Howard Keel

Howard Keel

Esther Williams gave his daughter, Kaija Keel, swimming lessons.

After his father's death, he and his mother moved to San Diego, California, in 1930.

Before he was a successful actor, he also worked as a singing busboy.

Before he was a successful stage actor and singer, he used to work as a traveling representative.

Began his career as a contract player at MGM in 1950.

Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 7, 2003-2005, pages 294-296. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007.

Children with Helen: Kaija Keel (born January 14, 1950), Kirstine Keel (born June 21, 1952) and Gunnar Keel (born June 3, 1955).

Daughter with third wife, Judy Keel: Leslie Keel, was born September 1, 1974.

Due to his huge size, many of his petite leading ladies had to stand on boxes to be in the same frame.

During 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.

Enjoyed golf

First 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.

From 1971-1992 he was the father-in-law of actor Edward James Olmos through Olmos' marriage to Keel's daughter Kaija Keel.

Grandfather of Mico Olmos and Bodie Olmos.

Had grown up in a strict Christian environment.

Has some Irish heritage. A lot of his distant family reside in Ireland.

His hobbies included: singing, dancing, watching movies, listening to opera, fishing, golfing, spending time with his family.

His third wife was 25 years younger than him.

In 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.

Met Judy Keel on a blind date, who never even heard of him. Judy was 26, Howard was 51.