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Robert Keeshan Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (15)  | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (4)

Born in Lynbrook, Long Island, New York, USA
Died in Windsor, Vermont, USA  (long illness)
Birth NameRobert James Keeshan
Nickname Bob

Mini Bio (1)

Television producer and host Robert James Keeshan was born in Lynbrook, Long Island, New York. As a young man he served in the US Marine Corps Reserve. Starting as a page at the National Broadcasting Company, Keeshan later began his on-air career as the original "Clarabell, the Clown" for the NBC The Howdy Doody Show (1947) (aka "The Howdy Doody Show"). He was then the first host/performer of WJZ/WABC TV Ch. 7 NYC's "Time For Fun" / "The Johnny Jellybean Show". Keeshan emceed the show as "Corny The Clown" weekdays at noon from Monday, September 21st, 1953, to Friday, July 29th, 1955. He co-created, co-produced and hosted "Tinker's Workshop" with Jack Miller on WJZ/WABC TV Ch. 7 in New York City weekday mornings from Monday, November 15, 1954 to Friday, September 9, 1955. The show continued without Robert until Friday August 22, 1958. The later hosts of the show were Henry Burbig, Gene London & Dom DeLuise.

When asked to put together a show for children, he leaped at the chance. On Monday, October 3rd, 1955, Captain Kangaroo (1955) began its near 30-year run on CBS, until it was moved to Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in the 1980s. There was a lot of fun in the "Treasure House", with Bunny Rabbit swindling carrots before lunch from The Captain or Mister Moose finding yet another way to get the Captain to stand still long enough to drop dozens of ping-pong balls down on the ever-unsuspecting Captain's head. Dennis (Cosmo Allegretti) asking so many questions that Mister Bainter would almost always lose his cool. All the while during this, Captain Kangaroo taught us values and gave those with busy or absent fathers a gentle and caring male role model to learn good behavior and manners from. A love of reading was encouraged and the animals that Mister Green Jeans (Hugh Brannum) showed allowed children who had never seen a particular animal to experience it though his fascination with it. During its run in 1964, Keeshan also took on a Saturday morning persona as "Mister Mayor" for a year, but remained the Captain until the end of its run on PBS in 1993. Over the years he and the show won six Emmy's and three Peabody Awards, totaling nine awards, altogether, and he was also elected to the Clown Hall of Fame.

In 1989 he published "Growing Up Happy" and then in October of 1996 he published "Good Morning Captain: 50 Wonderful Years with Bob Keeshan, TV's Captain Kangaroo". Keeshan is also the author of the "Itty Bitty Kitty" children's book series. Widowed in the 1990s, he died in Vermont in 2004.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: re-written by Mean John Dean

Spouse (1)

Anne Jeanne Laurie (30 December 1950 - 25 February 1996) ( her death) ( 3 children)

Trade Mark (2)

Known as Captain Kanganoo
Bright red jacket

Trivia (15)

Elected to the Clown Hall of Fame.
Served in the United States Marine Corps.
He was the first host/performer of WJZ/WABC TV Ch.7 NYC's "Time For Fun" / "The Johnny Jellybean Show". Keeshan MC'd the show as "Corney The Clown" weekday afternoons from Monday September 21, 1953 to Friday July 29, 1955. He co-created, nco-produced and hosted "Tinker's Workshop" with Jack Miller on WJZ/WABC TV Ch.7 in NYC weekday mornings from Monday November 15, 1954 to Friday September 9,1955. The Show continued until Friday August 22, 1958. The other hosts were Henry Burbig, Gene London & Dom DeLuise.
The names of his children are: daughters Laurie and Mave; son Michael.
His acting debut, was on Saturday, January 3rd, 1948.
He was not a Dartmouth student, but he certainly was a member of the Dartmouth family. He was an adopted member of the Class of 1942, and received an honorary doctorate from the College in 1975. His son, Michael Keeshan, is a 1973 graduate of Dartmouth and a 1975 graduate of Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business; his daughter, Laurie Keeshan, graduated in 1975. Keeshan's grandson, Britton Keeshan, received a master's degree from Dartmouth in 2006. Mr. Keeshan was a regular visitor to the College in his latter years, and lived just across the river in nearby Norwich and Hartford, VT, for a number of years until his death in 2004.
Inspired thousands of children to become schoolteachers.
Besides his work in television, he also sat on a number of boards of charitable foundations.
In the original version of Captain Kangaroo, Keeshan endorsed two brands of candy bars. He stopped them, in order to lessen the "commercial" aspect of this show.
He quit smoking following a severe heart attack.
Turned down an offer to become the Captain again on a revised version of the show in 1995.
In the later years of his life, he starred in a number of commercials themed "No one takes better care of you than you!" These dealt with safety and health tips for young people.
Best remembered by the public for his starring role in Captain Kangaroo (1955).
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 7, 2003-2005, pages 297-298. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007.
Served as a Marine near the end of the second World War. Accounts that he was a platoon sergeant on Iwo Jima are incorrect. Keeshan was only 17 during Iwo Jima and could not have made platoon sergeant in any way. As for being over Lee Marvin, that is also false, as Marvin and Keeshan did not serve in the same battles.

Personal Quotes (5)

One of the big secrets of finding time is not to watch television.
Parents are the ultimate role models for children. Every word, movement and action has an effect. No other person or outside force has a greater influence on a child than the parent.
If you want more time in your life, don't watch TV.
Just as actors are afraid of child audiences because they're so honest, I would be scared stiff of going before the big folks.
Play is the work of children. It's very serious stuff.

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