power in Nightmare Alley (1947) as a former vaudevillian turned carny who has succumbed to alcoholism. He also had a definite flair for comedy, and his florid portrayal of the comic-strip ham actor "Vitamin Flintheart" in Dick Tracy vs. Cueball was so amusing that he repeated the role in two more films.

He also appeared on many television episodes in the 1950s. In 1955, he was seen on screen in his only Shakespeare role, when he made a cameo appearance as the Ghost opposite Richard Burton's Hamlet in a sequence from the Edwin Booth biopic Prince of Players. Cecil B. DeMille brought him back to the big screen for The Ten Commandments (1956); Keith played Ramses I.

Keith died on March 26, 1960, and was cremated in New York City.


  • Fern Andra (m. in 1932 and again in 1934, when the legality of the first ceremony was questioned; divorced; in 1938 Andra married again)
  • Blanche Yurka
  • Ethel Clayton
  • Hildegarde Pabst

Source: Wikipedia

Kitty Keene IncorporatedKitty Keene Incorporated
Show Count: 3
Broadcast History: Sept 13, 1947 - Apr 25, 1941
Sponsor: Dreft
Cast: Beverly Younger, Gail Henshaw, Fran Carlon, Bob Bailey, Herb Butterfield, Phil Lord, Dorothy Gregory, Cheer Brentson, Louise Fitch, Ian Keith, Ginch Jones, Josephine Gilbert, Angeline Orr, Peggy Hillias, Loretta Poynton, Carlton KaDell, Stanley Harris
Producer: George Fogle, Alan Wallace
Kitty Keene, Incorporated. was an old-time radio soap running from 1937 to 1941 about a female private detective.
Broadcast: 24th January 1951
Starring: Ian Keith
Added: Sep 23 2011