Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
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1 item from 2004


Musical Star Howard Keel Dies at 85

8 November 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Howard Keel, the deep-voiced baritone associated with the classic movie musicals of the 50s, died Sunday of colon cancer at his home in Palm Springs, CA; he was 85. A naturally gifted singer who had what he described as a "terrible, rotten childhood," Keel first came to prominence onstage, discovered by legendary composers Rodgers & Hammerstein no less, who hired him to replace John Raitt in the original Broadway production of Carousel. After a successful stage career in both New York and London, he was signed to a contract with MGM, and his first film for the studio, Annie Get Your Gun, immediately shot him to stardom. Throughout the 50s he re-created a number of his stage roles for film, and his impressive string of hits included Show Boat, Kiss Me Kate, Kismet, Calamity Jane, Jupiter's Darling, and the actor's personal favorite, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Once MGM abandoned large-scale musicals, Keel went back to the stage, traveling in a number of productions. Though he worked in television off and on throughout the 70s, Keel found himself on another career high with the TV show Dallas, in which he played Clayton Farlow, the second husband to Barbara Bel Geddes' Miss Ellie. Hired in 1981 after the death of Jim Davis, who played patriarch Jock Ewing, Keel stayed with the show through the rest of its run until 1991. Keel was married three times, first to actress Rosemary Cooper, then dancer Helen Anderson, with whom he had three children; both marriages ended in divorce. His third and final marriage was to former flight attendant Judy Magamoll in 1970, with whom he had a daughter. He is also survived by ten grandchildren. --Prepared by IMDb staff »

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