Well, how much did you know about Howard (born Harry Clifford) Keel

Here’s what we asked.

1) How many films did Keel make with Kathryn Grayson.

Three, Showboat, Lovely to Look At, and Kiss Me Kate.

2) In which film did he play a dual role? Hint — it wasn’t a musical.

In Callaway Went Thataway Keel played  “Stretch” Barnes, a cowboy hired to impersonate a missing western star and”Smoky” Callaway. the missing star. This is a very underrated comedy from Norman Panama and Melvin Frank, spoofing the early 50s  Hopalong Cassidy TV craze. The film costars Fred MacMurray and Dorothy McGuire.  

3) Did Keel portray Ann Blyth’s father, or lover on screen?

Trick Question. In Rosemarie (remake of the Jeannette MacDonald/Nelson Eddy film) Keel played her lover. In Kismet (remake of the Ronald Coleman/Marlene Dietrich film) he plays her father. Vic Damone her love interest.

4) Keel was a major star on Broadway. Did he play the lead in Oklahoma or Carousel?

Both. He started as John Raitt’s understudy in Carousel. Then got to play the lead. Then he took over the lead in Oklahoma.  In fact Keel accomplished a feat that has never been duplicated. One day he performed on Broadway in both plays.

5) His first film was a foreign film. True or False?

True. While in England performing on the West End, he made his film debut in A Small Voice, with Valerie Hobson.

6) After retirement from films he returned to the stage, but then shot back to stardom on TV. On what show?


7) Although Annie Get Your Gun established him as a star and grossed over $7 million, it wasn’t his biggest hit.  What was?

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. It grossed over $9 million.

8)When his contract at MGM was over he went to Europe and made his second (and final) foreign film.  What was it. (this is a tough one!)

Floods of Fear. Ever seen it? Even TCM has missed this one.


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